NASA satellite sees Hurricane Gaston headed toward the Azores

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 09:56 in Earth & Climate

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At 10 a.m. EDT (1400 UTC) on Aug. 31 NASA's Terra Aqua satellite saw that Gaston continued to maintain an eye about 15 nautical miles wide that was surrounded by powerful thunderstorms.
Credits: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hurricane Gaston and provided a visible look at powerful Hurricane Gaston as it headed toward the Azores Islands in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. The satellite provided an image that showed Gaston still maintained its eye. At 10 a.m. EDT (1400 UTC) on Aug. 31 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Gaston. At the time of the image NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecaster Blake noted "The satellite appearance of Gaston has degraded somewhat during the past few hours, with a slightly cooler eye noted."

On Sept 1, the NHC posted a Tropical Storm Warning for Flores and Corvo in the western Azores. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Faial, Pico, Graciosa, Sao Jorge, and Terceira in the central Azores.

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Gaston was located near 37.2 degrees north latitude and 41.9 degrees west longitude. That puts the eye of the storm around 725 miles (1,170 km) west of Faial Island in the Central Azores, and about 810 miles (1,310 km) west of Lajes Air Base, Azores.

The NHC said that Gaston is moving toward the east-northeast near 26 mph (43 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue during the next day or two. On the forecast track, the center of Gaston will move near the western Azores on Friday and the central Azores by Friday night. The estimated minimum central pressure is 981 millibars.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 mph (140 kph) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Gaston is expected to become a tropical storm by early Friday as it moves through cooler waters before it reaches the western Azores.

Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


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