Sea Surface Temp and Hurricane Connections: TRMM and GOES, Aug. 22, 1998 - Sept. 3, 1998 (Basic)

  • Released Thursday, May 4, 2000

For years scientists have known of the strong correlation between sea surface temperature and the intensity of hurricanes. But one of the major stumbling blocks for forecasters has been the precise measurement of those temperatures when a storm begins to form. Traditional techniques for sea surface temperature measurement can not see through clouds.

Now researchers using the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite have developed a technique for looking through clouds that is likely to enhance forecasters' abilities to predict hurricane intensity before their massive energies fully develop. A hurricane gathers energy from warm waters found in tropical latitudes. As Hurricane Bonnie crosses the Atlantic, it leaves a cooler trail of water in its wake. As Hurricane Danielle crosses Bonnie's path, the wind speed of the second storm drops markedly, as available energy to fuel the storm's engine drops off. As Danielle crosses Bonnie's wake, however, winds speeds increase due to temperature increases in surface water around the storm.

A combined image of clouds from GOES and sea surface temperatures from TRMM in the Atlantic on August 27, 1998.  This image shows Hurricane Bonnie over the East Coast of the United States and the cool water track that Bonnie left in its wake.  Hurricane Danielle is in the lower right corner of the image.

A combined image of clouds from GOES and sea surface temperatures from TRMM in the Atlantic on August 27, 1998. This image shows Hurricane Bonnie over the East Coast of the United States and the cool water track that Bonnie left in its wake. Hurricane Danielle is in the lower right corner of the image.

A combined image of clouds from GOES and sea surface temperatures from TRMM in the Atlantic on August 28, 1998.  This image shows Hurricane Bonnie over the East Coast of the United States and the cool water track that Bonnie left in its wake.  Hurricane Danielle is in the lower right corner of the image.

A combined image of clouds from GOES and sea surface temperatures from TRMM in the Atlantic on August 28, 1998. This image shows Hurricane Bonnie over the East Coast of the United States and the cool water track that Bonnie left in its wake. Hurricane Danielle is in the lower right corner of the image.

Video slate image reads, "Sea Surface Temperature and Hurricane ConnectionsBasic Version".

Video slate image reads, "Sea Surface Temperature and Hurricane Connections

Basic Version".

For More Information



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, May 4, 2000.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:58 PM EDT.


Missions

This visualization is related to the following missions:

Series

This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.