Michael (Gulf of Mexico) 2018

Oct. 10, 2018 #2 – Hurricane Michael a Major Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico

NOAA-GOES East animated gif of Michael

On Oct. 9, 2018 the 5 p.m. EDT update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida had upgraded Hurricane Michael to a Major Hurricane at Category 3 status. At that time, Michael had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and NOAA’s GOES-East satellite provided a visible look at the hurricane. Michael has since strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: NOAA/ NASA MSFC, SPoRT

Oct. 10, 2018 #1 – Michael Heads for Florida (from the Earth Observatory)

In September, North Carolina took a direct hit from a hurricane. Now it is Florida’s turn.

Sea surface temperatures in Michael

What began as a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean Sea on October 2, 2018, went on to graze the Yucatan Peninsula and then strengthen into Hurricane Michael. The storm continued on its way through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

National Hurricane Center forecasters expect the storm to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend region around midday on October 10. This area has faced relatively few hurricanes in the past, at least for the U.S. state that sees more landfalling hurricanes than any other.

“Only eight major hurricanes on record have passed within or near the projected landfall of Michael, and only three of those (Eloise 1975, Opal 1995, and Dennis 2005) were in the past 100 years,” noted Marangelly Fuentes, a NASA atmospheric scientist who has been tracking the storm with models maintained by NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). “Michael’s projected intensity at landfall is currently category 3, which is worrisome because many people living in the Panhandle have little or no experience with storms this intense.”

As Michael approaches land, two key factors will help govern the intensity of the storm: ocean temperatures and wind shear, the difference in wind speeds at upper and lower parts of a storm. Warm ocean water and low wind shear are required to sustain or intensify a hurricane’s strength.

Michael managed to strengthen despite facing significant westerly shear in the Caribbean Sea on October 9, something the National Hurricane Center called “most unusual.” It then passed into an area of low shear and warm ocean water on October 10, where it continued to intensify.

The map above shows sea surface temperatures on October 8-9, 2018. Meteorologists generally agree that sea surface temperatures (SSTs) should be above 27.8°C (82°F) to sustain and intensify hurricanes (although there are some exceptions). The data for the map were compiled by Coral Reef Watch, which blends observations from the Suomi NPP, MTSAT, Meteosat, and GOES satellites and computer models. Information about the storm track and winds come from the National Hurricane Center.

However, forecasters do expect the storm to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge. On October 7, the governor of Florida declared a state of emergency and urged people in the path of the storm to evacuate.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of Hurricane Michael on the afternoon of October 8, 2018.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens and Lauren Dauphin, and sea surface temperature data from Coral Reef Watch, storm track information from Weather Underground and MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. Story by Adam Voiland.

Nadine (East Atlantic Ocean)

Oct. 09, 2018 – NASA Sees the Development of Eastern Atlantic Tropical Storm Nadine

As Hurricane Michael barrels toward the U.S. states along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, and Tropical Storm Leslie lingers in the Central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Nadine has formed off the west coast of Africa in the far eastern Atlantic. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of the new named storm.

Suomi NPP image of Nadine
On Oct. 9, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi satellite provided a visible look at newly formed Tropical Storm Nadine, located off of Africa’s west coast. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) / NOAA

On Oct. 9, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi satellite provided a visible look at Tropical Storm Nadine. The bulk of storms were east to south of center and wrapping into the low-level center.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center noted st 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Oct. 9 the center of Tropical Storm Nadine was located near latitude 10.5 North, longitude 30.0 West. That’s about 480 miles (770 km) southwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. Nadine is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 kph), and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. A motion toward the northwest at a similar forward speed is forecast on Wednesday, Oct. 10 through Friday, Oct. 12. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts.

The National Hurricane Center noted that additional strengthening is forecast through Wednesday, with weakening expected to begin by early Thursday. Nadine is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression on Friday.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Luban (Northern Indian Ocean) 2018

Oct. 09, 2018 – A NASA Infrared View at Arabian Sea’s Tropical Cyclone Luban

NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Cyclone Luban with infrared light to determine if the storm was intensifying or weakening. Luban formed on Oct. 8 in the Arabian Sea, Northern Indian Ocean and threatens Oman.

AIRS image of Luban
NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared picture of Tropical Cyclone Luban’s cloud top temperatures from Oct. 9 at 5:35 a.m. EDT (0935 UTC). Strongest storms circled the center (purple) and appeared in thick bands of thunderstorms northeast and southwest of the center. Credit: NASA JPL, Heidar Thrastarson

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Luban on Oct. 9 at 5:35 a.m. EDT (0935 UTC).  AIRS uses infrared light and infrared light provides scientists with temperature data and that’s important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger they are. So infrared light as that gathered by the AIRS instrument can identify the strongest areas of a tropical cyclone.

