Latest News and Updates

November 6, 2018
CWU GPS Network in Roseburg, Oregon  The NASA Earth Science Disasters program works to improve disaster resilience by working with other organizations that have valuable insight on natural hazards. Tim Melbourne, Professor at Central Washington University (CWU) and Director of the Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA) Geodesy Laboratory works with the Disasters team to provide valuable information on earthquake and tsunami activity in the Pacific Northwest. PANGA analyzes and measures crustal deformation which is the changing earth’s surface caused by tectonic forces that are accumulated in earth’s crust that causes and accompanies large earthquakes and many tsunamis. Measuring and analyzing the changing earth’s surface helps agencies, governments and other entities mitigate natural hazards throughout the circum-Pacific Ring of Fire, where natural hazards include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and coastal sea-level encroachment.Melbourne’s group at CWU provides real-time analysis of information streamed in from their real-time GPS systems that have been installed by CWU throughout the Pacific Northwest as well as by many other network operators throughout the world. Analyses from these systems are then passed on to NASA, The National Weather Service, NOAA, and other agencies to research, reduce and mitigate natural disasters. At NASA in particular, Melbourne works directly with the Disasters program to analyze seismic activity from an earthquake that has occurred and provide valued input to the team on information that can be relayed back to NASA partners and stakeholders such as FEMA.  


November 1, 2018
CALIPSO lidar observes the top of Typhoon Yutu
CALIPSO and CloudSat, two satellites in the newly formed C-Train, captured a stunning overpass through the eye of Typhoon Yutu on October 28th, 2018 at 04:58 UTC as the storm was approaching the Philippines in the West Pacific. Typhoon Yutu contained estimated sustained winds of 120 knots (138 mph) with a minimum pressure of 933 mb, the equivalent of a Category 4 strength storm. At the time of the overpass, Typhoon Yutu was beginning a period of weakening as the storm was moving into less favorable atmospheric conditions, including lower sea surface temperatures. The storm left a trail of destruction through Saipan, Tinian and the Mariana Islands on October 24-25th, 2018 when it was at Category 5 strength.


October 30, 2018
ARIA DPM Imagery of Northern Mariana Islands Devastated by Super Typhoon Yutu
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 Northern Mariana Islands that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu. 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 (October 4, 2017 and October 16, 2017) and the post-event image was acquired 4 days after the typhoon's landfall (October 28, 2018).  


October 30, 2018
Typhoon Yutu Flood Inundation and RainFall Forecast
    The images above show flood inundation and rainfall accumulations over a 3-day period in the Po River valley in Italy today and forecast flood conditions today in the Philippines. The hazardous weather conditions in the Philippines are associated with Typhoon Yutu. Despite weakening into a tropical storm as it crossed the Philippines, Yutu is expected to restrengthen into a typhoon over the South China Sea. Many areas previously impacted by Typhoon Mangkhut in mid-September were dealt another round of heavy rain and damaging winds from Yutu which made landfall in Isabela province around 4 a.m. local time. In advance of the storm's arrival, more than 10,000 people were evacuated from high risk areas. 


October 26, 2018
The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites observed Typhoon Yutu from October 23 to 26, 2018.
        The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites observed Typhoon Yutu from October 23 to 26, 2018. The MODIS images revealed a cloud-filled eye. MODIS is a key instrument aboard the Terra (originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.


October 26, 2018
VIIRS (Visbile Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument aboard Suomi-NPP captures observations of Typhoon Yutu.
The VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) observed Typhoon Yutu around 1:30 pm local time from October 23 to 26, 2018. The VIIRS images revealed a cloud-filled eye. The Suomi NPP satellite is part of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), a joint NOAA/NASA program, created in order to design and launch the next generation of polar orbiting satellites. VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, ocean and land surface temperature, ice movement and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo. Climatologists also use VIIRS data to improve our understanding of global climate change.


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 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 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 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.