NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP captures night-time view of Sandy's landfall

Oct 31, 2012
As Hurricane Sandy made a historic landfall on the New Jersey coast during the night of Oct. 29, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on NASA/NOAA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite captured this night-time view of the storm. This image provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison is a composite of several satellite passes over North America taken 16 to18 hours before Sandy's landfall. Credit: University of Wisconsin, CIMSS/NASA/NOAA

As Hurricane Sandy made a historic landfall on the New Jersey coast during the night of Oct. 29, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on NASA/NOAA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite captured this night-time view of the storm. This image provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison is a composite of several satellite passes over North America taken 16 to18 hours before Sandy's landfall.

The storm was captured by a special "day-night band," which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as auroras, airglow, gas flares, city lights, fires and reflected moonlight. City lights in the south and mid-section of the United States are visible in the image.

William Straka, associate researcher at Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains that since there was a full moon there was the maximum illumination of the clouds.

"You can see that Sandy is pulling energy both from Canada as well as off in the eastern part of the Atlantic," Straka said. "Typically forecasters use only the infrared bands at night to look at the structure of the storm. However, using images from the new day/night band sensor in addition to the thermal channels can provide a more complete and unique view of hurricanes at night."

VIIRS is one of five instruments onboard Suomi NPP. The mission is the result of a partnership between NASA, the , and the U.S. Department of Defense.

On Monday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. EDT, Hurricane Sandy made 5 miles (10 km) south of Atlantic City, N.J., near 39 degrees 24 minutes north latitude and 74 degrees 30 minutes west longitude. At the time of landfall, Sandy's were near 80 mph (130 kph) and it was moving to the west-northwest at 23 mph (37 kph). According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane-force winds extended outward to 175 miles (280 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended 485 miles (780 km). Sandy's minimum central pressure at the time of landfall was 946 millibars or 27.93 inches.

Suomi NPP was launched on Oct. 28, 2011, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. One year later, Suomi NPP has orbited Earth more than 5,000 times and begun returning images and data that provide critical weather and climate measurements of complex Earth systems.

Suomi NPP observes Earth's surface twice every 24-hour day, once in daylight and once at night. NPP flies 512 miles (824 kilometers) above the surface in a polar orbit, circling the planet about 14 times a day. NPP sends its data once an orbit to the ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct broadcast users.

Explore further: A 5.3-million-year record of sea level and temperature

More information: For storm history, images and video of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the following websites:

www.nnvl.noaa.gov
www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2012/h2012_Sandy.html
cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/
earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/event.php?id=79504

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Hurricane Isaac at night

Aug 30, 2012

(Phys.org)—Early on August 29, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi-NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of Hurricane Isaac and the cities near the Gulf Coast of the United ...

VIIRS eastern hemisphere image: Behind the scenes

Feb 03, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Suomi NPP satellite is in a polar orbit around Earth at an altitude of 512 miles (about 824 kilometers), but the perspective of the new Eastern hemisphere 'Blue Marble' is from 7,918 miles ...

NASA sees Tropical Storm Sandy approaching Jamaica

Oct 24, 2012

NASA satellites are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Sandy in visible and infrared light as it approaches Jamaica. Sandy is now responsible for hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches from Jamaica ...

NASA's TRMM Satellite Analyzes Hurricane Sandy in 3-D

Oct 30, 2012

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM satellite can measure rainfall rates and cloud heights in tropical cyclones, and was used to create an image to look into Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 28, 2012. ...

Recommended for you

Melting during cooling period

5 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

8 hours ago

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...

New study outlines 'water world' theory of life's origins

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...