The image of Tropical Cyclone Gonu in the upper panel was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on June 5, 2007, at approximately 20:20 UTC. NASA's CloudSat satellite, carrying the cloud profiling radar, flies in formation with Aqua, and passes over the same location approximately one minute later. The line from A to B on the upper panel represents the ground track of the CloudSat satellite and corresponds to the cloud profiling radar observations in the lower panel. In the lower panel, taken by CloudSat, the vertical axis represents the altitude from the ground to the top of the atmosphere, and the variations of color intensity are an indication of the differing amounts of water and ice in the storm clouds. The bright line at the bottom of the panel is the ground return from the radar. This indicates that the radar penetrated to the ground most of the time, even through heavy rainfall. Where the ground return disappears is an indication that the radar was attenuated by heavy precipitation, likely exceeding 30 millimeters per hour, based on previous studies. From one side to the other, the bottom panel is approximately 800 kilometers, and the scale from top to bottom is approximately 30 kilometers. The CloudSat data provide analysts and forecasters with a view of hurricanes never before available. Cross-sections like these provide a view of the internal structure of these storms, giving information about the intensity, rainfall rates and cloud organization.
Quicklook Images can viewed at the CloudSat Data Processing Center.