Image produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang
Severe thunderstorms deluged southeastern Australia with heavy rain and isolated hail on December 3, 2003. Six people were hospitalized after being struck by lightning. The storms had been developing for several days, and culminated on December 3. High pressure off of the east coast of Australia pumped warm humid air southward from the tropics ahead of an advancing cold front, a scenario favorable for thunderstorm development.
The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center shows rainfall totals between November 29 and December 3. One to three inches of rain fell over a widespread area from western New South Wales inland to near Melbourne and Canberra along the southeast coast (green areas). Locally heavier amounts are shown north-northwest of Melbourne in red.
Clusters of white dots show where the TRMM Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) dectected lightning activity in a single overpass on December 3. LIS saw multiple flashes, including cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground,
and intracloud flashes in what amounts to a quick snapshot.
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency NASDA.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.