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.