NASA infrared imagery hinted Darby would become a hurricane

Jun 24, 2010
On June 24 at 08:23 UTC (4:23 a.m. EDT), NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Darby's clouds, hours before it achieved hurricane status. The infrared imagery showed very high, cold thunderstorm cloud tops in the southeast and northern quadrants of the storm (purple) indicating strong convection. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

Infrared imagery provides forecasters with a look at the temperature of cloud tops in tropical cyclones, sea surface and land surface temperatures and more. NASA infrared imagery from the morning of June 24 revealed that Darby had strong convection that is an indicator of a strengthening storm. Tropical Storm Darby became the second hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season this morning.

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Darby on June 24 at 08:23 UTC (4:23 a.m. EDT), the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard the satellite captured an infrared image of Darby's clouds, hours before it achieved hurricane status. The showed very high, cold tops in the southeast and northern quadrants of the storm indicating strong convection. Convection is rapidly rising air the condenses and forms clouds (and in a tropical cyclone, it forms the thunderstorms that power the cyclone).

At 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT) on June 24, the National Hurricane Center announced that Darby achieved hurricane status, making it the second hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season, just after Celia, which is spinning at sea much farther west. Hurricane Darby has near 75 mph, making it a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. (Category one hurricanes begin at 74 mph). Darby is located about 235 miles (375 km) south-southwest of Puerto Escondido, Mexico, near 12.8 North and 98.7 West. Darby is moving west near 9 mph (15 km/hr) and has a minimum central pressure near 990 millibars.

NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Darby as a tropical storm on June 23 at 17:05 UTC (1:05 p.m. EDT) off western the Mexican coast. Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

The National Hurricane Center forecasters expect vertical wind shear (winds that can tear a tropical cyclone apart) to remain light, so there's an opportunity for Darby to strengthen a little over the next couple of days before the winds increase.

Explore further: NASA satellites calling here you come again, Tropical Storm Dolly

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Celia now in the Major Leagues: a category three hurricane

Jun 24, 2010

Tropically speaking Celia is in the Major Leagues. She's now a Category Three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale and classified as the Eastern Pacific's first major hurricane. That's quite a "batting ...

Recommended for you

Tropical Storm Dolly forms, threatens Mexico

8 hours ago

Tropical Storm Dolly formed off Mexico's northeastern coast on Tuesday and headed toward landfall in Tamaulipas state, threatening to spark floods and mudslides, forecasters said.

Giant garbage patches help redefine ocean boundaries

11 hours ago

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area of environmental concern between Hawaii and California where the ocean surface is marred by scattered pieces of plastic, which outweigh plankton in that part of ...

New satellite maps out Napa Valley earthquake

12 hours ago

Scientists have used a new Earth-observation satellite called Sentinel-1A to map the ground movements caused by the earthquake that shook up California's wine-producing Napa Valley on 24 August 2014.

User comments : 0