NOAA Hurricane Image: Irene almost one-third the size of US east coast

From the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

click for HiDef image

The GOES-13 satellite saw Hurricane Irene moving through the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2011 at 1402 UTC (10:02 a.m. EDT) and far to the east was newly born Tropical Depression 10 (far left). Irene dwarfs Tropical Depression 10, and Irene is about 1/3 the size of the entire US East coast. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project - click for an HD resolution image

NOAA satellites Hurricane Irene almost one-third the size of US east coast

Hurricane Irene is a major hurricane, and NOAA/NASA satellite data shows its diameter is now about one-third the length of the U.S. Atlantic coastline. Meanwhile, far in the eastern Atlantic Ocean a tenth tropical depression formed. One satellite image captured both storms and shows the tremendous difference in their size.

NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite saw Hurricane Irene moving through the Bahamas on August 25, 2011 at 10:02 a.m. EDT and far to the east off the African coast was newly born Tropical Depression 10. The GOES-13 image shows Irene to be almost one third of the size of the U.S. east coast. The distance from Augusta, Maine to Miami, Florida is 1662.55 miles. Hurricane Irene’s tropical storm-force winds extend 255 miles from the center making Irene 510 miles in diameter, almost one-third the size of the U.S. Hurricane-force winds extend 70 miles from the center, or 140 miles in diameter.

GOES-13 images and animations are created at NASA’s GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

NASA satellites are providing valuable data to forecasters to assist them in the forecasts for Irene’s track and power. As of this morning, a Hurricane Watch is now in effect for the coastal U.S.

IMAGE: NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Irene’s eye directly over Crooked Island in the southern Bahamas on Aug. 24, 2011 at 12:15 p.m. EDT….

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On Thursday morning, August 24, a hurricane warning is in effect for the central and northwestern Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has also issued the first watch for the U.S. east coast. A hurricane watch is in effect for north of Surf City, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border including the Pamlico, Albemarle, and Currituck Sounds. A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Surf City North Carolina.

NASA satellites are flying above Hurricane Irene, providing forecasters at NHC with temperature, pressure, wind, and cloud and sea surface temperature data. All of those things are critical in helping forecasters determine how Irene will behave and track.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Irene’s eye directly over Crooked Island in the southern Bahamas on August 24, 2011 at 18:15 UTC (2:15 p.m. EDT).

By 11 a.m. EDT on August 25, Irene had moved north and was 75 miles (105 km) east-northeast of Nassau near 25.9 North latitude and 76.8 West longitude. Irene’s winds dropped slightly from 120 mph (195 kmh) to 115 mph (kmh) and it was moving to the north-northwest near 13 mph (20 kmh). The NHC, however, noted that some further strengthening is possible today and tonight.

Irene’s minimum central pressure has fallen from 954 to 951 millibars since the day before, indicating the storm is still intensifying despite the slight temporary drop in maximum sustained winds.

Hurricane-force wind gusts were already reaching Nassau at 8 a.m. EDT. Hurricane force winds are spreading over the northwestern Bahamas this morning and the central Bahamas are still being battered by hurricane or tropical storm force winds, which will diminish later today as Irene moves away.

Residents in South Florida are also under warnings for dangerous rip currents and high surf along the eastern shores through Friday, August 26. A tropical storm warning in effect for the offshore marine waters of Palm Beach County, Florida beyond 20 nautical miles, and at 5:30 a.m. EDT this morning, rainbands spreading west over the adjacent Atlantic waters. Numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected along the south Florida coast today and tonight.

Far in the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Depression 10 formed about 435 miles (700 km) west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. It was centered near 12.4 North and 30.4 West, and moving to the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 kmh). Tropical Depression 10 (TD10) has maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kmh) and may become a tropical storm in the next day or two. It is not expected to be a threat to the U.S. and is expected to remain at sea.

In the meantime, evacuation plans are already under way in North Carolina for the massive Hurricane Irene.

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Updates on Irene’s strength and forecast track can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s website: www.nhc.noaa.gov. Follow NASA’s Hurricane coverage on Facebook and Twitter and at the NASA Hurricane Web page: www.nasa.gov/hurricane.

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20 thoughts on “NOAA Hurricane Image: Irene almost one-third the size of US east coast

  1. Hmmmm. Is a Hurricane the result of the GreenHouse Effect?

    Are Hurricanes representative of Convective Cooling?

    Would a Hurricane form in a GreenHouse?

    Folks, the GreenHouse Effect is not only a misnomer, it is an untruth. Just like Gravity is not The Magnetic Effect, a reduction in atmospheric radiation is not a GreenHouse Effect. You need a GreenHouse Cause to get a GreenHouse Effect.

    Greenhouses are Caused by static volumes and convection prevention. Our Atmosphere is highly elastic (variable volume) and convection is increased by reducing the radiative cooling rate, not prevented.

