Satellite Rainfall Monitor and Ground Zero Videos

TRMM can be used to calibrate rainfall estimates from other satellites. The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is used to monitor rainfall over the global Tropics.

Baras Catanduanes
Images by Hal Pierce(SSAI/NASA GSFC) and captions by Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC).

TMPA rainfall totals are shown here for the period 27 April to 8 May 2009, which captures the rainfall from both tropical cyclone events. The most extreme rainfall totals, located over southern Luzon in the northeast-central part of the islands are associated with then Tropical Storm Kujira (locally known as "Dante") and are on the order of 900 mm or more (~36 inches, shown by the darker brown). The totals from Chan-hom (locally known as "Emong") are considerably less on the order of 150 mm (~6 inches) and are located over the northern part of Luzon (shown in green). The large difference in rainfall between the two storms is due to the difference in their forward motion and not their intensity--Kujira was only a tropical storm at the time while Chan-hom was a typhoon.

Video footages were taken around the municipality of Baras, southeastern seaboard of the island. These videos can give us a better perspective as to what is the extent of the flooding compared to TRMM satellite rainfall monitors taken several miles above.

"During the time that this weather system was taking shape near eastern Philippines, rain was falling in torrents. Best that I can tell, middle ground for the heaviest rain was the island of Catanduanes. At Virac in the relatively sheltered south of Catanduanes, rainfall was about 60 cm, or 24 inches--2 feet. At a radar site in the northeast (on smaller Panay Island, I believe), rainfall (assuming our data are reasonably accurate) was about 135 cm, or 54 inches. These falls were accumulated over four days." -