2018 News and Updates

October 26, 2018
Imagery of Hurricane Willa's Landfall
The European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) captured the moment of landfall of the eye of Hurricane Willa on October 24, 2018. The red areas to the north may represent very heavy precipitation ("pluvial" flooding). Brighter wind-driven waves surround the calmer, darker water below the eye. Part of the eye has come ashore. It is not yet known if this image also shows the storm surge. Many small red areas represent locally flooded ground. Image processing was performed at the Dartmouth Flood Observatory, University of Colorado, with funding support from the NASA Applied Sciences Program. This image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2018], processed by ESA.


October 26, 2018
NASA Global Flood Risk Workshop in Boulder, CO
NASA Global Flood Risk Workshop in Boulder, CO The NASA Earth Science Disasters Team attended the Global Flood Risk Workshop held on October 1-3, 2018 in Boulder, CO. The workshop brought together government agencies, humanitarian aid organizations, insurance and re-insurance providers, private sector industries, as well as academic and research institutions from around the world to increase collaboration and improve access to and flow of information around flood risk. Flood risk assessments of both exposure and vulnerability should leverage the best available data- but often those producing or using such assessments are unaware of what is available. The goal of the workshop was to reach a consensus of priority actions as a new Flood Risk Community of Practice (FRCP) to solve the main challenges in flood risk estimation at global scales, and aligning those actions with the goals of GEO Global Flood Risk Monitoring (GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme) and of The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. During the meeting, the following discussions occurred: Status quo - what flood data is out there, what is missing; Flood financing – how best to move towards forecast based financing to assure release of aid in time and to have a proper insurance system in place for flooding; and new technologies – how can online and social media and commercialization of space help in identifying flood risk areas.


October 26, 2018
Photo control panels and screens.
Rio De Janeiro Center of Operations  Research Physical Scientist and Landslide Disaster Event Lead at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Dalia Kirschbaum met with the Rio de Janeiro City Government, the City Operations Center (COR) and the Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP) September 12-14th, 2018. NASA has formed a partnership with the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to utilize NASA’s earth observation data to improve landslide prediction, studies on urban heat islands, air and water quality monitoring, and education activities in Rio de Janeiro. Information on the partnership is available at:  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-to-aid-disaster-preparedn...


October 26, 2018
AMSR-2 precipitation aquired 10/22/18.
AMSR-2 precipitation from Hurricane Willa acquired 10/22/18. On October 22, 2018 the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument, onboard Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM)-W1 satellite, observed the surface precipitation rates of Hurricane Willa as it approached Mexico. This Land, Atmosphere Near-Real Time Capability for EOS (LANCE) NRT AMSR2 image shows high precipitation rates in red, yellow and light blue and lower precipitation rates in dark blue and purple. LANCE NRT AMSR2 products include surface precipitation rate, wind speed over ocean, water vapor over ocean and cloud liquid water over ocean. NRT AMSR2 products are generated within three hours of observation, using algorithms provided by the NASA-funded US AMSR2 Science Team, with JAXA NRT L1R as input. Discover and access LANCE AMSR2 NRT data:https://lance.nsstc.nasa.gov/amsr2/data.html View AMSR2 image using the NASA Worldview website: https://go.nasa.gov/2SeRRYO


October 26, 2018
GFMS flood prediction maps
Hurricane Willa has brought life-threatening storm surge, wind, and rainfall to portions of west-central and southwestern Mexico. A few powerful convective storms within Willa were dropping rain at a rate of over 6.3 inches per hour on October 21, 2018. The Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS) is providing flooding information to the general public, local and federal government and scientific communities based on real-time precipitation measurements.   


October 26, 2018
NASA/NOAA GOES-16 aquires image of Hurricane Willa 
NASA / NOAA GOES-16 aquires image of Hurricane Willa  Around midday on October 23, 2018, the center of Hurricane Willa passed the Islas Marías as it closed in on Mexico’s mainland. The Category 3 hurricane was expected to bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, and a storm surge to west-central and southwestern Mexico. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 (GOES-16) acquired data for this composite image at 12:15 p.m. local time (18:15 Universal Time) on October 23. GOES-16 data (band 2) were overlaid on a MODIS “blue marble.” GOES-16 is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); NASA helps develop and launch the GOES series of satellites. When this image was acquired, Willa had sustained peak winds of 195 kilometers (120 miles) per hour. The storm’s eye was located just 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the Islas Marías, and its effects were starting to be felt along the mainland coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center called for landfall along Mexico’s coast by evening. Willa was briefly a category 5 storm on October 22. It has weakened since then, but the NHC noted that it was still expected to be a “dangerous hurricane” at the time of landfall. According to news reports, heavy rainfall could lead to flash floods and landslides. Thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas ahead of the storm.


October 25, 2018
IMERG rainfall accumulation from Typhoon Yutu
This rainfall accumulation analysis was derived from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) IMERG multi-satellite dataset. This analysis shows Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) rainfall accumulation estimates along Yutu’s track from October 21- 25, 2018 as it hit the Northern Mariana Islands. IMERG rainfall accumulation data indicated that Yutu frequently produced rainfall totals greater than 10 inches along it's current track.


October 25, 2018
Super Typhoon Yutu
Aqua MODIS natural-color image of Typhoon Yutu acquired on October 24, 2018. In just 30 hours from October 23-24, 2018, a tropical storm in the western Pacific Ocean exploded into a category 5 super typhoon. Now that storm has made a direct hit on Tinian and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, a territory of the United States. Super Typhoon Yutu has tied Super Typhoon Mangkhut as the strongest storm on Earth this year and is likely the strongest to make a direct hit on the Mariana Islands since modern record-keeping began. Yutu is the 31st cyclonic storm of the Pacific typhoon season and the tenth category 5 storm on Earth in 2018, the second most in any year. (In 1997, there were twelve category 5 storms.) The natural-color image above was acquired in the early afternoon on October 24, 2018, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Several hours later, the NOAA-20 polar-orbiting satellite acquired nighttime images of the storm around the time of landfall.


October 24, 2018
GPM visualization of Typhoon Yutu
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core observatory satellite captured an image of Super Typhoon Yutu when it flew over the powerful storm just as the center was striking the central Northern Mariana Islands north of Guam. Early on October 25, 2018 Super Typhoon Yutu crossed over the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It was the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. The National Weather Service in Guam said it was the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year.


October 23, 2018
ISS Georeferenced Digital Camera Images of Areas Effected By Hurricane Michael 2018
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a collection of visible-wavelength (RGB) digital camera images on October 17, 2018. RGB, or Red, Green and Blue imagery helps to visually identify areas that have been damaged during a natural hazard. These images were then manually georeferenced by members of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA Johnson Space Center.The images provide regional context, and may be useful for visualization of Hurricane Michael’s impacts. Higher spatial resolution images may be suitable for spatial analysis to support decision making or research applications, such as identifying changes to infrastructure (roads and bridges) as a result of a severe storm event, or changes in forest cover due to landslides or wildfires.