  2. Typo: Change to “right” in:

    “far to the east was newly born Tropical Depression 10 (far left).”

  3. “or 140 miles in diameter.”

    Then that’s hurricane Irene….
    The rest of it is just clouds and squall lines………..

    Unless they want to claim it’s the biggest evah….to make up for lost time

  4. It’s not quite that big as it’s a bit assymmetric, so as at 5pm EST storm-force winds stretched 430 miles across (NE to SW). Still, it’s within 5 miles diameter of Katrina at her biggest.

    Does seem as though it’s weakening slightly. NHC are maintaining 115mph for consistency rather than evidence of such winds, and the eye has been cloud-filled all day. There’s a chance it could yet strengthen over the Gulf Stream, but Irene may have peaked in terms of raw wind speed. However, the wind field will expand further and storm surge could be devastating.

  5. TEIF(ar) glass does not transmit IR radiation so the heat in a greenhouse is from visible light and that visible light that has lost energy and become IR and then cannot escape due to the glass, and the lack of mixing with the outside and lack of convection etc. all of which you covered.

  6. Sorry, living in England I know nothing about hurricanes. Here we’re getting reports that it’s going to hit New York. Will that really be so? It appears to be 1,500km away at the moment, won’t it run out of energy by then? Please educate me, as I find that very surprising (that it could reach NY and still be a hurricane by then). Thanks.

  7. Seamus Dubh says:
    August 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    > So, how is that any different then the the size of other storms in the past?

    I don’t have figures handy, I think it’s larger than most.

    Most images of storms are scaled to fill the frame, but there can be a huge range of storm boundaries, depending on the metric used. Photos by astronauts are good, as the curvature of the Earth provides a reference frame.

    Some storms can be quite small, Camille was very small and very intense.

    Other storms have a cloud field that fill the Gulf of Mexico, my usual metric instead of “Manhattans.” Generally storms broaden as they age, so the biggest storms tend be be those that start in the Cape Verde Islands and have a week to grow before they reach people.

  8. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    August 26, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Sorry, living in England I know nothing about hurricanes. Here we’re getting reports that it’s going to hit New York. Will that really be so? It appears to be 1,500km away at the moment, won’t it run out of energy by then? Please educate me, as I find that very surprising (that it could reach NY and still be a hurricane by then).

    Several things affect a hurricane’s health. One of the most critical is the fuel supply, basically warm ocean water. That stays warm enough to maintain a hurricane up to the Carolinas where the Gulf Stream heads out to sea and colder water comes down along the coast to New Jersey.

    A typical pattern is for a storm to do pretty well to New Jersey, then weaken gradually beyond there. The storm has enough energy to keep it plenty destructive well beyond, and often it will join a frontal system as transforms into an extratropical storm (typical North Atlantic storm) and heads your way.

  9. If you want an up-close and personal experience with Irene, you can watch (for free) Mark Sudduth and the HIRT team setting up weather stations at landfall sites.

    The video is on Ustream and the site has lots of related info including Stormpulse tracking maps.

    http://www.hurricanetrack.com/

  10. Hurricane Bob was the last one to reach New York in 1991. The biggest in memory was in 1938 (before names were assigned). The ’38 storm caused hundreds of deaths.

  11. @Ric Werme
    I was being facetious or sarcastic, which ever works for you.

    Having lived along the Southern seaboard I’m quite aware of their destructive and erratic potential. I’ve had quite a many encounters with this type of weather. Ranging form hurricane parties to all out evacuations, from visiting Disney world during Andrew to riding through Floyd on an aircraft carrier.
    So, with understanding how weather has happened in the past, especially the repetition and patterns of such, I take the over exaggerating hyperventilating media’s view of weather with questioning humor.

  12. About 11:30 AM EDT, ABC News (US) broke into my regular background noise with a “Special Report.” Apparently someone tapped Pres Obama on the shoulder and informed him why his golfing is going to be interrupted. So I listened to a brief audio-only message where he said nothing of notable significance (FEMA ready, supplies pre-positioned, go to ready.gov for help after the power is out and all communications are dead, etc). Being audio-only, for the visual they showed a still photo of him talking on a phone, dressed like he may have just stepped off the golf course.

    Obama phoning it in. Somewhere at ABC there is a likely-disillusioned producer with a sarcastic wit. ;-)

  13. This is the east coasts Hurricane Ike (2008 Galveston,TX, it filled most of the Gulf it was so big). Not high on the scale just a big brute. Huge wind field, high surge, lots of rain on already saturated soils. Bad, bad news for the east.

  14. Ric Werme

    “I don’t have figures handy,”

    Kind of your foundation isn’t: claiming ever so much less the figures?

    Would you claim as much having the figures I wonder?

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