A NASA climate model re-created an extraordinary season of storms.
A NASA climate model re-created an extraordinary season of storms.
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season smashed records with 28 named storms, four Category 5 hurricanes (including Wilma, the all-time strongest), and the costliest U.S. natural disaster (Katrina). A NASA Goddard climate model called GEOS-5 revisited the season as part of a gigantic two-year simulation to better understand the processes of weather and climate. Seeded with observed sea surface temperatures—a key driver of hurricane formation—the model simulated weather events worldwide. One of the highest resolutions to date for a full-Earth model was used to run the simulation, taxing Goddard's Discover supercomputer for weeks. In total, the model spawned 23 Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms during 2005—an impressive comparison to the actual number observed—and demonstrated an increased ability to model how these volatile cyclones change intensity as they evolve. The visualization shows simulated storms for September 2005 emerging and churning across the North Atlantic.

Other multimedia items related to this story:
27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta (id 3354)
GEOS-5 Nature Run (id 3887)

Tag:

Short URL to This Page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11016
Animation Number:
11016
Released:
2012-07-31
Completed:
2012-07-30
Animators:
 
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
Scientist:
William Putman (NASA/GSFC)
Writer:
Data Set:
GEOS-5 Atmospheric Model on the Cubed-Sphere (05/01/2005 04/30/2007)
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS)
Hurricane photo from ISS courtesy of NASA Johnson Space Center


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Numbers shown along the storm tracks indicate the hurricane category rating on a scale of 1-5 based on intensity, with 5 being the strongest.
Numbers shown along the storm tracks indicate the hurricane category rating on a scale of 1-5 based on intensity, with 5 being the strongest.
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High resolution allows the model to produce major hurricanes, Category 3 and above. Storm-D reached Category 4 status just before making landfall.
High resolution allows the model to produce major hurricanes, Category 3 and above. Storm-D reached Category 4 status just before making landfall.
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Like their real-world counterparts, simulated storms span the Atlantic—from Africa's Cape Verde to the Gulf of Mexico.
Like their real-world counterparts, simulated storms span the Atlantic—from Africa's Cape Verde to the Gulf of Mexico.
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Of the 23 simulated storms, 16 were hurricanes (vs. 15 observed) and six were major hurricanes (vs. seven observed).
Of the 23 simulated storms, 16 were hurricanes (vs. 15 observed) and six were major hurricanes (vs. seven observed).
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Satellite observations show the actual tracks of all 27 storms observed in 2005. Later analysis revealed a 28th.
Satellite observations show the actual tracks of all 27 storms observed in 2005. Later analysis revealed a 28th.
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Hurricane Rita makes its way toward the Texas coast in Sep. 2005, as seen from the International Space Station.
Hurricane Rita makes its way toward the Texas coast in Sep. 2005, as seen from the International Space Station.
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