Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content

Featured Images

Text Size

Hurricane Season 2006: Gordon (Atlantic)
09.12.06
 
Gordon's Remnants Blow Through the British Isles After bringing heavy rains and high winds that resulted in widespread power outages to parts of Spain on Thurs., Sept. 21, the remnants of Hurricane Gordon continued moving eastward and impacted much of the British Isles on Fri., Sept. 22.

Although just a shadow of its former self, the storm hit Scotland and Northern Ireland particularly hard, with winds of up to 74 mph. Roads were blocked by fallen trees and more than 100,000 customers lost electricity in Northern Ireland alone. The worst affected areas were Mid Ulster, Craigavon and Newry, where power was not expected to be fully restored until Sun., Sept. 24.

The South West of England was also battered by winds reaching more than 80 mph, tearing some boats from their moorings. At Dawlish in south Devon, the main Penzance to London Waterloo railway line was hit when ballast under one of the two tracks — which run just feet from the coastline — was eroded by the sea.

Calmer, drier conditions with warmer-than-normal temperatures returned to the region late in the weekend. The tranquil weather may be short-lived; however, as forecasters warn that the remnants from hurricane Helene could bring more wind and heavy rain to much of Western Europe over the next few days. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy -- Goddard Space Flight Center/RSIS



Gordon Weakens and Merges with a Cold Front

After spending 10 days in the Atlantic as either a tropical storm or hurricane, Gordon transitioned into a strong low-pressure area and merged with a cold front in the eastern Atlantic late on Wed., Sept. 20.

Twelve Spanish regions were on alert late Wed., Sept. 20, as the storm's remnants impacted northwest Spain. Wind gusts of nearly 100 mph were reported in Galicia, according to officials with Spain’s National Weather Institute, causing power outages and widespread tree damage. School across many areas in northwest Spain remained closed on Thurs., Sept. 21. Forecasters expect the storm system to continue moving rapidly east-northeast and will bring heavy rains and gusty winds to the British Isles through Fri., Sept. 22.

As Gordon traveled across the Azores Islands late on Tues., Sept. 19, it was still a category 1 hurricane as it passed just south of Flores and Corvo, the two westernmost islands in the nine-island chain that are home to 240,000 people. Authorities in the area reported no significant damage or injuries. As of 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC) on Wed., Sept. 20, shortly before becoming extratropical, the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located near latitude 39.2 north, longitude 16.6 west, or about 380 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal. Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph and the storm was racing eastward near 35 mph. Tropical storm force winds extended up to 230 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure had risen to 997 millibars.

This map shows Gordon's expected track.
Click image to enlarge.


This map shows the projected track of Gordon, as forecast by the National Hurricane Center at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC) on Wed., Sept. 20. The orange circle indicates Gordon's position at that time. The black line and dots show the forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The letter inside the dot indicates the forecast intensity for that time. Credits: Image: NOAA/National Hurricane Center; Caption: Mike Bettwy Goddard Space Flight Center/RSIS



Tropical Storm Gordon Racing Toward Europe

Aqua captured this image of Hurricane Gordon as it raced towards Europe on Sept. 19, 2006.
Click image to enlarge


This photo-like image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite was captured at 11:50 a.m. EDT (1550 UTC) on Sept. 19. It shows that Gordon’s central “eye” was not a distinct vortex, but that clouds were still spiraling around the storm’s center as it approached the Azores Islands of Flores and Corvo. At this time, Gordon had sustained winds around 85 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Gordon had been downgraded from a hurricane and was approaching portions of Spain and Portugal on Wed., Sept. 20, as it moved rapidly away from the sparsely populated Azores Islands. As Gordon moved between the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria in the Azores late on Tue., Sept. 19, the eye didn't make landfall, although sustained winds over 55 mph were recorded on land. Forecasters expect Gordon to join another weather system before it nears the Iberian Peninsula on Thurs., Sept. 21, and should be similar to the strong winter storms normal in those areas of Europe. Authorities in islands off Portugal said they received no reports of major damage or injury and hurricane warnings were discontinued in the sparsely populated chain.

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Wed., Sept. 20, the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located near latitude 37.8 north, longitude 20.9 west, or about 345 miles east of Terceira in the Azores Islands. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph and the storm was racing eastward near 33 mph. This general motion was expected to continue over the next 12 hours, before turning to the northeast. Tropical storm force winds extended up to 230 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure had risen to 995 millibars. Credits: Caption -- Mike Bettwy; Image: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team



Gordon Maintains Hurricane Strength, Warnings Up in the Azores

Hurricane Gordon is expected to maintain category 1 strength as it races eastward over the next 24 hours. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the Azore Islands as hurricane-force winds, large and dangerous waves, and up to 6 inches of rainfall threaten the region later today and tonight. Gordon will likely weaken into a strong extratropical low pressure system by Thurs. Sept. 21 as it nears Spain with intense rains and high winds.

As of 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC) on Tues., Sept. 19, the center of Hurricane Gordon was located near latitude 37.8 north, longitude 34.0 west, or about 380 miles west of Terceira in the Azore Islands. Maximum sustained winds were near 85 mph and the storm was moving toward the east near 31 mph. This general motion was expected to continue over the next few days. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 40 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds up to 175 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure was 979 millibars.

