NASA's CloudSat Images Dorian in 3D
On, Aug. 27, 2019 NASA's CloudSat satellite passed over Dorian, still a tropical storm at the time, near Puerto Rico. CloudSat uses an advanced cloud-profiling radar that "slices" through clouds giving us the ability to see how tall they are, where the different cloud layers are, and where the heavier bands of rain are found within the storm system. The 3D animation shows Dorian when it had maximum sustained winds of 52 mph (84 kph) with some of its cloud tops extending about 9 miles (15 kilometer) into the atmosphere. The colors represent the size of water or ice droplets inside the storm — deep red and pink indicate larger droplets with areas of moderate and heavy rainfall.
CloudSat is managed by JPL. The radar instrument was developed at JPL, with hardware contributions from the Canadian Space Agency. Colorado State University provides scientific leadership and science data processing and distribution.