NASA Satellite Shows a Mean Irene's Fury
Aug. 27, 2011
Infrared image of Hurricane Irene from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft, taken at 2:47 a.m. EDT on Aug. 28, a few hours before the storm's second landfall in New Jersey. The AIRS data create an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, data that are useful to forecasters. The image shows the temperature of Irene's cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The coldest cloud top temperatures appear in purple, indicating towering cold clouds and heavy precipitation. The infrared signal of AIRS does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds, AIRS reads the infrared signal from the surface of the ocean waters, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.
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