NASA satellites

NASA satellites

NASA satellites have collected data as the Atlantic Ocean’s Tropical Depression 17 has undergone two changes in less than 24 hours. Since Oct. 6, the depression has strengthened and has tropical storm-force winds and has morphed from a sub-tropical storm into a tropical storm. After a United States Air Force Reserve reconnaissance flight subtropical depression seventeen was upgraded by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to subtropical storm Otto on Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC). On Oct. 6 and 7, NASA’s TRMM and Aqua satellites were flying overhead measuring very cold, high thunderstorm cloud tops and heavy rainfall.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite is managed by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency. At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., meteorologists create satellite imagery from TRMM data. When TRMM passed above Otto this morning, Oct. 7 at 0945 UTC (5:45 a.m. EDT) the TRMM Precipitation Radar data revealed a feeder band in the southern part of the storm was dropping moderate to heavy rainfall (falling at a rate as much as 2 inches per hour). Coverage from TRMM Microwave Imager data indicated that convection in the center of the storm was generating thunderstorms.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Oct. 7, Tropical Storm Otto had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph, and strengthening is likely, according to the National Hurricane Center. Otto could become a hurricane in the next day or two. Otto was located about 255 miles northeast of Grand Turk Island or 620 miles south-southwest of Bermuda near 23.8 North latitude and 68.0 West longitude. Otto is far away enough from any land areas that there are no watches or warnings in effect. Otto was slowly trudging through the Atlantic Ocean at 2 mph and moving northeast. Otto’s minimum central pressure was 992 millibars.

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