Category 2 Hurricane Miriam Seen in East Pacific by NASA satellite

September 25, 2012
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Hurricane Miriam on Sept. 24 at 21:00 UTC and the MODIS instrument captured this image off Mexico's west coast. Credit: NASA/Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites provide some of the most clear and stunning imagery of tropical cyclones, and captured a visible image of Category 2 hurricane Miriam off the western coast of Mexico.

MODIS stands for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. Terra's MODIS and Aqua's MODIS view the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths. NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Hurricane Miriam on Sept. 24 at 21:00 UTC and the captured a visible image of Hurricane Miriam off Mexico's west coast. The MODIS image showed that Miriam's eye was covered by , yet the eye is still about 30 nautical miles wide. Cloud top temperatures around the eye have cooled in , which indicates thunderstorms around the eye still have strong uplift and are shooting high into the troposphere.

On Sept. 25 at 5 a.m. EDT Hurricane Miriam's were near 105 mph (165 kmh), making it a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Miriam 's hurricane-force winds extend only 30 miles (45 km) from the center. Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Miriam's center was located near latitude 18.7 north and longitude 114.3 west. Miriam is moving in a northwesterly direction near 6 mph (9 kmh) and is expected to turn to the north-northwest later on Sept. 25, followed by a turn to the north. Miriam's estimated minimum central pressure is 968 millibars.

Although Miriam is off-shore, the hurricane is producing very rough seas along the south and western coasts of the central Baja Peninsula, and those conditions will continue for the next several days.

Explore further: NASA satellites 'eyes' changes in Hurricane Katia

Related Stories

NASA satellites 'eyes' changes in Hurricane Katia

September 6, 2011

Major Hurricane Katia continues to approach the U.S. East coast and stir up rough surf. Meanwhile two NASA satellites have provided a look at the changes in organization and cloud patterns over the last several days.

NASA sees Emilia as a Category 2 hurricane now

July 11, 2012

Hurricane Emilia reached peak intensity yesterday, July 10, when its maximum sustained winds hit 140 mph (220 kmh). Today, July 11, Emilia has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Emilia during ...

Recommended for you

How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

September 1, 2015

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists.

Climate ups odds of 'grey swan' superstorms

August 31, 2015

Climate change will boost the odds up to 14-fold for extremely rare, hard-to-predict tropical cyclones for parts of Australia, the United States and Dubai by 2100, researchers said Monday.

0 comments

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.