Beauty and the Beasts – Hurricanes #Katia #Irma and #Jose in one spectacular image

It is not often that you get to see two Atlantic and one Gulf of Mexico hurricanes all at once on a single satellite image, but we live in “interesting times” and the remarkable imagery from the new GOES-16 spacecraft continues to impress the world.

Hurricane expert Dr. Philip Klotzbach says:

Currently have 3 hurricanes w/ 2 major hurricanes in Atlantic – 4th time on record we’ve had 3 hurricanes w/ 2 majors at same time. Other three years w/ 3 hurricanes & 2 major hurricanes in Atlantic were 1893, 1961 and 2010.

Here, I’ve taken several snips and made a hi-res composite image to show a half-disk view of the Western Hemisphere as seen by visible light by GOES-16. Dr. Roy Spencer commented on Facebook today that

“[the] current view from space is beautiful….”.

On that I agree, it’s also Nature’s deadliness on display. Like the famous “blue marble” image from 1968, this image too is a bit humbling, and a reminder that no matter how much we want to believe we can control weather/climate through our actions and lifestyle, Nature, when it so chooses, can squish us like a bug.

Click image for the hi-resolution version.

If there is any interest, I’ll make a poster available for sale in super-high-resolution, 20×30″

43 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beasts – Hurricanes #Katia #Irma and #Jose in one spectacular image

  1. Also interesting is the smoke oner the NW USA, heading into Colorado (it’s been really smoky here the past week), and the dust storm from Africa chasing the heels of Jose.

    • Its been smoky in Colorado and other nearby states for awhile – not that the MSM knows about it since it doesn’t affect a coast…

  2. According to NOAA the top of the atmosphere is 100 km. I disagree. 99% of the atmospheric molecules are below 32 km. Below that distance normal conductive, convective, latent hot/cold/heat/energy apply. Above 32 km it’s all radiative and S-B totally applies.
    Be that as it may – a meter is 3.28 feet. A km is 3,280 feet. A mile is 5,280 feet. A km is 0.62 miles. 100 km is 62 miles.
    The distance from Colorado Springs to Denver is 68 miles. I drive it a lot. Picture that in your mind’s eye. I could shoot my Viper up through it in under 20 minutes. (Just kidding, don’t have a Viper.)
    On a 12” diameter model globe, the model atmosphere at 100 km would be 0.094”, 3/32nd, thick.
    All of this powerful weather energy take place in an atmospheric layer that is ludicrous thin.
    The genesis of the RGHE theory is an incorrect notion that the atmosphere/albedo warms the surface like a greenhouse (and surface is NOT the ground). Explaining the physical mechanism behind this erroneous notion/theory demands some truly contorted physics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, i.e. energy out of nowhere, cold to hot w/o work, perpetual motion, etc.
    Is space cold or hot? There are no molecules in space so our common definitions of hot/cold/heat/energy don’t apply.
    The equilibrium temperatures of objects in space, e.g. the earth, moon, space station, mars, Venus, etc. are determined by the solar radiation flowing past them. In the case of the earth, the solar irradiance of 1,368 W/m^2 has a Stefan Boltzmann black body equilibrium temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F. That’s hot. Sort of.
    But an object’s albedo reflects away some of that energy and reduces that temperature much like that shiny panel placed in the car’s windshield.
    The earth’s albedo, which only exists because of the atmosphere, reflects away about 30% of the sun’s 1,368 W/m^2 energy leaving 958 W/m^2 to “warm” the earth. At an S-B BB equilibrium temperature of 361 K, that’s 33 C (394 – 361) cooler than the earth with no atmosphere/albedo.
    The earth’s albedo/atmosphere doesn’t warm the earth, it cools the earth.

    • I could shoot my Viper up through it in under 20 minutes. (Just kidding, don’t have a Viper.)

      Well just darn! Go get yourself one you lay about good for nothin’ spunk ball! 🙂
      Or maybe not. Who can really tell? You might be someone everybody moves away from at the bar but maybe not?

    • If on a 12 inch globe the atmosphere is only 1/32 of an inch that could mean one of two things…either the atmosphere is really thin…or people just don’t have any concept of how really big the Earth is. I favor the latter.

    • There is a basic physics problem in this post. The notion of temperature is related by Boltzmann’s statistical mechanics to vibrational average molecular energy in bulk classic physics. True. But it is also imputable to the equivalent wavelengths of electromagnetic quanta, aka photons. Shorter wavelengths of higher frequency have higher equivalent energy. So ignoringbthe equivalence is beyond problematic.

  3. Fabulous composite pic. I’d be very interested to see if the Hurricanes leave SST ‘Wakes’ after they pass.

    • They do. Significant cooling is in the trail of any hurricane. Thermographs were posted on WUWT some time ago.

  4. Not to be pedantic, but Katia and Irma are feminine names, and Jose is quintessentially masculine. So, it is beauties and the beast.

  5. Do my eyes deceive me, or does the scaling on that photograph seem unusually generous towards the area of the USA?

  6. Might be a fine night to stay up between 11 pm and 1 am or so. Look skyward to the north,
    Space Weather Message Code: WARK07
    Serial Number: 70
    Issue Time: 2017 Sep 07 2257 UTC
    WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 7 or greater expected
    Valid From: 2017 Sep 07 2300 UTC
    Valid To: 2017 Sep 08 0600 UTC
    Warning Condition: Onset
    NOAA Scale: G3 or greater – Strong to Extreme
    NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
    Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 50 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
    Induced Currents – Power system voltage irregularities possible, false alarms may be triggered on some protection devices.
    Spacecraft – Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and orientation problems may occur.
    Navigation – Intermittent satellite navigation (GPS) problems, including loss-of-lock and increased range error may occur.
    Radio – HF (high frequency) radio may be intermittent.
    Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.

    • Space Weather Message Code: ALTK08
      Serial Number: 23
      Issue Time: 2017 Sep 07 2350 UTC
      ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 8
      Threshold Reached: 2017 Sep 07 2350 UTC
      Synoptic Period: 2100-2400 UTC
      Active Warning: Yes
      NOAA Scale: G4 – Severe
      NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at
      Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 45 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
      Induced Currents – Possible widespread voltage control problems and some protective systems may mistakenly trip out key assets from the power grid. Induced pipeline currents intensify.
      Spacecraft – Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low earth orbit satellites, and tracking and orientation problems may occur.
      Navigation – Satellite navigation (GPS) degraded or inoperable for hours.
      Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation sporadic or blacked out.
      Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Alabama and northern California.

  7. Yes, Nature can squish us like a bug, but the global warming/climate change crowd refuses to believe it. Maybe instead of “skeptics” battling them, psychologists should step in to deal with them.

  8. Irma has taken a dip southward now and the eye-wall will miss the Turks and Caicos Islands which couldn’t afford to take a direct hit. The islands in the current path and in the forecast path are mostly uninhabited. As we have seen with this hurricane that the eye-wall is where the real damage is occurring. Outside of that, it is not so bad.
    That means Miami is the next target on the forecast track as a strong Cat5 on Sunday morning. That will be a very bad day.

  9. It should be interesting to see how wet we get in the UK from the eventual effects of these hurricanes as they cross the Atlantic. They won’t of course have the same force, but it looks like we’ll get a few weeks of miserable rain in Wales. ( no change there then )

  10. It would be interesting to review the before and after SST for the region to assess how much energy was hoovered up.

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