June 1, 2020
Tropical cyclones, known as hurricanes in the western hemisphere, can bring damaging high winds, storm surge, and flooding rainfall to the coastal communities they hit. Satellite instruments - and the detailed near real-time atmospheric data that they provide - have revolutionized the way we see hurricanes and other disasters as they happen. But it’s about more than just seeing. NASA, working with counterparts at NOAA, FEMA, and elsewhere are sharing ever more precise data to aid local communities in coping with disasters. With better information, emergency responders have the tools to make informed decisions at critical moments. As we prepare for the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1st, take a look at 2019’s Hurricane Dorian and how NASA and partner satellites tracked the storm and its impacts to aid response and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. Studying past hurricanes like Dorian can help us better prepare for the hurricanes of the future. Click here for the storymap
May 19, 2020
NASA monitored the heavy rain associated with Tropical Cyclone Amphan as it made landfall at 0900 UTC (2:30 PM local time) on May 20, 2020. Landfall occurred near the India-Bangladesh border along the northern edge of the Bay of Bengal. At the time of the most recent satellite observation used to generate this image (0900 UTC, May 20), heavy rain had started falling along the coast but large accumulations had not yet occurred over land. So far the largest rainfall accumulation from Amphan has fallen over the Bay of Bengal on May 18 while Amphan was at category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
May 28, 2020
NASA and Mercy Corps hosted a “virtual science pub” – a Facebook live event with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – on May 7, 2010. Titled Adapting to a Changing World: NASA + Mercy Corps, it was an interactive discussion on the ways the two organizations are working together to help communities and small-scale farmers adapt to climate variability and a changing environment. The event had over 2,600 views on Facebook as of 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday May 8. Shanna McClain, Global Partnerships manager for NASA’s Earth Sciences Division and advisor for Risk Reduction and Resilience for the Applied Sciences program, shared how Earth observations can be used to help protect food security through collaboration with local experts and decision makers. NASA's Shanna McClain describes how NASA partnerships help communities, decision makers and organizations use Earth observations for humanitarian and environmental benefit. Credit: NASA / Lia Poteet
May 22, 2020
On May 17, 2020, heavy rain began pouring over the Tri-Cities region of central Michigan and, after two days, it provoked significant flooding in Midland County. The accumulating rainfall led to catastrophic dam failures that swelled rivers and streams and inundated several nearby communities. The governor ordered more than 10,000 residents of Edenville and Sanford to evacuate. This natural-color image shows flooding across Midland County, Michigan on May 20th, 2020 as observed by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory The National Weather Service reported record rainfall where more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) fell across parts of Midland in 48 hours. The Edenville Dam then collapsed on the evening of May 19, sending floodwaters south across the landscape. About an hour later, water spilled over the Sanford Dam and further flooded the Tittabawassee River and the surrounding area.
May 18, 2020
The first-ever Earth Applied Sciences segment aired in a May 2020 edition of NASA TV program, NASA Science Live: On Ice. NASA Science Live is a behind-the-scenes look into the broad range of all NASA science activities, from studying our home planet of Earth to the farthest reaches of our solar system. This edition of the show focused on the connections between how NASA studies ice and sea level rise as result of climate change and the segment focused on work supported by the Disasters program area in the city of Norfolk, Virginia.
May 8, 2020
As noted in a recent NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day (“A Fiery Month in Zulia”) satellites have detected lots of fire activity in western Venezuela in recent weeks. Just as that story was released, a surprisingly large, dark smoke plume appeared in VIIRS and MODIS imagery. It bore little resemblance to the smaller, gray plumes that we had been watching. Forest and crops fires had caused the earlier plumes; the new black smoke was caused by a brush fire that had spread into a crude oil storage area, according to news reports.
April 29, 2020
For much of March and April 2020, satellites have detected signatures of heat and smoke from fires burning in northwestern Venezuela. Some of them burned in and near Ciénagas del Catatumbo National Park, a flat swampy area west of Lake Maracaibo known for its rainforests full of unusual plant and animal life.
May 6, 2020
On Thursday May 7th at 5:30 PST / 8:30 EST attend the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Virtual Science Pub to learn how Mercy Corps and NASA are working together to help small-scale farmers adapt to climate variability and a changing environment. Click here to RSVP for the event.
April 28, 2020
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image showing the trail of damage caused by an EF-2 tornado that tore through Jasper and Newton counties in Texas. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. On April 22-23, 2020, powerful thunderstorms blew across eastern Texas and western Louisiana and spawned several tornadoes, including some that caused severe damage.
April 27, 2020
ARIA Damage Proxy Map (DPM) showing potentially damaged structures from Cyclone Harold in red and yellow in Luganville, the second largest city in Vanuatu,. Credit: NASA ARIA, EOS, Google, Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2020, processed by ESA Tropical Cyclone Harold developed from a low-pressure system that was observed to the east of Papua New Guinea, and tracked to the southeast where it peaked as a Category 5 cyclone on April 6th, 2020. The cyclone brought destructive high winds and extreme rainfall to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga. The NASA Disasters Program activated to Tier 1 response for the disaster, and responded to a request from the World Food Programme (WFP) to help identify potentially damaged structures on the islands of Vanuatu. Using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, in collaboration with the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), created Damage Proxy Maps (DPMs) depicting areas that are likely damaged caused by Cyclone Harold. The DPMs were generated by comparing post-event SAR imagery acquired on April 10, 2020 with pre-event images taken in March 2020.