GOES-11 Watching a Low Pressure Area Near Central America

There's a broad area of low pressure located a couple of hundred miles south of Guatemala with clouds and showers and forecasters are keeping any eye on it using imagery from the GOES-11 and other satellites.

The latest visible image from the GOES-11 satellite taken on July 29 at 1500 UTC a small area of clouds and showers in the Eastern Pacific, a couple hundred miles south of Guatemala. NOAA manages the operation of the GOES series of satellites, and the NASA GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. provides imagery and animations from GOES satellite data.

The National Hurricane Center noted that the system has changed little in organization during the early morning hours today, July 29. Any development of this disturbance is expected to be slow to occur as it moves westward or west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph.

As of today, the NHC only gives this system a ten percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

NASA Chat: Getting a 'GRIP' on Hurricane Forecasting

Every summer, tens of thousands of people follow the spinning, counterclockwise drama that plays out across their television screens. Satellite images show a tropical depression forming off the coast. Will it become one of the most powerful storms on Earth? Will it turn into a hurricane?

The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes mission, or GRIP, will use 15 cutting edge instruments to get a daring new look at some of the world’s fiercest storms. Scientists will study how storms form, strengthen, and weaken, and try to better understand how tropical storms develop into major hurricanes.

On Thursday, July 29, atmospheric scientist Tim Miller from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center will answer your questions about hurricanes and the upcoming NASA study. Joining the chat is easy. Simply visit this page on Thursday, July 29 from 3-4 p.m. EDT. The chat window will open at the bottom of this page starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

See What's Brewing in 'Hurricane Alleys' Live Online, on iPad and iPhone via GOES Satellite

Scientists working for NASA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. have developed continually updating "movies" of satellite imagery that allows online, iPhone and iPad viewing of any cyclone's movement in the Hurricane Alleys of the Atlantic Ocean or Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-13 satellite captures visible and infrared images of the weather over the U.S. East coast. These images are overlaid on a true color background map, and fed into small and medium-sized videos of the Gulf of Mexico and the nearby Atlantic Ocean for the last 3 days. The GOES-11 satellite provides similar coverage of the U.S. west coast and Eastern Pacific.

The GOES satellites scan further into the oceans twice per hour, offering the opportunity to watch storm development in the swath called "Hurricane Alley," from Atlantic to Pacific. The bigger scans are used to make large-scale Hurricane Alley movies for the last three to five days, illustrating the life-cycle of subtropical storms, as some of them spin up to become hurricanes.

The GOES satellites also scan the entire disk of the Earth every three hours. These are used to produce "full disk movies" from the last five days of satellite imagery data from GOES-13 in the Atlantic and GOES-11 in the eastern Pacific. With just eight frames per day, time flies by quickly as weather circulates across the Western Hemisphere.

Remnant Low of Bonnie Over Louisiana and Western Mississippi as Seen by GOES-13 Satellite

The GOES-13 satellite captured a visible image of the clouds associated with the remnants of former tropical depression Bonnie, now over Louisiana and western Mississippi. Bonnie's remnants are producing scattered showers and thunderstorms today and tonight in those areas.

The GOES series of satellites are operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. creates some of the GOES satellite images.

At 8:30 a.m. EDT Bonnie's remnants generated an area of showers and thunderstorms north of Lake Pontchartrain in eastern Louisiana and western Mississippi. One of the thunderstorms spawned a tornado warning for Wathall and Washington Counties in western Mississippi at that time.

Bonnie's center is located inland south of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the bulk of the showers and thunderstorms associated with it are mainly to the west and north of the remnant low's center.

NASA Infrared Satellite Imagery Sees System 97W Ripe for Tropical Development

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over System 97W in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on July 19 at 0417 UTC , it captured temperature data on some very high thunderstorms and strong convection happening inside. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center who utilize that data noted that System 97W has a good chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 12 to 24 hours.

NASA's infrared satellite imagery was captured by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder . The convection it detected in the center of System 97W was strong as evidenced by high, cold thunderstorm cloud tops, colder than 63 Fahrenheit .

