Category 4 Hurricane With Icy Cloud Tops and Heavy Rainfall

Last week, Igor was a tropical storm who faded into a tropical depression. The National Hurricane Center had forecast that over the weekend Igor would approach more favorable conditions (low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures) causing it to strengthen into a hurricane and it did. Tropical storm Igor was upgraded by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida to a hurricane on Sunday, September 12 at 0300 UTC (Sept. 11 at 11 p.m. EDT) .

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, which is operated jointly by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA captured a good look at Igor a few hours after it reached hurricane status. TRMM passed over Igor and captured his rainfall rates at 0504UTC ( 1:04 a.m. EDT). The TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) and TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) instruments revealed that Igor had a well defined circular eye containing bands of heavy rainfall (falling at a rate of as much as 2 inches per hour).

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