Papahanaumokuakea National Monument facing Hurricane Neki

Oct 22, 2009
This satellite image on October 22 from NASA Aqua's AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) instrument shows some high thunderstorm tops (purple) in Hurricane Neki, indicating heavy rainfall and strong convection. Those cloud temperatures were colder than minus 63F. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

A hurricane warning is in force for the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument from Nihoa Island to French Frigate Shoals to Maro Reef. Hurricane conditions likely there by 5 a.m. HST on Friday, October 23.

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag, and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. It encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean (105,564 square nautical miles) - an area larger than all the country's national parks combined.

Many of the islands and shallow water environments in the National Monument are important habitats for rare species such as the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.

As Hurricane Neki nears, the storm had maximum sustained winds near 115 mph at 5 a.m. HST (11 a.m. EDT) today, October 22. It was located about 245 miles south of French frigate shoals and 525 miles west of Honolulu, Hawaii, near 20.4 North and 166.0 West. Neki was moving north-northeast near 10 mph, and had a minimum central pressure of 965 millibars.

Neki's force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Neki and captured an image of the large storm using the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on October 21 at 2145 UTC (5:45 p.m. EDT/11:45 a.m. HST local time).

NASA Aqua satellite also took a look at Neki, and measured the storm's thunderstorm cloud-top temperatures using infrared imagery. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument showed some high thunderstorm tops in Neki indicating heavy rainfall and strong convection. Those cloud temperatures were colder than minus 63F.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Neki and the MODIS instrument captured an image that clearly shows an eye, on Oct. 21 at 11:45 a.m. HST local time. Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team

High seas are a concern with Neki. Neki is creating high seas of 15 to 20 feet that will build up across the smaller islands of the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument. For more information about the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument, visit: http://papahanaumokuakea.gov/

Little change in Neki's strength is forecast over the next 24 hours, but Neki is expected weaken as the storm heads into cooler waters and wind shear. Neki is forecast to continue moving northeast and then weaken to a depression by early next week.

Source: JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Severe ozone depletion avoided

Related Stories

Baja California residents watching for Hurricane Rick

Oct 16, 2009

Based on computer forecast models, the residents of southern and central Baja California should prepare over the weekend for now Tropical Storm Rick. Rick formed late yesterday, October 15, and is expected ...

Recommended for you

Uncovering diversity in an invisible ocean world

23 minutes ago

Plankton are vital to life on Earth—they absorb carbon dioxide, generate nearly half of the oxygen we breathe, break down waste, and are a cornerstone of the marine food chain. Now, new research indicates ...

Evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet

2 hours ago

ULB study sheds a new light on the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. It shows for the first time that ice rises (pinning points that keep the floating parts of ice sheets in place) are formed during the transition between ...

Severe ozone depletion avoided

21 hours ago

We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

Location matters in the lowland Amazon

May 25, 2015

You know the old saying: Location, location, location? It turns out that it applies to the Amazon rainforest, too. New work from Carnegie's Greg Asner illustrates a hidden tapestry of chemical variation across ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.