Earth  ID: 11009

Dissecting Isabel

After weakening from a Category 5 storm over the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Isabel made landfall on September 18, 2003, at North Carolina's Outer Banks with Category 2 status, then skirted up the U.S. coast as a tropical storm. Researchers tracked the storm from the ground, air and space, but observations can't reveal all of a storm's inner workings. So models are used to explore the physical processes associated with storm formation, structure and intensification. Calculations are performed within a virtual cube of the atmosphere, creating a 3D version of the storm. Details revealed could help forecasters more accurately predict the path and intensity of hurricanes. This NASA visualization merges global and regional data into a high-resolution weather model to recreate Hurricane Isabel. Watch the simulated features of the storm, from spinning winds and spiral cloud bands, to a realistic eye-like center.

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Story Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC)

Video Editor:
Kayvon Sharghi (USRA)

Michael Starobin (HTSI)

Lead Scientist:
Tsendgar J. Lee (NASA/HQ)

Lead Writer:
Kathryn Hansen (Wyle Information Systems)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
ISS image courtesy of Johnson Space Center

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