NASA finds Hurricane Lee's strength shift

September 28, 2017, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared picture of Hurricane Lee's cloud top temperatures from Sept. 28 at 2:05 a.m. EDT (0605 UTC). Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

Hurricane Lee began weakening as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and collected temperature information. Satellite data showed that Lee's strongest side was south of its center.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Lee on Sept. 28 at 2:05 a.m. EDT (0605 UTC) and analyzed the storm in . Infrared light provides data and that's important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the , the colder and the stronger they are.

When Aqua passed over Lee, the AIRS instrument found coldest cloud top temperatures in thunderstorms mostly south of the center. Those temperatures were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

On Sept. 26, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that "northerly shear continues to adversely affect the organization of Lee. The central dense overcast has become fairly asymmetric, with most of the cold cloud tops limited to the southern semicircle, and the eye is also losing definition."

Lee is in the Central Atlantic Ocean and far from land areas so there are no watches or warnings in effect. At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 28, Lee was about 460 miles (745 km) east-northeast of Bermuda, near 33.7 degrees north latitude and 57.0 degrees west longitude. The estimated minimum central pressure is 973 millibars.

Lee was moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 kph) and NHC noted "a turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected today and tomorrow morning. The is forecast to continue accelerating toward the northeast after that."

Lee's maximum sustained winds peaked at 115 mph on Sept. 27. Maximum sustained winds had decreased to near 100 mph (155 kph) with higher gusts. Continued weakening is expected and Lee is forecast to become a tropical storm on Friday, Sept. 29 as wind shear increases and the moves over cooler waters.

Explore further: NASA satellite temperatures reveal a stronger Hurricane Lee

Related Stories

NASA analyzes Hurricane Jose's hidden cloud-filled eye

September 11, 2017

NASA satellite imagery provided a couple of views of Hurricane Jose's cloud-filled eye allowing forecasters to see that it still existed. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at the storm, while the GPM ...

Recommended for you

Jet stream changes since 1960s linked to more extreme weather

January 12, 2018

Increased fluctuations in the path of the North Atlantic jet stream since the 1960s coincide with more extreme weather events in Europe such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding, reports a University of Arizona-led ...

Global warming will expose millions more to floods

January 11, 2018

Global warming is expected to unleash more rain, exposing millions more people to river flooding particularly in the United States and parts of Asia, Africa and central Europe, researchers said Wednesday.

Maps that show travel times to cities all across the globe

January 11, 2018

An international team of researchers, including a representative from Google, has created a color-coded map of the planet that shows travel times to cities from other places. In their paper published in the journal Nature, ...


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.