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: Genetics reveals where emperor penguins survived the last ice age

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

Antarctica's retreating ice may re-shape Earth

Feb 27, 2015

(AP)—From the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging underfoot to re-shape Earth.

The sun has more impact on the climate in cool periods

Feb 27, 2015

The activity of the Sun is an important factor in the complex interaction that controls our climate. New research now shows that the impact of the Sun is not constant over time, but has greater significance ...

User comments : 0

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.