NASA sees Hurricane Leslie's eye close

Sep 07, 2012
This visible image of Hurricane Leslie was taken by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite on Sept. 6 at 10:45 a.m. EDT. Leslie's eye appears cloud covered and the storm weakened to a tropical storm on Sept. 7. Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

Hurricane Leslie appeared to "close its eye" on NASA satellite imagery as the storm heads east of Bermuda, like a little girl shutting her eyes tight on a wild amusement ride. Often when an eye becomes cloud-filled, its a sign that the storm is weakening, and Leslie did drop from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Sept. 7.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's captured a of Hurricane Leslie on Sept. 6 at 10:45 a.m. EDT and Leslie's eye appeared cloud covered. Leslie went on to weaken to tropical storm on Sept. 7.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 7, Tropical Storm Leslie's were just under hurricane strength, near 70 mph (110 kmh), and the at the National Hurricane Center expect no change in intensity today, however, Leslie could regain hurricane status over the weekend of Sept. 8 and 9. Leslie was located about 410 miles (660 km) south-southeast of Bermuda near latitude 26.8 north and longitude 62.2 west.

Leslie was sitting still and the NHC doesn't expect much movement on Sept. 7, but expects Leslie to start moving northward on Sat. Sept. 8. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite noticed earlier this week that Leslie's slow movement was causing cooler waters to upwell from below the surface of the ocean, up to the ocean's surface. The waters were cooler than 26.6 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), which is the threshold needed to maintain a tropical cyclone. When water temperatures drop below that threshold a tropical cyclone weakens, because evaporation (that adds fuel to a storm) cannot happen as much and as quickly.

On Sept. 7 a NOAA aircraft dropped a dropsonde (instrument that measures temperature and other factors) through Leslie, and found that the was near 24.5 Celsius (76.1 Fahrenheit). NOAA NHC forecaster Lixion Avila noted that "once Leslie moves away from the cool pool it has created for itself the cyclone will have the opportunity to regain hurricane status since the shear is expected to be low."

Leslie is a good-sized storm with tropical storm force winds extending out to 185 miles (295 km) from the center. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Bermuda on Sept. 7, and will become a warning later. Leslie is expected to pass closest to Bermuda on Sunday, Sept. 8.

Even though Leslie isn't close to the U.S. mainland, it is causing rough surf to the U.S. east coast and Bermuda. The NHC noted that ocean swells will affect the U.S. from central Florida all the way north to the Canadian Maritimes, and south to the Northern Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands over the next several days.

Explore further: New research identifies diverse sources of methane in shallow Arctic lakes

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Research links two millennia of cyclones, floods, El Nino

51 minutes ago

Stalagmites, which crystallize from water dropping onto the floors of caves, millimeter by millimeter, over thousands of years, leave behind a record of climate change encased in stone. Newly published research ...

Seabed samples rewrite earthquake history near Istanbul

19 hours ago

Located in the Marmara Sea, major earthquakes along the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) system have repeatedly struck what is current-day Istanbul and the surrounding region, but determining the recurrence rate has proven difficult ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hemitite
not rated yet Sep 07, 2012
How soon would it have to reopen to count as a wink?

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.