NASA infrared time series of Tropical Storm Isaac shows consolidation

Aug 27, 2012
The AIRS instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite has been monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac for several days. Shown here are AIRS data from Aug. 24 and 25 (top left and right) and Aug. 26 and 27 (bottom left and right). AIRS has been providing infrared data about cloud temperatures, and sea surface temperatures around the storm. Credit: Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument is an infrared "eye" that flies onboard NASA's Aqua satellite. AIRS has been providing the National Hurricane Center with valuable temperature data on Isaac's clouds and the surrounding sea surface temperatures, and a time series of data shows that Isaac is consolidating.

The AIRS instrument has been monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac for several days. AIRS data from Aug. 24, 25, 26 and 27 showed Isaac's movements through the eastern and central Caribbean Sea, across eastern Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico. On Aug. 24, Isaac's strongest convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) appeared all around the center, except in the western quadrant of the storm. On Aug. 25, when Isaac was affecting Haiti, it appeared more disorganized, and the strongest storms extended from southwestern Haiti into the central . On Aug. 26, AIRS data showed the area of strong had increased and the largest area was over the Florida Keys, with bands of strong thunderstorms extending over southeastern Florida and the Bahamas. On Aug. 27, Isaac's center of circulation appeared more rounded on AIRS imagery, indicating the circulation center was becoming more organized.

Southeasterly wind shear and the larger than average wind radii, and entrance of some dry air had been keeping Isaac from strengthening more quickly today, Aug. 27. That wind shear is the result of an upper-level low pressure area that lies southwest of Tropical Storm Isaac. As that low moves away and the lessens, Isaac will have more ability to strengthen.

Where is Isaac on Aug. 27?

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Isaac on Aug. 26 at 18:15 UTC (2:15 pm EDT) when it was over Florida and Cuba and the MODIS instrument captured this visible image of the storm. Credit: Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

At 11 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on Monday, Aug. 27, Isaac was a strong tropical storm with near 65 mph (100 kmh). Isaac is expected to become a in the next day or two over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. When Isaac reaches maximum sustained winds of 74 mph, it will be classified as a category one hurricane. Isaac's cloud extent is about 480 miles in diameter, as tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles (390 km) from the center.

Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 250 miles (400 km) south of Apalachicola, Fla. and about 310 miles (500 km) southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. That puts Isaac's center near latitude 25.7 north and longitude 84.7 west. Isaac is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 kmh) and the tropical storm is expected to continue on that track, but slow down before turning to the northwest on Tuesday, Aug. 28. The National Hurricane Center expects Isaac to move over the eastern later today, Aug. 27 and approach the northern Gulf coast in the hurricane warning area on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
An animation of satellite observations from Aug. 25-27, 2012, shows Tropical Storm Isaac moving past Cuba and the Florida Keys and into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This visualization was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., using observations from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Hurricane Warnings and Watches

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from east of Morgan City, Louisiana to Destin, Fla., including metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Florida Peninsula from Ocean Reef Southward on the east coast and from Tarpon Springs southward on the west coast; the Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas and Florida Bay; east of Destin, Fla. to the Suwannee River; and Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana. A Watch is in effect for east of Sabine Pass to west of Intracoastal City, La.

Heavy rainfall, gusty winds, isolated tornadoes and dangerous surf can be expected along Isaac's path. For updates on local effects, go the National Hurricane Center website (www.nhc.noaa.gov).

Explore further: NASA balloons begin flying in Antarctica for 2014 campaign

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Sees Eastern Pacific's Second Tropical Storm Form

May 22, 2012

On May 21, NASA satellites were monitoring Tropical Depression 02E in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and 24 hours later it strengthened into the second tropical storm of the season. Tropical Storm Bud was captured ...

NASA sees a strengthening Tropical Storm Ernesto

Aug 06, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to track through the Caribbean and satellite data and NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft revealed a strengthening storm mid-day on Monday, August 6. NASA infrared data revealed ...

NASA watches Tropical Storm Florence develop and weaken

Aug 06, 2012

The sixth tropical storm of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season formed over the past weekend, and NASA kept an on its progression. Tropical Storm Florence was born in the eastern Atlantic and weakened when ...

Recommended for you

Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

18 hours ago

The 2004 tsunami led to greater global cooperation and improved techniques for detecting waves that could reach faraway shores, even though scientists still cannot predict when an earthquake will strike.

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

18 hours ago

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research ...

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.