At the time Aqua passed overhead, coldest cloud top temperatures in thunderstorms appeared around the center and in thick bands of thunderstorms northeast and southwest of the center. Those temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that satellite data also shows a slowly consolidating system with weak, fragmented, but very expansive rain bands feeding into an obscured center.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Luban was located near latitude 13.2 degrees north and longitude 60.1 degrees east. That’s 416 nautical miles east-southeast of Salalah, Oman. Luban is moving toward the west-northwest. Maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph). Luban is forecast to intensify to 65 knots (74 mph) and make hurricane strength as it moves west-northwest and later west.

The storm will weaken before approaching the coasts of Oman and Yemen on Friday, Oct. 12.

More information about AIRS can be found at airs.jpl.nasa.gov.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Sergio (Eastern Pacific Ocean) 2018

Oct. 09, 2018 – NASA Checks Out Hurricane Sergio’s Cloud Temperature

NASA’s Aqua satellite peered into Hurricane Sergio with infrared light to determine if the storm was intensifying or weakening. Infrared data showed cloud top temperatures were getting warmer on the western half of the storm, indicating the uplift of air in storms had weakened.

AIRS image of Sergio
NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared picture of Hurricane Sergio’s cloud top temperatures from Oct. 9 at 6:17 a.m. EDT (1017 UTC). Strongest storms circled the eye (purple) and appeared in fragmented bands of thunderstorms north and south of the center. Credit: NASA JPL, Heidar Thrastarson

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Sergio on Oct. 9 at 6:17 a.m. EDT (1017 UTC). AIRS uses infrared light and infrared light provides scientists with temperature data and that’s important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger they are. So infrared light as that gathered by the AIRS instrument can identify the strongest areas of a tropical cyclone.

At the time Aqua passed overhead, coldest cloud top temperatures in thunderstorms circled the eye and appeared in fragmented bands of thunderstorms north and south of the center. Those temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). The exception was on the western side of the storm, where cloud top temperatures were warming, meaning they were not getting as high in the atmosphere.

Despite the slow weakening the hurricane still has a large but well-defined inner-core in the low and mid-levels.

 The National Hurricane Center noted at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Sergio was located near latitude 16.6 degrees north and longitude 127.4 degrees west. That’s 1,215 miles (1,960 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

Sergio is moving toward the northeast near 7 mph (11 kph). A faster northeastward motion is expected for the next several days. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 80 mph (130 kph) with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening is anticipated during the next several days.

NHC noted that there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, but interests in Baja California Sur should monitor the progress of Sergio.

More information about AIRS can be found at airs.jpl.nasa.gov

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Leslie (Atlantic Ocean) 2018

Oct. 09, 2018 – NASA Gets Tropical Storm Leslie by the Tail

What appears to be a long tail in satellite imagery of Tropical Storm Leslie is in fact clouds associated with a nearby elongated area of low pressure, or a trough.

NPP image of Leslie
On Oct. 8, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi satellite provided a visible look at Tropical Storm Leslie that showed a developing eye and clouds associated with an elongated area of low pressure that extends over the United Kingdom. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

On Oct. 8, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi satellite provided a visible look at Tropical Storm Leslie that showed a developing eye and a long stretch of clouds associated with an elongated area of low pressure that extends over the United Kingdom.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center noted “Although the winds have not yet increased, the surface center of the tropical storm has become more embedded within its cold cloud tops and several recent microwave overpasses indicate that the cyclone is beginning to establish an inner-core. Strengthening is therefore still expected, and Leslie is forecast to become a hurricane by tomorrow.”

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Oct. 9 the center of Tropical Storm Leslie was located near latitude 31.3 degrees north and longitude 43.5 degrees west. That’s 1,045 miles (1,680 km) west-southwest of the Azores Islands. Leslie is moving toward the south-southeast near 13 mph (20 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next day or so. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is anticipated, and Leslie is forecast to become a hurricane again on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center cites different forecast modeling possibilities for Leslie. It could merge with a trough or elongated area of low pressure or Leslie could remain a tropical cyclone almost indefinitely if it continues meandering over the northern Atlantic.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Michael (Caribbean Sea) 2018

Oct. 09, 2018 – NASA’s Aqua Satellite Sees Hurricane Michael Strengthening

Hurricane Michael continued strengthening while moving north-northwestward over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico as NASA’s Aqua satellite provided infrared and visible imagery of the storm.

