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NASA's MISR Spies Hurricane Lane Approaching Hawaii
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NASA's MISR Spies Hurricane Lane Approaching Hawaii
08/25/2018

On Friday, August 24, 2018, NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) observed Hurricane Lane as it veered close to the Hawaiian Islands. Strong hurricanes rarely approach Hawaii this closely, but Hurricane Lane was a Category 5 storm, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale with wind speeds in excess of 157 miles per hour (252 kilometers per hour), as recently as August 22, when it was within 320 miles (515 kilometers) of Hawaii. At 11:13 am local time Friday when MISR passed over the Pacific Ocean, Lane had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 104 miles per hour (167 kilometers per hour). The storm was centered 152 miles (245 kilometers) south of Honolulu. Residents dealt with wind, heavy rain, and even fast-moving brush fires on the island of Maui, where many residents had to quickly evacuate.

The MISR instrument, flying onboard NASA’s Terra satellite, carries nine cameras that observe the Earth at different angles. This image shows the storm as viewed by the central, downward-looking camera.

The MISR data show that at the cloud tops, winds near the center of the storm were approximately 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour), and the cloud tops reached heights of about 8.7 miles (14 kilometers), which is about 2 miles (3 kilometers) higher than the typical cruising altitude of a passenger aircraft. National Weather Service stations in West Maui and Honolulu International Airport recorded ground wind speeds of 17 and 25 miles per hour (25 and 40 kilometers per hour) at the time. A rain gauge on Hawaii had already recorded 30 inches of rain from the storm.

These data were captured during Terra orbit 99382. 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.

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Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech, MISR Team

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