NASA satellites capture 3 days of Hurricane Gordon's Atlantic track

August 20, 2012
These three images from the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites were captured on Aug. 17-19 and show the progression of Hurricane Gordon through the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA's Terra and Aqua satellite have captured Hurricane Gordon over three days as it neared the Azores Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Gordon weakened to a tropical storm on August 20.

The , or , is an instrument that flies onboard 's Terra and Aqua satellites and provides high-resolution imagery to users. When NASA's flew over Gordon on August 17 at 9:30 a.m. EDT it was a tropical storm and did not have a visible eye. It was followed up by a fly over of NASA's Aqua satellite on August 18 at 11:50 a.m. EDT, it had strengthened into a hurricane and had a clear and visible eye. On August 19, Gordon was still a hurricane at 10:55 a.m. EDT when NASA's Aqua satellite again passed over the storm. At that time, Gordon was affecting the Azores Islands. Ocean swells in the eastern Azores generated by Gordon are expected to start subsiding today, August 20, as Gordon moves east and toward Portugal.

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on August 20, Gordon weakened back to tropical storm status with near 70 mph (110 kmh). The center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located about 115 miles (180 km) east-northeast of Santa Maria Island in the Azores, near latitude 37.7 north and longitude 23.2 west. The National Hurricane Center noted that Gordon is moving toward the east-northeast near 15 mph (24 kmh) and is expected to slow and turn east.

The National Hurricane Center expects Tropical Storm Gordon to become extra-tropical later in the day on August 20.

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