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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

As Irma Approaches

As Irma Approaches

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, September 6, 2017/Categories: natural history, photography, video, sustainability, environment, climate change

                           Hurricane Irma Eye-wall, 9-5-17 (credit: NASA/NOAA GEOS-16 satellite)

Hurricane Irma is now the second super-storm to approach the US within 10 days. NASA's polar-orbiting Suomi mission and the new NOAA's GEOS-16 geo-stationary satellite have been capturing dynamic imagery of the monster hurricane. Both Earth orbiting monitors have measured moisture saturation of the new hurricane as well as wind speeds and other environmental data as it moves towards the Caribbean islands, Cuba, and Florida. Irma is generating consistently intense wind speeds of 185mph with gusts above 220mph. The storm's "eye" is 30 miles wide and the size of the entire cyclone would cover the state of Texas.


                 Infrared Image for Hurricane Irma, 9-4-2017 (credit: NASA/ NOAA Suomi NPP)

According to NOAA, infrared sensors on the Suomi orbiter peered down on Irma when it was a Category 3 storm. The data revealed very cold, very high, powerful thunderstorms on hurricane's western edge. Temperatures were near -117.7F as measured in cloud tops. Clouds that cold have the capability to generate very heavy rainfall, similar to what Hurricane Harvey produced over south Texas just recently.

Irma is now considering the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean and the GEOS-16 satellite monitor has observed another storm that is developing behind Irma in the Atlantic. According to the National Hurricane Center, a division of NOAA, tropical storm Jose is now approaching Irma's strenght of Irma and tracking a similar path, so far. 

     Hurricane Jose Follows Irma, 9-5-2017 (credit: NOAA and GEOS-16 satellite)

As this Journal has previously noted, predictive climate models all suggest that the magnitude of weather events will be amplified by climate change. Three super-storms in less than three weeks should generate strong discussions themselves on how best to deal with climate change now that it is barrelling down upon us.



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