Intense String of Hurricanes Seen From Space

  • Released Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:47PM

In 2017, we have seen four Atlantic storms rapidly intensify with three of those storms - Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria - making landfall.

When hurricanes intensify a large amount in a short period, scientists call this process rapid intensification. This is the hardest aspect of a storm to forecast and it can be most critical to people’s lives.

While any hurricane can threaten lives and cause damage with storm surges, floods, and extreme winds, a rapidly intensifying hurricane can greatly increase these risks while giving populations limited time to prepare and evacuate.

Rapid intensification is the hardest aspect of a storm to forecast and it can be most critical to people's lives. This GIF is optimized for posting on Twitter.

Rapid intensification is the hardest aspect of a storm to forecast and it can be most critical to people's lives. This GIF is optimized for posting on Twitter.

Rapidly intensifying storms typically occur up to twice in a hurricane season. But in 2017, we have seen four storms rapidly intensify and scientists attribute this to warmer ocean waters and favorable winds. This GIF is optimized for posting on Twitter.

Rapidly intensifying storms typically occur up to twice in a hurricane season. But in 2017, we have seen four storms rapidly intensify and scientists attribute this to warmer ocean waters and favorable winds. This GIF is optimized for posting on Twitter.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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