NASA - ISS-RapidScat Mission logo.
Nov. 13, 2015
A low pressure system in the Pacific Ocean south of Alaska has moved far enough eastward that it is bringing rain and strong winds to the Pacific Northwest where the OLYMPEX field campaign is under way. NASA's RapidScat instrument analyzed those strong coastal winds from space.
On Nov. 12, the RapidScat instrument aboard the International Space Station measured surface winds between 1300 and 1500 UTC (5 a.m. and 7 a.m. PST. The strongest winds were along the north and northwest of Vancouver Island at a rate of 27 meters per second/60.4 mph/97.2 kph. Along the west coast of Washington State where OLYMPEX is occurring, RapidScat saw sustained winds near 18 meters per second/40.2 mph/ 64.8 kph.
RapidScat measures wind speed at the surface which is always lower than speeds at higher altitude. RapidScat is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
ISS-RapidScat in action. Animation Credit: NASA
The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX, is a NASA-led field campaign, which will take place on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from November 2015 through February 2016. The goal of the campaign is to collect detailed atmospheric measurements that will be used to evaluate how well rain-observing satellites measure rainfall and snowfall from space. In particular, OLYMPEX will be assessing satellite measurements made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory, a joint mission by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which launched in 2014.
For more information about OLYMPEX, visit: http://pmm.nasa.gov/olympex
For more information about ISS-RapidScat, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/rapidscat/
Image & Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/JPL/Doug Tyler/GSFC/Rob Gutro/Rob Garner.