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TRMM observes flooding rains in U.S. Northeast

Floods in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut drive people from homes, close highways and railroads

TRMM observes flooding rains in U.S. Northeast

TRMM image of rainfall in New England, March 29-31, 2010

TRMM observes flooding rains in U.S. Northeast

Heavy early spring rains during late March in the U.S. Northeast were not an April Fool's joke:   the rain has caused extensive flooding, which is unusual for New England.   The Ocean State of Rhode Island has been the hardest-hit state, with a section of Interstate 95 closed, as well as the Amtrak link between New York and Boston.   New York City, Boston, Providence, and Portland (Maine) all set rainfall records for March.     Numerous homes and apartment buildings were evacuated, with some buildings in danger of damage or collapse.   A sewage treatment plant in Jewett City, Connecticut was inundated and the National Guard was called in, to attempt to salvage the plant with sandbags.

The NASA-JAXA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) has been a dedicated environmental observing satellite since its launch in November 1997.  Despite the name of the satellite, TRMM data, when merged with data from other microwave and infrared sensors, can observe rainfall between about 50° North and 50° South latitude, which covers an area from north of the U.S.-Canada border to nearly as far south as Tierra del Fuego in South America.   So TRMM and its satellite "colleagues" provide rainfall data for a wide area of the Earth.

The TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA-RT) data product provides near-real-time rainfall information around the world. The figure shown here shows the spatial distribution of rainfall accumulated between 0Z March 29 and 6Z March 31, 2010.   During this period,  Long Island received the largest rainfall amount, and regions of heavy rainfall were located along the coastline.

 TRMM image of Northeast U.S. rains, March 2010

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Last updated: Apr 01, 2010 04:51 PM ET