Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center

+ NASA Homepage

Goddard Space Flight Center
About MODIS News Data Tools /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home

April 25, 2015

April 24, 2015

April 23, 2015

April 22, 2015

April 21, 2015

April 20, 2015

April 19, 2015



November 14, 2013 - Tropical Storm Sonia (18E) over Mexico
Tropical Storm Sonia (18E) over Mexico Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 11/3/2013
Resolutions: 1km (920.6 KB)
500m (3.1 MB)
250m (7.4 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,

Short-lived Tropical Storm Sonia approached landfall in Mexico at its maximum intensity on November 3, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard the Terra satellite flew over the storm at 18:10 UTC (1:10 p.m. EST) that same day and captured this true-color image.

At the time the image was captured, Sonia carried one-minute maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 km/h), making it a weak tropical storm. The storm carried a cloud-filled center of circulation and had a weak apostrophe-shape. A mid-level elongated area of low pressure was pushing the storm to the north-northeast and guiding it toward land. The wind shear was also obstructing forward motion, elongating the storm, and beginning to break it apart.

When Tropical Storm Sonia made landfall near El Dorado, Mexico at about 0500 UTC (midnight EST) on November 4, it clung to Tropical Storm status by a mere one mph, arriving with one-minute sustained winds of 40 mph (64 km/h). When sustained winds drop below 39 mph (47 km/h), a tropical storm turns into a tropical depression, and Sonia crossed that line only a few hours after landfall, and by 0900 UTC (4:00 a.m. EST) sustained winds were 35 mph. By 1500 UTC (10:00 a.m. EST) the storm had dissipated, and the remnants were bringing rain to inland Mexico.

Although weak and short lived – Sonia began as a tropical depression on November 1 and was mere remnants by the morning of November 4 – the storm was a drencher, and dropped heavy rainfall in southwestern Mexico, in areas already suffering from earlier flooding and mudslides. The Mexican National Weather Service (SMN) reported over 5 inches of rain fell near Culiacan, Sinaloa, associated with Sonia's landfall. Minor flooding has also been reported along the some areas on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

FirstGov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA logo

Curator: Brandon Maccherone
NASA Official: Shannell Frazier

NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page