Latest News and Updates

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 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.

 

October 23, 2018
Observed Flooding Areas Using SAR Data after Hurricane Michael
The picture above is a flooding map created by Professor Robert Brackenridge at The University of Colorado. The data to create this map was derived from The European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite. Sentinel-1 is a two satellite constellation with the prime objectives of Land and Ocean monitoring. Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites carry the single C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instruments, which can provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery of Earth's entire surface every 6 days. 

 

October 19, 2018
VIIRS Nighttime Imagery
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) nighttime sensor (also called the Day/Night Band, or DNB), on the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite captured the magnitude of power outages during Hurricane Michael. To watch the video of this imagery please visit: The NASA Disasters Mapping Portal

 

October 11, 2018
ARIA Damage Proxy Map Using Sentinel-1
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Florida and Georgia that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Michael. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (September 10, 2017 and September 16, 2017) and the co-event image was acquired 18 hours after the hurricane's landfall (October 11, 2018 7:41 AM local time). The map covers an area of 155 miles x 175 miles (250 km x 280 km), indicated with the big red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards x 33 yards (30 m x 30 m). The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Media reports provided anecdotal preliminary validation. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas and flooded areas. For example, the scattered single colored pixels over vegetated areas may be false positives, and the lack of colored pixels over vegetated areas does not necessarily mean damage has not occured.  For more information about ARIA, visit: http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov

 

October 17, 2018
Radarsat-2 Change Detection Map 
Radarsat-2 imagery was produced using images from October 11-14, 2018 in response to Hurricane Michael.The areas in red show regions with a 50% lower radar backscatter energy after the storm. The reddened areas identify locations where potential damage and/or flooding may have occured as a result of Hurricane Michael .  RADARSAT-2 is Canada's next-generation commercial SAR satellite, the follow-on to RADARSAT-1. The new satellite was launched in December, 2007 on a Soyuz vehicle from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. RADARSAT-2 has been designed with significant and powerful technical advancements which include 3m high-resolution imaging, flexibility in selection of polarization, left and right-looking imaging options, superior data storage and more precise measurements of spacecraft position and attitude. RADARSAT-2 is a unique collaboration between government - the Canadian Space Agency, and industry - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA). MDA is responsible for the operations of the satellite and the ground segment. The CSA, who contributed funds for the construction and launch of the satellite, will recover its financial investment in the program through the supply of RADARSAT-2 data to Canadian government agencies during the lifetime of the mission Radarsat-2 Change Detection Map 

 

October 13, 2018
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captures sediment stirred up by Michael.  
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of seafloor sediment and river outflows (and possibly plankton) discoloring the water along the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama. The satellite passed over the area in the early afternoon on October 13, 2018. The sediment and other debris was stirred up by the churning action of wind and waves as Hurricane Michael tore through the area on October 9-10. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captures sediment stirred up by Michael.  

 

October 16, 2018
Data visualization on October 6, 2018 
NASA's Earth Observatory featured an article showing night lights before and after Hurricane Michael's destruction.  After making landfall as a category 4 storm on October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael knocked out power for at least 2.5 million customers in the southeastern United States, according to the Edison Electric Institute. These images of nighttime lights in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama come from the Suomi NPP satellite and were acquired on October 6 and October 12, 2018. The first set of images (above) shows a natural view of night lights from the “day-night band” (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The DNB detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared, and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as city lights, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. The second pair of images is a data visualization of where lights went out in Panama City, Florida. A team of scientists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center processed and corrected the raw data to filter out stray light from the Moon, fires, airglow, and any other sources that are not electric lights. Their processing techniques also removed other atmospheric interference, such as dust, haze, and thin clouds. The images show conditions on October 6 and October 12, 2018.   Data visualization on October 6, 2018 

 

September 25, 2018
A storm captured by RainCube is seen here in infrared from a single, large weather satellite, NOAA's GOES (Geoweather Operational Environmental Satellite). Image Credit: NOAA 
The same storm captured by RainCube is seen here in infrared from a single, large weather satellite, NOAA's GOES (Geoweather Operational Environmental Satellite). Image Credit: NOAA  The RainCube (Radar in a CubeSat) uses experimental technology to see storms by detecting rain and snow with very small instruments. The people behind the miniature mission celebrated after RainCube sent back its first images of a storm over Mexico in a technology demonstration in August. Its second wave of images in September caught the first rainfall of Hurricane Florence. The small satellite is a prototype for a possible fleet of RainCubes that could one day help monitor severe storms, lead to improving the accuracy of weather forecasts and track climate change over time.

 

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