Part B: Types of Satellite Data
Step 1: Satellites and ForecastingClick the image to watch this NASA video on how researchers study and forecast hurricanes, then answer the questions that follow.
Checking in QuestionsAnswer the following questions to check your understanding of the information provided in the video.
- Fill in the blanks:
"The ultimate energy source for hurricanes is the _________ of tropical oceans. The warm waters evaporate, and the ________ ________ is the fuel that powers hurricane heat engines.""The ultimate energy source for hurricanes is the warmth of tropical oceans. The warm waters evaporate, and the water vapor is the fuel that powers hurricane heat engines."
- In the Northern Hemisphere, winds spiral in towards the center of a hurricane in a particular direction. Which is it - Clockwise or Counterclockwise? Hint: The video is only talking about Northern Hemisphere storms. Counterclockwise
Stop and Think
- 1: The video mentioned that the amount of rain that fell during Hurricane Isabel's lifetime was 400 trillion tons of water. (Remember that a trillion is the same as 1.0 x 1012.) Knowing that a ton is 2000 pounds and one pound is equivalent to 2.20 kg, how many kg of water is this? Do the calculation and write your answer in scientific notation.
2: If we say that the density of water is 1.0 x 1012 kg per cubic kilometer, how many cubic kilometers of water condensed as rain out of Hurricane Isabel?
3: How does your answer compare to the volume of Lake Superior which contains 12,100 cubic kilometers of water?
Step 2: Hurricane Frances
Hurricane Frances was a Category 4 storm that occurred during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Frances was the 2nd of three hurricanes that affected the state of Florida during this season. This video is a news release from NASA about what scientists were able to learn by observing the storm.
Checking in Questions
- Which satellite does NASA use to study sea surface temperatures (SST)? The AQUA satellite is used to study SST.
Step 3: Rainfall from Hurricane Wilma
This visualization presents data collected by the TRMM satellite on the cumulative rainfall over the lifespan of Hurricane Wilma. Consult the color scale image to interpret what the different colors mean.
Stop and Think
- 4: Why does there seem to be less cumulative rainfall during the time Wilma is traversing the Florida peninsula than when it was in the vicinity of the Yucatan Peninsula? Hypothesize about the factors involved and support your hypotheses with observations from the video.