Latest News and Updates

October 18, 2017
EOSDIS Worldview Image showing smoke plums
CALIPSO Ground Track on 10/13/2017           Vertical profiles of the near-field smoke plumes from the fires burning in California on October 13th, 2017.  These CALIOP data (space-based lidar) can be used for Air Quality, Hazardous plume location, and for the potential initialization of transport models.   CALIOP Vertical Feature Mask and Subtype  At this time, the smoke is not hovering near the ground.

 

October 17, 2017
This is a Damage Proxy Map depicting areas in Northern California
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas in Northern California that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of wildfires. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Sep. 27, 2017 7PM) and after (Oct. 9, 2017 7PM, both Pacific Time) the onset of the fires.   The map covers an area of 250 by 170 kilometers, shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 30 meters across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to optical satellite imagery by the DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.   For more information about ARIA, visit:http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov

 

October 13, 2017
Landsat image of wildfires acquired October 11, 2017
Acquired October 11, 2017 Acquired October 11, 2017 Devastating wildfires have burned through California’s wine country since October 8, 2017, taking dozens of lives and leaving thousands of people homeless. Even communities distant from the fires have been plagued by poor air quality, as the smoke plumes have darkened skies and canceled school and other activities across the region.

 

October 2, 2017
ARIA Damage Proxy Map of Dominica from Hurricane Maria
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas including Dominica that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (Category 5 at landfall in Dominica on Sept. 18, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Mar. 27, 2017) and after (Sept. 23, 2017) the landfall of the storm. The map covers an area of 85 by 170 kilometers, shown by the large red polygon. Each pixel measures about 30 meters across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to crowdsourced map by Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies and optical satellite imagery by the DigitalGlobe. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.

 

September 29, 2017
Map showing power outages in Puerto Rico
After Hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico, it quickly became clear that the destruction would pose daunting challenges for first responders. Most of the electric power grid and telecommunications network was knocked offline. Flooding, downed trees, and toppled power lines made many roads impassable. In circumstances like this, quickly knowing where the power is out—and how long it has been out—allows first responders to better deploy rescue and repair crews and to distribute life-saving supplies. And that is exactly why teams of scientists at NASA are working long days to make sure that groups like the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) get high-quality satellite maps of power outages in Puerto Rico. These before-and-after images of Puerto Rico’s nighttime lights are based on data captured by the Suomi NPPsatellite. The data was acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared, including reflected moonlight, light from fires and oil wells, lightning, and emissions from cities or other human activity.

 

September 26, 2017
NASA Damage Map Aids FEMA's Hurricane Maria Rescue Operation in Puerto Rico
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Eastern Puerto Rico that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Hurricane Maria (a Category 4 hurricane at landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (March 25, 2017) and after (Sept. 21, 2017) the storm's landfall. The map was delivered to responding agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on Sept. 22, 2017. FEMA combined the map with building infrastructure data to estimate a damage density map, which was sent to its Urban Search and Rescue teams in the field in Puerto Rico. The map covers an area of 105 by 60 miles (169 by 96 kilometers), shown by the large red polygon in the figure. The inset, denoted by the orange rectangle, shows the extent of damage in and around the capital city of San Juan. Each pixel measures about 98 feet (30 meters) across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing the map with anecdotal reports of damage. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated and flooded areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA.  

 

September 21, 2017
Sentinel-1 radar map for September 2017 Raboso-Puebla Earthquake in Mexico indicates relatively small permanent ground motions
NASA and its partners are contributing important observations and expertise to the ongoing response to the September 19, 2017, magnitude 7.1 Puebla earthquake in Mexico. This earthquake has caused widespread building damage and triggered landslides throughout the region, including Mexico City. Scientists with the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA), a collaboration between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, analyzed interferometric synthetic aperture radar images from the radar instrument on the Copernicus Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), to calculate a map of the deformation of Earth's surface caused by the quake. This false-color map shows the amount of permanent surface movement caused almost entirely by the earthquake, as viewed by the satellite, during a 12-day interval between radar images acquired by the two Sentinel-1 satellites on September 8 and September 20, 2017. This preliminary map came from automatic processing by the ARIA system.

 

September 21, 2017
Mexico City Damage Proxy Map
NASA’s ARIA Damage Proxy Map of the M7.1 Raboso, Mexico, earthquake was created from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite SAR data and is available to download from: http://aria-share.jpl.nasa.gov/events/20170919-M7.1_Raboso_Mexico_EQ/DPM The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Caltech, also in Pasadena, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Central Mexico, including Mexico City, that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) from the magnitude 7.1 Raboso earthquake of Sept. 19, 2017 (local time). The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (Sept. 8, 2017) and after (Sept. 20, 2017) the earthquake. The map covers an area of 109 by 106 miles (175 by 170 kilometers). Each pixel measures about 33 yards (30 meters) across. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing the DPM to a crowd-sourced Google Map (https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1_-V97lbdgLFHpx-CtqhLWlJAnY...). This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL under contract with NASA. For more information about ARIA, visit: http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov

 

September 21, 2017
IMERG precipitation accumulation from Hurricane Maria 9/17/17 - 9/21/17
Hurricane Maria has caused catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico. Extreme flooding was reported in the streets of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for the entire island. Hurricane Maria has now moved to the northwest of Puerto Rico but is still expected to contribute to rainfall over the island on Friday. Feeder bands are transporting rain over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic even as the hurricane moves toward the Turks and Caicos islands. NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data were used to estimate the total amount of rain that Hurricane Maria dropped from September 17 to early September 21, 2017. During that period Maria dropped heavy rain in the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. IMERG estimated that rainfall totals greater than 10 inches (254 mm) were common along Maria's track. IMERG rainfall estimates indicated that more than 20 inches (512 mm) of rain fell over a large part of Puerto Rico. Video of NASA Measures Hurricane Maria's Track of Torrential Rainfall    

 

September 18, 2017
GPM overpass of hurricane Maria from 9/18/17
Intensifying hurricane Marie is on a path that is predicted to impact the Leeward Islands. Hurricane Irma caused death and wide spread destruction there less than two weeks ago. Very powerful convective storms and multiple lightning strokes within Maria have been cited as proof that Maria is an energetic intensifying hurricane. The GPM core observatory satellite had an excellent view of hurricane Maria when it passed almost directly above the hurricane on September 17, 2017 at 1001 PM AST (September 18, 2017 0201 UTC). GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) showed that Maria had well defined bands of precipitation rotating around the eye of the tropical cyclone. GPM's radar (DPR Ku band) found rain falling at a rate of over 6.44 inches (163.7 mm) per hour in one of these extremely powerful storms northeast of Maria's eye. A 3-D view of Maria's precipitation structure was accomplished using data from GPM's Radar (DPR Ku band). Intense thunderstorms were found towering to above 9.7 miles (15.7 km). This kind of chimney cloud, also called a "hot tower" (as it releases a huge quantity of latent heat by condensation). These tall thunderstorms in the eye wall are often a sign that a tropical cyclone is becoming more powerful.

 

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