Hurricane Florence as Viewed by NASA's MISR Instrument
NASA's Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) passed over Hurricane Florence as it approached the eastern coast of the United States on Thursday, September 13, 2018. At the time the image was acquired, Florence was a large Category 2 storm and coastal areas were already being hit with tropical-storm-force winds.
The MISR instrument, flying onboard NASA's Terra satellite, carries nine cameras that observe Earth at different angles. It takes about seven minutes for all the cameras to observe the same location. The motion of the clouds during that time is used to compute wind speed at the cloud tops. These images show Florence as viewed by the central, downward-looking camera (left) and the storm's wind speeds (right). In the right image, the length of the arrows is proportional to wind speed and their colors show the altitude of the cloud tops in kilometers. The data show that the cloud top winds near the center of the storm were approximately 70 mph (113 kph), and the maximum cloud-top wind speed throughout the storm was 90 mph (145 kph). The wind data also shows that the lowest clouds are moving counter-clockwise, indicating inflow into the southern part of the hurricane, while the high clouds to the north of the hurricane show a clockwise outflow.
These data were captured during Terra orbit 99670. MISR data are available through the NASA Langley Research Center; for more information, go to https://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/project/misr/misr_table. MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. The Terra spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The MISR data were obtained from the NASA Langley Research Center Atmospheric Science Data Center in Hampton, Virginia. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena.