Press Release

NASA Researcher to Discuss Hurricane Hot Towers at Library of Congress Free Lecture

By SpaceRef Editor
September 5, 2013
Filed under , ,

The public is invited to a free lecture called “Finding Hot Towers in Hurricanes” to be held at the Library of Congress. The lecture will be given by NASA research scientist Owen Kelley on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 11:30 a.m. EDT in the Pickford Theater of the Library of Congress.

During the past decade, NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been able to collect definitive statistics on the association of hot towers (towering thunderclouds) and hurricane intensification. Kelley will talk about the science of hurricanes, the inner workings of the TRMM satellite radar, and the researcher who coined the term “hot tower” 50 years ago.

“Hot towers are the pistons of the hurricane heat engine. These tall storm cells are visible evidence of the huge amounts of energy being converted from one form to another. Energy transformations involving water in its various phases are what make a hurricane go, and the TRMM radar gives us a shot at understanding them,” says Kelley.

This lecture is the first in this fall’s lecture series to be held at the Library of Congress. The fall schedule is provided here: . For the past seven years, this lecture series has been jointly organized by the library’s Science, Technology, and Business Division and by NASA. The Library of Congress maintains one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world. For more information about the Science, Technology and Business Division, visit The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world and holds nearly 151.8 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats.

NASA’s hurricane research takes many forms, including satellite missions, field campaigns, and modeling. For stories about NASA hurricane research and for the latest hurricanes imagery, please visit:

For inquiries about this or upcoming talks at the Library of Congress, the public can contact the LOC Science, Technology and Business Division at 202-707-5664. ADA accommodations should be requested five business days in advance at 202-707-6382 (voice/tty) or

For Owen Kelley’s biography, please visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.