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that System 97W's maximum sustained winds are estimated between 20 and 25 knots . The center is estimated near 27.9 North and 125.0 East, which is about 175 nautical miles west northwest of Okinawa, Japan. System 97W is moving northwest near 10 mph .

System 97W is forecast to track northward into the Yellow Sea. The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea . The Yellow Sea is located between mainland China and the Korean peninsula.

As it continues northwest, System 97W could strengthen into a tropical depression before tracking over cool sea surface temperatures between 75-79 Fahrenheit 24 hours. A tropical cyclone needs sea surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain intensity.

Tropical Depression 3

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have been monitoring System 97L for days now with NOAA and NASA satellite data, ship and buoy observations. At 11 a.m. EDT this morning, July 22, System 97L strengthened and organized into the third tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season triggering warnings for the Bahamas and Florida.

At 1100 a.m. EDT the center of newly formed tropical depression three (TD3) was located near latitude 21.9 north and longitude 75.0 west. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. TD3 is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph and it is expected to continue in this direction with an increase in forward speed during the next 48 hours. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 millibars. The depression could become a tropical storm later today.

System 97L's Chances Just Improved, Tropically Speaking

The National Hurricane Center noted in its afternoon update today, July 21 that the showers and thunderstorms associated with System 97L that has been soaking Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands appears to be coming together better for tropical cyclone development.

Showers and thunderstorms associated with System 97L, a vigorous tropical wave currently extend from the northern Leeward Islands westward to Hispaniola.

On July 20 at 18:11 UTC NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument detected strong convection east of the center of System 97L, with high thunderstorm cloud tops as cold as -63 Fahrenheit. The National Hurricane Center noted "Although the system does not yet have a closed circulation satellite imagery suggests that a surface low pressure area is becoming better defined just north of the eastern tip of Hispaniola."

Because environmental conditions are expected to be favorable for development, the National Hurricane Center has noted that System 97L now has a high chance for development into a tropical depression.

NASA Infrared Image Sees Tropical Depression 4 Form in South China Sea

Tropical Depression 04W formed out of disturbance 98W this weekend after this passed over Luzon, the Philippines. NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image that showed strong convection and thunderstorms in its center, helping confirm its organization into a tropical depression.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument uses infrared capabilities to take the temperature of various factors associated with a tropical cyclone, from cloud top temperatures which indicate strength of thunderstorms within to sea surface temperatures . When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Depression 04W on July 18 at 0723 UTC , it saw an area of very high thunderstorm cloud tops from northeast to southwest around the center of TD4W. Those temperatures were colder than 63 Fahrenheit and indicate strong convection .

At 1500 UTC on July 19 TD4W had still not consolidated and strengthened into a tropical storm. However, the sea surface temperatures in the South China Sea are warm enough to enable strengthening, as long as the wind shear remains low . TD4W had maximum sustained winds near 34 mph and higher gusts. It was located about 285 nautical miles west northwest of Manila, the Philippines, near 15.9 North and 115.9 East. It was moving west-northwestward near 11 mph .

TD4W is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm and move toward the northwest for a landfall south of Hong Kong in a couple of days.

System 098S Strengthens into Tropical Storm Edzan

The area of low pressure that NASA satellites and forecasters were watching yesterday, has taken advantage of low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures in the Southern Indian Ocean and strengthened into Tropical Storm Edzani today.

Tropical cyclone Edzani, the seventh tropical cyclone the southern hemisphere this season, was located about 650 miles east-southeast of Diego Garcia today, January 6 at 10 a.m. ET. That's near 13.1 degrees South latitude and 81.8 degrees East longitude. Edzani's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph . Edzani was moving west-southwest near 12 mph, and generating waves around 15 feet high.

Multispectral satellite imagery and a microwave satellite image revealed that convection is strengthening and the storm is consolidating. NASA's Terra satellite flew over Tropical Storm Edzani early this morning at 0450UTC . The Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument captured a visible image of the storm that showed the storm has developed a more circular shape.

