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NASA's GPM sees heavy rain in Hurricane Ignacio

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, August 28, 2015

Hurricane Ignacio continued to strengthen as NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite analyzed its rainfall. Ignacio is forecast to move near Hawaii over the weekend of August 29 and 30.

Hurricane Ignacio is the latest tropical cyclone in this busy 2015 eastern Pacific hurricane season to pose potential danger for the Hawaiian Islands. Guillermo passed close to the north, Hilda curved to the south and Kilo's course was threatening before a course change moved it to the south of the islands. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu Hawaii predicts that Ignacio will still be a hurricane when it passes to the northeast of Hawaii in the next several days.

Rainfall associated with hurricane Ignacio was measured by the GPM core observatory satellite's Microwave Imager (GMI) on August 27, 2015 at 1121 UTC (7:21 a.m. EDT). GPM's GMI instrument found that rain was falling at a rate of over 60 mm (~2.4 inches) per hour south of the hurricane's eye. GPM is co-managed by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

On August 28, the heaviest rainfall shifted slightly to the southeast side of the storm. Infrared satellite data, such as those from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite showed cloud top temperatures in that quadrant of the storm were as cold as -80 Fahrenheit (-62.2 Celsius).

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on August 28, 2015, the center of hurricane ignacio was located near latitude 13.9 north and longitude 143.1 west. That puts the center about 890 miles (1,430 km) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii and about 1,100 miles (1,770 km) east-southeast of Honolulu, Hawaii. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 kph). Ignacio is expected to slowly strengthen through late Saturday, August 29 and peak at 110 mph (177 kph). Ignacio is expected to start weakening slightly on August 31.

Ignacio is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph) and is expected to continue in that direction for the next day. The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 millibars.

The CPHC forecast puts the center of Hurricane Ignacio east of the Big Island of Hawaii on Monday, August 31 and expects the storm to move in a northwesterly direction, paralleling the Hawaiian Islands. For updates, visit the CPHC website at: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc.

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