Improved Understanding of Hydrology and Climate from TRMM
TRMM-based multisatellite data are being used as input into hydrologic models, including the Land Data Assimilation System, to better understand land-atmosphere interactions on scales of days to years (Rodell et al. 2004) and to study variations in river runoff (Fekete et al. 2004). These same data are being used to monitor crops in Central America and elsewhere and as input into river forecast models in South Asia and other locations. Analysis of TRMM precipitation radar data has been used to discover orographic precipitation processes and diurnal cycles of rainfall causing flash floods in headwater streams (Barros et al. 2004). TRMM observations led to the discovery of extremely tall convective towers within the vertical precipitation profiles of tropical cyclones. Kelley et al. (2004) reported that the chance of intensification increases when one or more of these “hot towers” exist in the tropical cyclone’s eyewall (Figure 6.1).