Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere            Ackerman and Knox

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Hurricane Mitch

Satellite view

This fli animation of Hurricane Mitch from GOES-8 Infrared imager runs from October 23, 1998 to October 30, 1998. (The animation is 33 MB). Most time lapses between images is one hour. There are a few missing images (for example between 28 Oct 0515 UTC and 28 Oct 1315 UTC) and you'll notice this by a sudden shift in the location of the cloud fields. In addition, the geographic region changes as the hurricane moves.

Notice the formation of the eye, the fierce eye-wall ring of thunderstorms, and what happens to the eye at landfall.  When Mitch moved inland over Central America, its flooding rains there caused one of the worst disasters in Western Hemisphere history, killing tens of thousands of people.

Radar view

 This fli animation is radar view of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico between July 17 and July 20 1997. Radars detect large particles, such as rain, and therefore indicates precipitation patterns. Red regions indicate large precipitation, blue colors lower values. Notice the formation of the eye, the eye-wall ring of thunderstorms, and the convective bands. What happens to the eye at landfall and why?

small fli loop - 4 megabytes.

large fli loop - 19 megabytes.