2017 North Atlantic Hurricane Season Simulation Compared With Observations

  • Released Monday, November 13, 2017
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This visualization compares simulated (left) and actual (right) infrared temperatures during the 2017 North Atlantic hurricane season. The simulation on the left was created using simulated infrared brightness temperature data at 6-kilometer resolution using NASA’s Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) model. The observations on the right, from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), are globally-merged, infrared temperature data, merged from all available geostationary satellites (GOES-8/10, METEOSAT-⅞, and GMS).

On September 5, Irma strengthened into a strong and “potentially catastrophic” category 5 hurricane. On September 7, 2017, hurricanes Katia (left, Category 1), Irma (center, Category 5), and Jose (right, Category 3) lined up across the Atlantic basin. The Atlantic hasn’t had three hurricanes at once since 2010 when hurricanes Igor, Julia, and Karl marched across the tropics—storms that also begin with letters I, J, and K. Later in the month, hurricane Maria reached Category 5 strength on September 18, just before making landfall on Dominica. On September 20, an eyewall replacement cycle took place, weakening Maria to a high-end Category 4 hurricane by the time it struck Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica and Puerto Rico.

High-resolution global models like GEOS allow scientists a window into the future of weather forecasting by helping them understand how computing advances will improve the quality of simulations.


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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This page was originally published on Monday, November 13, 2017.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 12:39 AM EST.