Tropical Cyclone 03B

Tropical Cyclone 03B


A tropical cyclone (03B) with winds reported of up to 75 mph hit the east coast of India just after midnight local time on the 16th of December 2003. At least 11 people perished in the storm, which brought heavy rains to the region. The cyclone formed in the southern part of the Bay of Bengal. It then moved steadily northwestward before coming ashore at the port city of Vishakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite obtained this image of the cyclone just as the center was approaching the coastline. The image was taken at 12:00 UTC on 15 December 2003. It shows the cyclone’s rainfall distribution from above as seen by the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) in the inner swath and the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) in the outer swath overlaid on infrared data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS) in white. A localized area of intense rain appears near the center in red. However, most of the rainfall is moderate in intensity (green areas) with rain rates on the order of 10 to 20 mm/hr and occurs north of the center. The VIRS data reveal the storm’s cirrus shield to be symmetrical with broad outflow, meaning that it was not being inhibited by atmospheric wind shear.

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).