Severe thunderstorms produced heavy rains over parts of southeastern Australia as well as numerous cloud-to-ground lightning that resulted in several people being struck. High pressure off of the east coast of Australia pumped warm humid air southward down from the tropics ahead of an advancing cold front, a scenario favorable for thunderstorm development. The TRMM-based, near-real-time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center shows rainfall totals for the period November 29-December 3, 2003.
Widespread 1 to 3 inch (25 to 76 millimeters) amounts are shown from western New South Wales inland to near Melbourne and Canberra along the southeast coast (green areas). Locally heavier accumulations for the period appear north- northwest of Melbourne in red (8.8 inches, or 225 millimeters). Overlaid on the rainfall totals are lightning data from the TRMM Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). The clusters of white dots indicate areas of lightning activity observed by LIS during a single TRMM overpass on December 3, 2003. These include cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground, and intracloud flashes.
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency NASDA.
Image produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC)