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Earth from Space —Triple trouble in the Atlantic

Satellite image of a trio of storms in the Atlantic

A trio of storms in the Atlantic, spotted by the GOES-13 weather satellite.

A WEATHER SATELLITE captured a triple-header in the tropics when it snapped three tropical cyclones in one image in the Northern Hemisphere.

The image—taken by the GOES-13 satellite on July 20—shows a consolidating low pressure area called System 99L in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Bret several hundred kilometres east of South Carolina, and Hurricane Dora off the west coast of Mexico.

The image was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.

System 99L is a low-pressure area that may reach tropical depression status in the next day or two. It is located about 900 kilometres east-northeast of Bermuda and is moving to the northeast at 32 kilometres per hour.

The US National Hurricane Centre gave System 99L a 90 percent chance building to a tropical depression in the following 48 hours.

Text adapted from information issued by Rob Gutro, NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre. Image courtesy NASA / NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters.

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Stormy skies

Satellite photo of Hurricane Celia

Winds within Hurricane Celia reached 240 kilometres per hour.

Perfectly circular, powerful Hurricane Celia spans hundreds of kilometres over the Pacific Ocean in this image from June 24, 2010. Rough-textured clouds surround the storm’s distinct eye, which has a diameter of roughly 25 kilometres. Farther from the centre of the storm, spiral arms appear thinner and smoother.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-colour image of Hurricane Celia at 1:55pm US Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on June 24, 2010. Just five minutes later, the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) classified Celia as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 215 kilometres per hour (135 miles per hour).

See the full-size image here (4MB, new window).

Celia continued to strengthen after this image was acquired. At 8:00pm PDT on June 24, 2010, the National Hurricane Centre reported that Celia had strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane. By 8:00am the following morning, Celia had weakened to a Category 4 storm, but it still had maximum sustained winds of 240 kilometres (150 miles) per hour, said the National Hurricane Centre.

On the morning of June 25, Celia was roughly 1,330 kilometres (825 miles) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. The National Hurricane Centre anticipated that Celia would continue to weaken as it tracked north and west across the Pacific Ocean. The storm was not forecast to come ashore over land.

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Text adapted from information issued by Michon Scott and Holli Riebeek.