NASAJoaquinBeauty in the beast is one way to look at a major hurricane. Early today Hurricane Joaquin jumped up to category 4 intensity with 130 mph winds as it continued to crawl through the Bahamas. On the ground it would look like death and destruction. From space however, a storm this powerful can be a magnificent thing of beauty. This post is a nod to our local NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. MD where they host the GOES Project. They manage the GOES East satellite, where they compiled a three day video animation between Sep 29 and Oct 1 2015 combining visible and infrared (at night) satellite images.

Circulation to watch on this video

Here you can see the enhanced circulation grow, and notice the outflow. Low pressure in the northern hemisphere rotates counter clockwise. A well developed hurricane will have High pressure over the center, which helps to clear out the eye and maintain the heat engine. The outflow are high based cirrus clouds, extend far away from the center, and rotate clockwise. So if you look closely you will see the tight circulation and the outflow rotate in opposite directions.



This image below is another personal nod. This is from the SUOMI NPP Satellite that I got to watch launch into space with my father and oldest son in 2011. One of the instruments with the most impressive imagery was flexing its muscle today.  The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard captured an infrared image that showed cloud top temperatures colder than -63F/-53C, indicative of powerful storms within the hurricane. NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that high (and that stretch that high into the troposphere) have the capability to generate heavy rain.


NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Joaquin at 06:10 UTC (2:10 a.m. EDT) on Oct. 1 as it was strengthening from a Category 2 to a Category 3 hurricane. Imagery showed cloud top temperatures colder than -63F/-53C (yellow).

Keep checking back for more storm updates.

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Chip KidWxDevicesGet the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.

Tropical Links

2015 Atlantic Storm Names and Forecast

History of naming Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Tropical Storm Formation: Origin Maps For Each 10 Days Of Season, Video[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]