Worldview image of Michael
On Oct. 8, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Michael when it was a Category 1 hurricane near the western tip of Cuba. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center or NHC noted on Oct. 9 that life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall can be expected along the northeastern gulf coast as Michael continues to move toward landfall.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for. Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay, the Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border. In addition, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border and for Suwanee River, Florida to Chassahowitzka, Florida. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay, the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Mouth of the Pearl River and from Fernandina Beach, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina.

Peering at Michael in Infrared Light

AIRS image of Michael
NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Michael on Oct. 8 at 2:47 p.m. EDT (1847 UTC). AIRS detected strongest storms around the center and in a thick band of storms feeding into the center from the eastern quadrant. In those areas cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall. Image Credit: NASA JPL, Heidar Thrastarson

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Michael on Oct. 8 at 2:47 p.m. EDT (1847 UTC) just after it strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane and analyzed the storm in infrared light. Infrared light provides scientists with temperature data and that’s important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger they are. So infrared light as that gathered by the AIRS instrument can identify the strongest sides of a tropical cyclone. AIRS detected strongest storms around the center and in a thick band of storms feeding into the center from the eastern quadrant. In those areas cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius).  Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

A Visible Image of Michael

On Oct. 8, the MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that also flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Michael when it was a Category 1 hurricane near the western tip of Cuba. The eye appeared covered by clouds, as powerful thunderstorms circled the center. The large feeder band of thunderstorms seen by the AIRS instrument the previous day was still wrapping into the center from the eastern side of the storm and sweeping over western Cuba.

Aqua animated GIF of Michael
This animation of imagery from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the development and movement of Hurricane Michael from Oct. 6 to 8. The animation ends when Michael was a Category 1 hurricane near the western tip of Cuba. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Status of Michael on Oct. 9

The NHC reported at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on Oct. 9, the eye of Hurricane Michael was located near latitude 24.5 degrees north and longitude 86.1 degrees west. That’s about 365 miles (590 km) south of Apalachicola, Florida.

NHC said “Michael is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph). A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected through tonight, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.

Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 kph) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected, and Michael is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida. Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km). NOAA buoy 42003 recently reported 1-minute mean winds of 47 mph (76 kph) and a wind gust of 54 mph (87 kph). The latest minimum central pressure reported by the NOAA aircraft is 968 millibars.”

NHC forecasters said “On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight. The center of Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 11.”

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Michael (Caribbean Sea) 2018

Oct. 09, 2018 – NASA Investigated Rainfall in Hurricane Michael As it Was Developing

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed rainfall and structure of an intensifying low pressure area in the western Caribbean Sea on Oct. 5. That system strengthened into what has become Category 2 Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9.

IMERG data on Michael
The analysis showed IMERG rainfall accumulation estimates during the period from October 1 to 5, 2018 when rainfall was getting more concentrated over the western Caribbean. IMERG indicated that rainfall accumulation totals of over 12.6 inches (320 mm) fell in the Caribbean Sea east of Honduras during this period. Credit: NASA JAXA, Hal Pierce

On Friday, Oct. 5, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicated that the low pressure center in the western Caribbean Sea may become a tropical cyclone in the next five days. The NHC said, “Some slow development of this system is possible this weekend or early next week as the system drifts northwestward across the northwestern Caribbean and the southern Gulf of Mexico.”

Data from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s GPM core satellite was combined with data from other satellites to provide a rainfall accumulation analysis using NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals data (IMERG) program. IMERG data are used to calculate estimates of precipitation from a combination of space-borne passive microwave sensors, including the GMI microwave sensor on the GPM satellite, and geostationary IR (infrared) data. The analysis showed IMERG rainfall accumulation estimates during the period from October 1 to 5, 2018 when rainfall was getting more concentrated over the western Caribbean. IMERG indicated that rainfall accumulation totals of over 12.6 inches (320 mm ) fell in the Caribbean Sea east of Honduras during this period.


The animation shows the NASA IMERG rainfall accumulation estimates during the period from October 1 to 5, 2018 when rainfall was getting more concentrated over the western Caribbean. IMERG indicated that rainfall accumulation totals of over 12.6 inches (320 mm) fell in the Caribbean Sea east of Honduras during this period. Credit: NASA JAXA, Hal Pierce

The system developed into a depression on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 4 a.m. CDT. By 11:55 a.m. EDT, the depression strengthened into a tropical storm and was named Michael. On Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. EDT, Michael became a hurricane.

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 kph) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected, and Michael is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida. At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Michael was located near latitude 24.5 degrees north and longitude 86.1 degrees west. Michael is moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).  Watches and warnings are in effect in Mississippi, Alabama and northwestern and western Florida.

