STUNNING PUERTO RICO RAINFALL PLOT PLUS WEATHER SATELLITE ANIMATIONS ON HURRICANE FIONA’s LANDFALL IN PUERTO RICO:

From CIMSS (the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) research meteorologist Scott Bachmeier at the University of Wisconsin-Madison comes the following set of satellite animations–both visible and a color-enhanced infrared— over which surface observations are superimposed as the storm roars into Puerto Rico with devastating flooding while knocking out the state’s electrical grid. 

Animations like this offer an incredible view of the boiling convection (enhanced thunderstorm development) which takes place within an intensifying hurricane. These convective bursts are known as ‘HOT TOWERS’.

Here’s what NASA tells us about HOT TOWERS within tropical cyclones (i.e. hurricanes and tropical storms):
“A “hot tower” is a tall cumulonimbus cloud that reaches at least to the top of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. It extends approximately 9 miles/14.5 km high in the tropics. These towers are called “hot” because they rise to such altitude due to the large amount of latent heat. Water vapor releases this latent heat as it condenses into liquid. Those towering thunderstorms have the potential for heavy rain. NASA research shows that a tropical cyclone with a hot tower in its eyewall was twice as likely to intensify within six or more hours, than a cyclone that lacked a hot tower.”

READ MORE ABOUT “HOT TOWERS” HERE.

Also, meteorologist Eric Webb, University of North Carolina Charlotte alum, whose posts on climate, winter and tropical systems are always fascinating, has put up a series of interesting analyses related to Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico–including a rainfall plot, an analysis of Hurricane Fiona, its pressure and winds, as it moved from Puerto Rico toward Hispaniola.