|Description:||National Aeronautics and Space Administration, (NASA): Hurricanes/Tropical Cyclones|
Aug. 23, 2011, first update
This 3-D perspective of Irene was created from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data taken at 15:57 UTC (11:57 a.m. EDT) on August 22, 2011. It revealed an area of deep convection (shown in red) near the storm's center where precipitation-sized particles are being carried aloft.
These tall towers are associated with strong thunderstorms responsible for the area of intense rain near the center of Irene seen in the previous image. They can be a precursor to strengthening as they indicate areas within a storm where vast amounts of heat are being released. This heating, known as latent heating, is what is drives a storm's circulation and intensification.