It’s not too often that two tropical cyclones are close enough to each other to be within a satellite’s view as it tracks far above the Earth, but it happened this week with Carlos and Dolores in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, which is managed by NASA and JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency captured a two-for-one image of both tropical cyclones in one satellite image!
The image was created using data from the TRMM satellite as it saw both tropical storm Carlos (on the left) and Dolores on July 15, 2009 at 7:44 p.m. (2344 UTC).
TRMM images from TRMM’s Precipitation Radar instrument show the horizontal pattern of rain intensity within storms. The false-colored areas in yellow and green indicate rainfall between 20 and 40 millimeters (.78 to 1.57 inches) per hour. The false-colored red area indicates moderate rainfall over 50 mm/hour or ~2 inches per hour.
It was a rare “photo opportunity,” because less than 24 hours later, by 5 p.m. EDT on July 16, Carlos had weakened into a remnant low pressure area and appeared as a “poorly-defined low-level swirl in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (known as the ITCZ). The remnant that was Carlos will continue moving westward and fade away later today, July 17. Meanwhile, Dolores had also already faded to a tropical depression and will be a memory later today as well.