NASA gives Hurricane Fernanda a close-up

July 14, 2017, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On July 13, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. EDT, NASA's Terra satellite captured this close up image of Hurricane Fernanda in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Hurricane Fernanda is moving through the deep tropics and there's nothing in its way to prevent it from becoming a major hurricane. NASA's Terra satellite took a closer look at the strengthening storm.

On July 13 at 1:30 p.m. EDT, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a close-up visible-light image of Hurricane Fernanda as it continued moving west through the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The visible MODIS image showed a concentration of strong thunderstorms wrapped around the low-level center and a large, thick band of thunderstorms spiraling into the center from the west. Although the image did not reveal an eye, a ragged eye formed later in the day and was seen in satellite imagery using infrared light.

By July 14 at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Fernanda was located near 11.0 degrees north latitude and 117.9 degrees west longitude. That's about 975 miles (1,570 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Fernanda's maximum sustained winds had increased to 100 mph (155 kph). Fernanda was moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph) and this motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days.

The National Hurricane Center said that some additional strengthening is anticipated during the next 48 hours, and Fernanda is likely to become a later today.

Explore further: Satellite sees Tropical Storm Fernanda heading west

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1 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2017
Dropping 100 gallons of soybean and canola oil into the storms path a day or two before it passes will diminish the size and dangerousness of the storm. The oil on water diminishes evaporation which is the fuel for the hurricane. This will cause the storm to break up. It is a real shame that America has so many great resources yet it cannot divert 100 gallons of vegetable oil to disprove a hypothesis which will bring hurricane winds control into the hands of mankind for the very first time. Sad. Any of a dozen American submarines in the area could handle the dump. So could countless American aircraft. All of them have something else to do.
5 / 5 (1) Jul 14, 2017
The warm eddies responsible for hurricanes like Matthew have a surface area of very roughly 200,000 km^2. An oil monolayer is roughly 2 nm thick, or 2 * 10^-12 km thick. Thus 4 x 10^-7 cubic km of oil is needed. That's 400 cubic meters or 106,000 gallons of oil. This neglects the fact that the ocean is loaded with surfactants and hungry bacteria, which would increase the required amount of oil considerably. Also consider that there's a release of natural and artificial oils into the Atlantic on a daily database that dwarfs a 100 gallons. If the release of oil was sufficient to stop a hurricane, there would be no hurricanes. My conclusion is that you are incapable of doing even the most basic literature searches or back-of-the-envelope calculations to determine whether your silly daydreams have any merit.

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