Turntable visualization of Cyclone Winston with a cutting plane through the storm's eye. As the camera swings around the cyclone, the cutting plane stays perpendicular to the camera revealing a cross-section of the cyclone's internal precipitation rates. Extremely heavy precipitation remains outside of the clipping plane, showing a wall of heavy rain around the eye. This video is also available on our YouTube channel.
The NASA GPM satellite passed directly over Tropical Cyclone Winston just after it made landfall on the north coast of Viti Levu Island, which is the largest and most populated island in the nation of Fiji. At the time, Winston was one of the most intense tropical cyclones observed in the South Pacific Ocean, and took an unusual track on the way to Fiji, completing a large counter-clockwise loop during the preceding week.
NASA's GPM satellite is designed to measure rainfall using both passive microwave (GMI) and radar (DPR) instruments. GMI measurements are sensitive to the column-integrated rain and ice water, and cover a wide swath, whereas the DPR can observe 3D structures of radar signals reflected by rain and snow in a narrower swath. In this animation, the GMI rainfall estimates are shown at the Earth's surface below the 3D storm structure revealed by DPR.
Print resolution still of a bisected Cyclone Winston with Fiji's main island in the foreground. Even with the eye of the storm Northwest of the main island, one can still see a very heavy precipitation event occuring over the central part of the main island. Volumetric precipitation data is provided by GPM's DPR sensor. Surface precipitation is provided by GPM's GPROF algorithm.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 188.8.131.52.0