This image shows a slice through the heart of Tropical Storm Lili, as taken by NASA and NASDA’s Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite. TRMM unveils the rain structure, shown in color, within the clouds (white). Light rain is shown in blue; extreme rain rates, in red. On September 28, Lili was southeast of Cuba, but winds in the tropical storm were blowing at a steady 45 kts. This image reveals towering clouds, called ?chimney clouds,? that helped power Lili’s growth. The chimneys contain intense updrafts which release copious amounts of heat energy inside the storm. The tops of these giant clouds tower to 16 km and exist at a temperature as cold as ?120 degrees Fahrenheit. Like Hurricane Isidore, Lili followed a similar path northwest through the Yucatan Strait into the Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf Coast states are once again under the gun.
Image courtesy Hal Pierce, NASA GSFC Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Branch (Code 912). For more information and other examples of TRMM data, visit the TRMM Web site.