24 August 2011


Hurricane Irene has become a huge storm as of 2040 UTC, 24 Aug 2011, with hurricane-force winds extending 50 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds extending up to 205 miles from the center. Credit: NASA/GOES Project Science.
A stitched hemispherical view on 24 Aug 2011. You can see the low pressure systems to the north in Canada steering Irene. Credit: NASA/GOES Project Science.
Low and high pressure systems across North America influencing Irene's path and, ultimately, her landfall. Credit: GOES/SFSU.
Infrared image showing cloud tops at 20:45 UTC, 24 Aug 2011. The highest clouds are powerful bearers/drivers of wind and rain. Credit: NASA.
Sea surface tempertaures (Celsius) are a vital part of Hurricane Irene's fuel on the run north up the Gulf Stream. Water temperatures are 1-3°F warmer than average this year between North Carolina and New York, making Irene a wetter than average hurricane. Credit: NOAA.
A top-down view of rain intensities within Irene on 23 Aug 2011. Though Irene does not appear to have an eye in visible satellite imagery (the solid white center shows that it is still completely covered over with cloud), TRMM reveals an eye surrounded by a complete eyewall of varying rain intensities deep down under the cloud tops. The eyewall forms a complete circle in the rain field at the center of the image. The northeast corner of the eyewall contains an area of intense rain (darker red area), while the southern portion contains only light rain (shown in blue). Moderate rain (green areas) makes up the rest of the eyewall. The storm is still fairly asymmetrical, however, with most of the surrounding rain northeast of the center. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory. Images produced by Hal Pierce and caption by Steve Lang and Hal Pierce.
Taken at the same time as image above, shows a three dimensional view of Irene. Areas in red mark the tops of deep convection towers where precipitation-sized particles are being carried higher into the atmosphere by strong thunderstorms. These storms within a storm can intensify tropical cyclones and hurricanes by releasing large amounts of heat, known as latent heat, via condensation. This heat can intensify the hurricane’s circulation especially when released near its core. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory. Images produced by Hal Pierce and caption by Steve Lang and Hal Pierce.
Irene at 22:15 UTC, 24 Aug 2011. The low angle of the day's last visible light illuminates the highest cloud tops in spiral bands to the southeast, north, and far to the northeast of the storm's center. Credit: NOAA.
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