Edzani will continue to track west-southwestward and gradually intensify over the next couple of days, remaining safely in open ocean.

High Pressure Forcing Tropical Storm Conson Farther South to Hainan Island

NASA satellites are keeping an eye on the changing track of Tropical Storm Conson and the conditions within the storm as it changes in strength on its track through the South China Sea. NASA's Infrared imagery revealed some strong convection in the storm as it takes a more westerly route toward another landfall.

The high pressure ridge acts as a barrier and Tropical cyclone like Conson are forced to go around them. Think of a basketball sitting outside in the rain, and the raindrops drip down the surface to the ground - it’s the same principle.

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Conson on July 14 at 1747 UTC , the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured a look at the storm's cloud-top temperatures. Cloud top temperatures tell scientists how high thunderstorms are and that translates into strength because the higher and colder the cloud tops, the stronger the thunderstorms, and typically more rain falls from them.

AIRS infrared measurements of Tropical Storm Conson's thunderstorm cloud-top temperatures revealed 2 large areas of strong convection and icy cold tops that were colder than -63 Fahrenheit. That means there was a lot of energy in Tropical Storm Conson yesterday when the Aqua satellite passed overhead. Animated infrared satellite imagery today, July 15, showed tightly wrapped convective banding around the storm's center indicating its maintaining intensity.

On July 15 at 0600 UTC , Tropical Storm Conson's maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots . Conson was located about 290 nautical miles east-southeast of Hainan Island near 16.6 North and 113.3 East. It was moving west near 12 knots .

Tropical Storm Conson is in an area of strong northeasterly vertical wind shear, blowing at a speed greater than 30 knots . Despite the strong wind shear, the storm is maintaining intensity. However, that wind shear is pushing the strongest convection southwest of Conson's center.

Meteorologists at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center are forecasting Conson to keep tracking westward and cross Hainan Island in the next 24-36 hours . Thereafter, Conson is expected to make landfall in northern Vietnam and dissipate over the weekend.

The GOES-11 Satellite Sees System 96E Getting Tropically Organized

System 96E appears to be getting organized, and that's apparent in the latest visible imagery from the GOES-11 satellite.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite known as GOES-11 keeps a watchful eye over the western U.S. and that includes the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The latest visible image from the GOES-11 satellite was captured on July 13 at 1500 UTC and shows System 96E as a circular area of clouds and showers off the southwestern coast of Mexico. It is located about 300 miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico. That puts its center near 14.3 North and 104.0 West.

GOES is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. creates some of the satellite images from the GOES satellites.

System 96E's showers and thunderstorms are concentrated around its small low pressure center. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla. noted today, July 13 that "Environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for development of this disturbance over the next couple of days as it moves west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph."

The NHC gives System 96E a 50% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours. If System 96E does become a depression and then strengthens into a tropical storm, it would be named "Estelle."

NASA's 3-D Animation of Typhoon Conson's Heavy Rainfall and Strong Thunderstorms

Imagine seeing a typhoon from space, and seeing it in three dimensions. That's what the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite can do with any typhoon, and just did with Typhoon Conson. TRMM's 3-D look at tropical cyclones provide scientists with information on the height of towering thunderstorms and the rate of rainfall in them, and Conson has high thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

The TRMM satellite got a good view of tropical storm Conson the west Pacific Ocean as it passed directly overhead on July 12 at 1550 UTC . TRMM Precipitation Radar TRMM Microwave Imager data from the orbit were used when creating the rainfall analysis. That rainfall analysis showed intensifying tropical storm Conson was already very well organized. TRMM data clearly showed that an eye was forming with heavy thunderstorms located northeast of the storm's center of circulation. Those thunderstorms were dropping rainfall at a rate of almost 2 inches per hour.

Hal Pierce of NASA's TRMM Team, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. created the 3-D animation of Typhoon Conson using data from July 12. In the animation, Pierce said that "The developing eye is shown reaching to heights above 15 kilometers .

