NASA satellite takes us inside Hurricane Matthew

Friday, October 7, 2016
image courtesy NASA
image courtesy NASA

PENDER COUNTY (WTVD) -- Scientists at the Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland are busy pouring through real-time data of Hurricane Matthew. The GPM Satellite or the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory takes scientists inside the storm layer by layer, and brings back 3D images that will amaze you.

In just 24 hours, Matthew rapidly strengthened from a Category 1 storm to a Category 5 storm. NASA scientists caught this real time growth on a time lapse video and are able to dissect the storm to learn more.

Understanding the inner makeup of Hurricane Matthew allows scientists to better grasp the driving force behind strengthening tropical cyclones.

"We have this data that is useful to forecasters so we go through the extra effort to get it out in real time, so yes the National Hurricane Center gets the data," said Dr. Owen Kelley, scientist at NASA.

The data can be shared immediately with the National Hurricane Center and other government agencies which helps them better warn about potential impacts.

Liz Horton talks to Dr. Owen Kelley, a scientist at NASA, about Hurricane Matthew

"Since we are NASA, we give it out to all nations, so there are many agencies using this all over the world," Kelley explained.

One of the most impressive aspects of this technology is the ability to determine rainfall rates from space, allowing scientists to see where the strongest thunderstorms are.

Dr. Kelley says Matthew will have a greater impact on the Florida coastline because of its positioning.

"The huge difference for the Florida impact is the oblique angle of it. So the eye stays over the ocean, it can still draw heat energy from the ocean and then keeps hammering the coast," he said. "In a normal hurricane where you know comes perpendicular with the coast, one place gets wiped out but now it is hard to hide from it."

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