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EARTH OBSERVATION
TRMM Watches Richard Dump Rain On Belize

NASA's TRMM satellite saw Richard was dropping moderate to heavy rainfall over Honduras and very heavy rainfall over water north of the center of circulation while moving westward on Oct. 24 at 1017 UTC (6:17 a.m. EDT). The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour. Red areas are heavy rainfall at almost 2 inches per hour. Image Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 26, 2010
NASA satellites have watched as Richard went through a couple of life-transitions over the weekend. Richard developed into a tropical storm last week, intensified into a hurricane and made landfall in Belize and is now a tropical depression, poised to enter western Gulf of Mexico.

Richard formed in the Caribbean Sea on 20 October 2010. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over Richard twice on Sunday, Oct. 24. The first time was at 0203 UTC (10:05 p.m. EDT Oct. 23).

At that time, TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data showed that Richard was dropping moderate to heavy rainfall over Honduras and very heavy rainfall over water north of the center of circulation while moving westward.

The second time TRMM passed over Richard was at 1017 UTC (6:17 a.m. EDT). Those TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) data showed that an eye was forming and Richard had become the tenth hurricane of the 2010 season.

The eye of category one hurricane Richard with winds estimated at 78 knots (90 mph) hit Belize on Sunday, Oct. 24 at about 0300 UTC (9:00 p.m. EDT Oct. 23). Richard then rapidly weakened to a tropical storm as it moved over north-eastern Guatemala.

By Monday, Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. EDT, Richard's maximum sustained winds were down to 35 mph making him a tropical depression. Richard was located about 145 miles south of Campeche, Mexico near latitude 17.8 North and longitude 90.2 West. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph.

A turn toward the northwest is expected within the next day or two. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 millibars. There are no watches and warnings currently in effect.

The TRMM satellite is keeping an eye on Richard's rainfall, and it is expected to continue diminishing over the next day. Today, the Yucatan Peninsula can expect additional rainfall accumulations up to 1 to 2 inches in a few areas across the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Campeche.

On the forecast track the center will emerge into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday morning and he is expected to continue weakening.

He is forecast to become a remnant low pressure area in the next day or two. The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla. noted that southwesterly Wind shear along with dry air should preclude regeneration and Richard is likely to degenerate into a remnant low in a couple of days.



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