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A falling satellite and sinking Topper?

Jason Samenow @ 11:22 PM

Just a slight chance of an evening shower or storm today -- better chances north and west of town. Highs will be in the upper 80s.

TRMM image of Hurricane Isabel, courtesy NASAThe Washington Post reported yesterday that NASA will shut down its Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) as it allows its earth observing satellite to fall out of orbit. The TRMM satellite had provided critical information about the structure and precipitation of tropical weather systems as well as stunning imagery. For an example, see these images taken of Hurricane Isabel and the image on the left. The rationale for letting the satellite go is not entirely clear, although Roger Pielke and fellow science policy wonks at the Prometheus blog enjoy speculating.

Speaking of the tropics, it has been a slow start to the hurricane system with no named storms to date. Still, the Tropical Prediction center is watching a developing tropical wave near the Windward Islands in the Atlantic that may become a depression. I'll keep you posted.

Last, and maybe least, is posting a rumor the Topper Shutt's job as 'Chief' Meteorologist at WUSA may not be safe. I'm skeptical about this rumor, but Channel 9 seems to be shaking things up quite a bit lately... Stay tuned.

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