NASA image courtesy Hal Pierce. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
This three-dimensional view of Hurricane Ike was created from measurements made by the Precipitation Radar on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. The view emphasizes the eye of the storm, a circle of calm surrounded by a wall of clouds. Clouds that tower over the rest of the storm are red. The three-dimensional structure sits on top of a depiction of rain rates within the storm as seen by TRMM’s Precipitation Radar and Microwave Imager. Areas of intense rain on the left side of the eye, shown in red, correspond with the tall clouds.
TRMM captured this image on September 3, 2008, at 3:03 p.m. EDT (19:03 UTC). At that time, Ike had just become a hurricane, with winds near 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour). By the next day, Ike would be a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
This image is part of a fly-by animation of Hurricane Ike, which is available from the TRMM web site. Designed to monitor rainfall in the tropics, TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA. The TRMM Precipitation Radar is the first space-based instrument capable of providing a three-dimensional view of rainfall.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.