For updated forecasts, visit:  www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro / Hal Pierce
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Walaka (Central Pacific Ocean) 2018

Oct. 05, 2018 -NASA Finds Walaka Weakened, Now a Tropical Storm

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Central Pacific Ocean and obtained infrared data on Walaka, now weakened to a tropical storm with limited thunderstorm development.

hurricane in blue with green data center
At 5:40 a.m. EDT (0940 UTC) on Oct. 5, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Walaka in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (yellow) in a small area near the center had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data at 5:40 a.m. EDT (0940 UTC) on Oct. 5, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed strongest storms with the coldest cloud top temperatures in a small area around Walaka’s center. MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Friday, Oct. 5, the center of Tropical Storm Walaka was located near latitude 30.6 degrees north and longitude 168.3 degrees west. Walaka is about 480 miles (770 km) north-northwest of the French Frigate Shoals. Walaka is moving toward the north-northwest near 6 mph (9 kph). A turn toward the north is expected tonight, followed by an acceleration toward the northeast Friday through Saturday. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 kph) with higher gusts.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center or CPHC said Walaka will be over cool sea surface temperatures through the remainder of its journey across the Pacific, with vertical wind shear expected to increase substantially Friday night and Saturday, Oct. 6. Steady weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Walaka is expected to become a post-tropical low by Saturday evening.

CPHC noted that ocean swells generated by Walaka will continue to affect portions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the main Hawaiian Islands tonight, Oct. 5.

For updated forecasts, visit:  http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc

Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Kong-rey (Northwestern Pacific Ocean) 2018

Oct. 05, 2018 -NASA Investigates Tropical Storm Kong-Rey’s Rainfall Rates

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kong-Rey and analyzed the rates in which rain was falling throughout the storm.

NASA/JAXA/NRL
The GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission core observatory satellite passed above Kong-Rey on Oct. 5. GPM indicated that rain was falling at over 1.8 inches (45.7 mm) per hour within two areas of storms northwest of Kong-Rey’s center. Credit: NASA/JAXA/NRL

At the time GPM passed overhead, GPM’s Microwave Imager (GMI) instruments collected data that revealed moderate convective rainfall northwest of Kong-Rey’s center. GPM indicated that rain was falling at over 1.8 inches (45.7 mm) per hour within two areas of storms northwest of Kong-Rey’s center.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Friday, Oct. 5, the center of Tropical Storm Kong-Rey was located near 29.6 degrees north latitude and 125.9 degrees west longitude. Kong-Rey is about 211 nautical miles north-northwest of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Island, Japan. Maximum sustained winds are near 63 mph (55 knots/102 kph) with higher gusts.

Kong-Rey is moving toward the north. A turn toward the northeast is expected to take the storm into the Sea of Japan. The storm is now weakening, and will become extra-tropical over northern Japan.

Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sergio (Eastern Pacific Ocean) 2018

Oct. 05, 2018 – NOAA’s GOES-West Night-time View of Hurricane Sergio

Hurricane Sergio continued to look impressive on satellite imagery when NOAA’s GOES-West satellite viewed the storm in infrared light.

hurricane in blue with data bar
NOAA’s GOES-West satellite provided a night-time view of powerful Hurricane Sergio on Oct. 5 at 6:01 a.m. PDT (9:01 a.m. EDT/1301 UTC) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Sergio had a clear eye with powerful thunderstorms circling the center.  Credit: NOAA/NRL

NOAA’s GOES-West satellite sits at a fixed position in orbit and covers the western U.S. and the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean. GOES satellites circle the Earth in a geosynchronous orbit, which means they orbit the equatorial plane of the Earth at a speed matching the Earth’s rotation. This allows them to hover continuously over one position on the surface. NOAA’s GOES-West satellite provided a night-time view of powerful Hurricane Sergio on Oct. 5 at 6:01 a.m. PDT (9:01 a.m. EDT/1301 UTC) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The imagery showed that Sergio had a clear eye with powerful thunderstorms circling the center.

At 2 a.m. PDT (5 a.m. EDT/0900 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Sergio was located near latitude 16.0 degrees north and longitude 121.2 degrees west.  Sergio is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph). A turn toward the west and west-southwest at a similar speed is expected during the next 24 hours.  Sergio should then turn back to the west and northwest over the weekend. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 120 mph (195 kph) with higher gusts. Sergio is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Additional gradual weakening is forecast during the next several days, but Sergio is expected to remain a hurricane through the middle of next week.

NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites and the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is responsible for building and launching the GOES satellites.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center