Hurricane Kenna, the sixteenth tropical disturbance of the 2002 eastern
Pacific hurricane season, explosively intensified from a tropical storm
to a Category 5 hurricane in less than 48 hours. On October 25, 2002, Kenna
made landfall on the western Mexican coast as a Category 4 storm. Kenna was born in the warm tropical waters of the eastern
Pacific south of Mexico on October 22 to become the strongest storm to
threaten the Americas in 2002.
This Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) overpass from the
afternoon of October 23 shows the rain structure inside the rainbands
and inner core of Kenna. Red and yellow colors indicate the most
intense rains. TRMM shows that the rainfall pattern is highly
asymmetric, with most of the rain falling west of the storm center.
TRMM also reveals that the tight, compact eye is well formed and is
flanked by towering thunderstorm clouds. These towers, which are 16-17
km tall, contain the heaviest rains and act to energize the core of the
storm, sustaining winds of nearly 140 mph.
Images of Kenna and other 2002 hurricane season storms can be found
by visiting the official TRMM website at http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/.
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.