27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta

Many records were broken during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season including the most hurricanes ever, the most category 5 hurricanes, and the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic as measured by atmospheric pressure. This visualization shows all 27 named storms that formed in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and examines some of the conditions that made hurricane formation so favorable.

The animation begins by showing the regions of warm water that are favorable for storm development advancing northward through the peak of hurricane season and then receding as the waters cool. The thermal energy in these warm waters powers the hurricanes. Strong shearing winds in the troposphere can disrupt developing young storms, but measurements indicate that there was very little shearing wind activity in 2005 to impede storm formation.

Sea surface temperatures, clouds, storm tracks, and hurricane category labels are shown as the hurricane season progresses.

This visualization shows some of the actual data that NASA and NOAA satellites measured in 2005 — data used to predict the paths and intensities of hurricanes. Satellite data play a vital role in helping us understand the land, ocean, and atmosphere systems that have such dramatic effects on our lives.

NOTE: This animation shows the named storms from the 2005 hurricane season. During a re-analysis of 2005, NOAA's Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center determined that a short-lived subtropcial storm developed near the Azores Islands in late September, increasing the 2005 tropical storm count from 27 to 28. This storm was not named and is not shown in this animation.

'27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta' played in the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival in August 2007. It was also a finalist in the 2006 NSF Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

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Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Alex Kekesi (GST): Animator
Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Stuart A. Snodgrass (GST): Animator
Marte Newcombe (GST): Animator
Randall Jones (GST): Animator
Jeff de La Beaujardiere (NASA): Animator
Eric Sokolowsky (GST): Animator
Cindy Starr (GST): Animator
James W. Williams (GST): Animator
Jesse Allen (Raytheon): Animator
Tom Bridgman (GST): Animator
Michael Starobin (HTSI): Narrator
Jeff Halverson (JCET UMBC): Scientist
Kevin Mahoney (CSC): Project Support
Joycelyn Thomson Jones (NASA/GSFC): Project Support
Michael Starobin (HTSI): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio Additional credits: Sea surface temperature Data by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Earth Science REASoN DISCOVER Project and the AMSRE-E Science Team. NCEP Cloud composite courtesy of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. Storm tracks and strenghts courtesy of NOAA's National Weather Service. Blue Marble MODIS data composite courtesy of the MODIS Science Team NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the NASA Earth Observatory. Music created and produced by UniqueTracks. Fantasy (theme from Norma) - Vincenzo Bellini.

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Data Used:
TOPEX/Poseidon/Sea Surface Height Anomaly 2005/06/01 through 2006/01/07
Hurricane/Tropical Data 2005/06/01 through 2006/01/07
GOES/IR4 2005/06/01 through 2006/01/07
Aqua/AMSR-E/Sea Surface Temperature 2005/06/01 through 2006/01/07

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GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version