GPM Sees Hurricane Matthew's Life Cycle



From September 28 through October 10 the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission observed Hurricane Matthew, providing insights into the storm's structure and behavior as it battered the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. coast. The GPM Constellation of satellites provided rainfall estimates every 30 minutes as the hurricane progressed. Headed for the Caribbean, Matthew rapidly intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 5 in 24 hours. The purple and pink shades indicate where Matthew's slow motion resulted in a deluge of rainfall. Before Matthew made landfall in Haiti, it weakened to a Category 4 storm. The winds in Matthew's environment caused heavier rains on the storm's northeastern side as it approached Haiti. As Matthew headed northward, GPM saw an eyewall replacement cycle. Here a compact, more intense eyewall is replaced by a broader eyewall. The eyewall change slowed the peak winds, but exposed more of the U.S. coast to the larger eyewall's winds. As Matthew hugged the U.S. coast, the storm's eye remained over the ocean. This allowed Matthew to maintain its source of energy while damaging Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Rainfall estimates in North Carolina were more than 20 inches. Hurricane Matthew, combined with previous storms, caused widespread flooding across the state.