TRMM Microwave Brightness Temperature Swath during Hurricane Katrina: Vertical Polarization

  • Released Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:56PM
  • ID: 3242

The TMI instrument on the TRMM satellite measures microwaves emitted from the Earth's land and water. By comparing emission from different microwave frequencies, the characteristics of ice and water in the atmosphere can be determined. For example, 85 GHz microwaves are scattered by ice crystals in tropical cyclones, making cyclone rain bands appear 'colder' than the surrounding areas. By comparing 85 GHz temperatures in different polarizations with other frequency band measurements, accurate measurements of rainfall in the atmosphere can be made. This animation shows four days of TMI 85 GHz measurements, one orbit at a time. Hurricane Katrina was in the Gulf of Mexico at the time and clearly shows up in the measurements.

Color bar for brightness temperature.

Color bar for brightness temperature.

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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


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