All Wound Up

Here in the northern hemisphere low pressure systems have a counterclockwise rotation. This is a beautiful look at a storm that is well formed off the coast of California.

A strong storm system off the US west coast as see by NOAA’s GOES 15. Credit: NOAA/NASA.

The storm will move onshore tomorrow and is already bringing some much needed rain to the region which has been enduring drought conditions for a long time. I saw news accounts where some of the reservoirs are at only 20 percent capacity. Since Wednesday as much as 8.5 centimeters has fallen in the Los Angeles area, less than a centimeter than the region got all of last year! The rain will help, however flooding is occurring and it has been so dry and the area afflicted with forest fires, mudslides are almost inevitable.

In the mean time, on the other side of the Pacific. The NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory was launched.

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched at 18:37 UTC Thursday, 27 February.

The spacecraft was launched from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. The GPS system aboard the spacecraft is now active and the spacecraft is being readied for communications through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. The GPM mission will help advance our understanding of Earth’s water and energy cycles.