NASA Satellites Measure a Large Hurricane Irene

NASA satellites have been gathering data on Hurricane Irene as she heads the Bahamas today and tomorrow and observed that she is a large hurricane.

Irene's hurricane force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km). That means that Irene is about 410 miles in diameter. That's just shy of the distance from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Mass.

NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Hurricane Irene when the storm's center had passed Puerto Rico at 15:20 UTC (11:20 a.m. EDT) on August 22, 2011. The southern quadrant of Irene's clouds were still over the island bringing heavy rainfall. There is no eye visible in the image.

The next day, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-13 saw Hurricane Irene approaching the Bahamas on August 23, 2011 at 1932 UTC (3:32 p.m. EDT). No eye was visible in the image, but the extent of Irene's large cloud cover is seen from eastern Cuba over Hispaniola. NOAA operates the GOES satellites, and the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. creates images and animations using that satellite data.

At 2 p.m. EDT on August 23, the center of large Hurricane Irene was 55 miles south of Grand Turk Island. That means that the island was on the fringes of hurricane-force winds as Irene continues to move west-northwest at 10 mph (17 kmh). Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph (160 kmh). Irene is located near 20.7 North and 71.2 West. Minimum central pressure was near 977 millibars.

The Watches and Warnings cover a number of islands. On the forecast track the center of Irene will move near or over the Turks and Caicos Islands this evening and near or over the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and Wednesday. Irene is expected to be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center noted that "Irene could become a major hurricane by Wednesday."

No comments:

Post a Comment