Hurricane Sandy Gaining Power As It Moves Landward

NASA satellites have been monitoring Hurricane Sandy for a a few days now, and as time goes on the storm just seems to get bigger, as seen in the image below.

Hurricane Sandy Growing in Power
NASA’s MODIS instrument aboard the Terra satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy over the Bahamas on Oct. 25 at 1530 UTC (11:30 a.m. EDT). Sandy stretched from South Florida to the Bahamas, eastern Cuba, Hispaniola, and western Puerto Rico.

Early on October 25, NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Sandy, allowing the AIRS instrument on board to capture an infrared image of the storm that showed a large area of very high, cold cloud tops indicating the power within the storm.

By 11 a.m. EDT on Oct. 25, the eye was no longer apparent in satellite imagery or from aircraft observations. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center noted that Sandy “has become somewhat disrupted on the western side by southwesterly flow from an upper-level low to the west.”

The AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared imagery of Hurricane Sandy’s eastern half on Oct. 25 at 0559 UTC (1:59 a.m. EDT) that showed some strong thunderstorms (purple) around the eye of Sandy. Those thunderstorms are reaching high into the troposphere where cloud top temperatures are as cold as -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius). The yellow areas indicate the edges of the clouds associated with Sandy. Cloud cover extends far to the west, outside of Aqua’s track.

Since that time, NASA’s Terra satellite hove into view of the storm and found that it had grown since those early morning estimates, increasing in size by approximately 120 miles in diameter.

Strong thunderstorms are evident in the storm’s southern arm, which were positioned over the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and eastern Puerto Rico at the time of the capture. The centre of the storm was moving through the Bahamas, with the northwestern edge already spreading clouds over southern Florida.

At 2 p.m. EDT on Oct. 25, Sandy’s maximum sustained winds remain near 105 mph (165 kph). The storm is a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Sandy’s center was located near 23 degrees 30 minutes north latitude and 75 degrees 24 minutes west longitude, just 25 miles (40 km) east of Great Exuma Island, Bahamas.

The current forecast track from the National Hurricane Center brings Sandy in for a landfall in central New Jersey on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Regardless, it appears that Sandy may be a strong wind event for the U.S. mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

To keep up to date on NASA’s latest bulletins regarding Hurricane Sandy, watch NASA’s Sandy page here.

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