The TRMM Precipitation Radar 3-D image showed that Conson was already a typhoon at 1550 UTC , which allowed forecasters to reclassify Conson from a tropical storm to a typhoon. TRMM Precipitation Radar revealed that the eye was already well formed indicating that Conson had reached typhoon status at that time.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

TRMM Satellite Sees Heavy Rainfall in Hurricane Alex

Hurricane Alex is generating some very heavy rainfall, and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM has been calculating it from its orbit in space.As predicted by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Alex intensified after entering the warm waters of the southwest Gulf of Mexico.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., scientists created an analysis of Alex's rainfall using data captured by the TRMM satellite on June 29, 2010 at 1350 UTC . At that time the sustained winds around Alex were estimated to be 60 knots . Alex continued to strengthen and was classified as a hurricane early on 30 June 2010. This made Alex the first hurricane in the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

The rainfall analysis used TRMM Precipitation Radar and TRMM Microwave Imager data. The TMI data showed that a heavy band of precipitation was spiraling into the center of Alex's intensifying circulation. The precipitation analysis was overlaid on visible and infrared data from TRMM's Visible Infrared Scanner .

In this image a Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite visible image was used to fill in locations not viewed by the TRMM satellite. Alex is expected to continue to be a large rainmaker when it makes landfall. Rainfall accumulations are expected of between 6 and 12 inches, with isolated amounts of 20 inches.

Tropical Storm force winds are expected to reach coastal areas in the warning areas this afternoon, while hurricane-force winds will reach the coast tonight. In addition, the National Hurricane Center noted "a dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above ground level along the immediate coast to the north of where the center makes landfall.

Tropical Depression 2 (Gulf of Mexico)

The GOES-13 satellite that monitors U.S. East Coast weather captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Two today, July 8 at 10:31 a.m. EDT, and it showed disorganization with several areas of clouds near the south Texas coast. Meanwhile, NASA's Aqua satellite showed the storm has weak convection.

The second tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean season formed last night at 11 p.m. EDT in the Gulf of Mexico. It was formerly known as System 96L.

Because Tropical Depression 2 is so close to the south Texas and northeastern Mexico coastlines warnings are in effect. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Coast of Texas south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande and for the coast of Mexico from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Rio San Fernando. As the depression makes landfall today the tropical storm warnings are expected to be discontinued.

Just 12 hours after formation, the poorly organized Tropical Depression Two was poised to make landfall in southern Texas as 11 a.m. EDT. At that time its center was located about 30 miles east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas near 26.0 North and 97.0 West. Tropical Depression Two's maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, and it is moving northwest near 15 mph. TD2 has a minimum central pressure of 1007 millibars.

Tropical System 96L - Gulf of Mexico

System 96L looks like an oval-shaped area of clouds in a recent visible satellite image from the GOES-13 satellite. The National Hurricane Center noted that it now has a 50% chance of development into a tropical depression by sometime on Thursday.

GOES-13 is one of a two Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites that monitor weather over the U.S. GOES-13 covers the eastern U.S. and GOES-11 covers the western U.S. Both satellites are managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. GOES-13 captured a visible image of System 96L on July 7 at 1732 UTC (1:32 p.m. EDT), and its broad area of clouds covered the western Gulf of Mexico, stretching from the Yucatan Peninsula north to the Texas coast.

System 96L is an elongated area of low pressure and is moving west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph. Its center is near 23.3 North latitude and 93.3 West longitude. Shower and thunderstorm activity has ramped up and is more concentrated about 300 miles east-southeast of the Texas/Mexico border. That increase in showers and thunderstorms is happening near the southern part of the low pressure area.

The National Weather Service said that "Conditions appear conducive for development and a tropical depression could form before the system reaches the coast of northeastern Mexico or southern Texas on Thursday."

Even if System 96L doesn't develop into a tropical depression, it is still forecast to bring locally heavy rains and gusty winds to portions of eastern Texas and northeastern Mexico during the next few days.

Outside of System 96L, tropical cyclone formation is not expected anywhere else in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico during the next 48 hours.