Tracking Hurricane Dorian from space with NOAA satellites
GOES East can show Dorian in real time
With a fleet of specialized satellites, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can track Hurricane Dorian in real time with high-definition images. As of Wednesday, Dorian is on a track that puts Florida in its path and will make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near Cape Canaveral.
NOAA's satellite GOES East, which launched from Cape Canaveral in 2016, tracks Dorian with images showing the system with infrared and real color images, as well as the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere.
GOES East stands for geostationary operational environmental satellite. The satellite is currently keeping an eye on the eastern hemisphere, hence the name GOES East. A sister satellite, GOES West, is tracking conditions in the western hemisphere.
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The infrared map from GOES East shows heat radiating off clouds. Orange can mean a more active weather system, according to NOAA.
The advanced satellite imagery can help meteorologists make better, more detailed forecasts of a system, like Dorian, as it unfolds.
Earlier this afternoon #Dorian strengthened to a Cat. 1 #hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. NOAA's #GOESEast spotted the storm moving toward the #VirginIslands, where hurricane warnings are now in effect. Follow the storm's path here: https://t.co/55iomirKdi pic.twitter.com/8abVjNKTNp— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 28, 2019
GOES East also includes the first lightning mapper in stationary orbit with Earth. The instrument allows forecasters to track lighting instantaneously, according to NOAA.
Images downlinked from GOES East can be viewed in real-time on a 3D global map at Nesdis.noaa.gov. The interactive map updates every 15 minutes.
Speaking of lightning, NOAA's joint polar satellite system captured then Tropical Storm Dorian as it moved through the eastern Caribbean Tuesday morning, "showing the structure of the storm and lightning between Barbados and St. Lucia," according to NOAA.
As Tropical Storm #Dorian moved through the Eastern Caribbean early this morning, #NOAA20's Day-Night Band captured this image showing the structure of the storm & lightning between Barbados and St. Lucia. @NHC_Atlantic forecasts slow strengthening in the next 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/n1uVoAWJiG— Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) (@JPSSProgram) August 27, 2019
The latest image of Hurricane Dorian from GOES East shows the system moving closer to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the satellite captured Dorian and a large plume of Saharan dust blowing across the Atlantic Ocean.
Dorian is expected to strengthen in the next 24 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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