This image, taken Sept. 16 at 12:55 p.m. EDT is from Aqua.  Hurricane Gordon is pictured on the top part of the image, and Hurricane Helene appears in the lower part.
Click image to enlarge


This image, taken Sept. 16 at 12:55 p.m. EDT (1655 UTC) is from the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Hurricane Gordon is pictured on the top part of the image, and Hurricane Helene appears in the lower part. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy -- Goddard Space Flight Center/RSIS Image Credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team



Hurricane Gordon Heads Toward Portugal's Azores Islands

Hurricane Gordon has maintained its Hurricane strength as he moves toward the northeast over the central Atlantic Ocean. It is expected to pass near the Azores as a tropical storm, by late Tues. Sept. 19. The Azores are a chain of nine Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about 932 miles (1,500 kilometers) from Lisbon, Portugal.

Where is Gordon?

At 5:00 a.m. EDT, Sept. 18 the center of Hurricane Gordon was located near latitude 36.5 north, longitude 49.6 west or about 1245 miles west of the Azores Islands. Gordon is moving toward the northeast near 20 mph and a turn toward the east-northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected over the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph with higher gusts. Gordon is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles. Estimated minimum central pressure is 983 millibars.

NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Rainfall in Gordon

TRMM sees Hurricane Gordon on September 17, 2006
Click image to enlarge
This image was created from data obtained by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite on Sept. 17 at 1:36 p.m. EDT (1736 UTC). This image shows the rain falling in Gordon, and some areas show as much as 40 millimeters per hour (approximately 1.6 inches/hour) depicted in red, around Gordon's open eye. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

The Forecast: Cooler Waters, Some Weakening

The National Hurricane Center's Forecast Discussion on Mon. Sept. 18 noted that Gordon will be moving into cooler waters. The report noted that Gordon should begin weakening shortly, but storm force winds are expected over the Azores. Image produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC).



Hurricane Gordon Losing Strength

The Aqua satellite captured this image of Hurricane Gordon on September 15, 2006.
Click image to enlarge


Hurricane Gordon, the seventh named storm and first major hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, is now rapidly weakening - a trend expected to continue through the weekend. Gordon will likely wane to a tropical storm by late Saturday as it travels over the cooler, open waters of the eastern Atlantic. The storm may impact parts of Europe as it transforms into a strong low-pressure system by the middle of next week.

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Fri., Sept. 15, the center of Hurricane Gordon was located near latitude 31.1 north, longitude 53.3 west, or about 680 miles east of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds were near 100 mph and the storm was moving toward the northeast near 7 mph. This general motion was expected to continue over the next few days. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 35 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds up to 105 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure had risen to 973 millibars.



Hurricane Gordon Strengthens into a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Gordon has grown into the Atlantic basin's first major hurricane of the 2006 season with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and a distinct eye, about 20 miles in diameter.

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Thurs., Sept. 14, the center of Hurricane Gordon was located near latitude 29.5 north, longitude 55.9 west, or about 560 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. Gordon was moving toward the north-northeast near 12 mph and this general motion, with a decrease in forward speed, was expected over the next 24 hours. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 30 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds up to 140 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure was 955 millibars.

Gordon is expected to remain a major category 3 hurricane over the next 12 hours before weakening as it travels over cooler ocean waters. By late this weekend the storm should have weakened to a tropical storm, while accelerating toward to the northeast. Gordon will stay over open waters and does not pose a threat to land.

Hurricane Gordon on September 12, 2006
Click image to enlarge


This image from NASA's CloudSat satellite on Sept. 12 at 12:24 p.m. EDT (1624 UTC) shows how Gordon looked from the side. At the time Gordon was an intensifying tropical storm with winds near 60 mph. The red and purple areas on the CloudSat image (bottom) indicate large amounts of cloud water. The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicate cloud ice, while the wavy blue lines on the bottom center of the image indicate intense rainfall. Credit: NASA/JPL/The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University/NOAA.



GOES Satellite Monitors Tropical Cyclones in the Atlantic

GOES image of Hurricane Gordon and Tropical Depression 8 on September 13, 2006


On Wed. Sept. 13, Hurricane Gordon continues to swirl through the Atlantic Ocean but poses no threat to land, while a tropical depression off Africa could become Tropical Storm Helene within a day.

Hurricane Gordon (center of image) and Tropical Depression # 8 (bottom right in image) can be seen in this satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). This satellite image was captured on Wed., Sep. 13 at 2:51 p.m. EDT (1851 UTC). This data was processed by NASA's GOES Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Hurricane Gordon Gains Strength

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Wed., Sept. 13, the center of Hurricane Gordon was located near latitude 26.0 north, longitude 57.9 west, or about 600 miles southeast of Bermuda. Gordon was moving toward the north near 9 mph and this general motion was expected to continue over the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds were near 90 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 25 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds up to 90 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure was 977 millibars.

Steady strengthening is anticipated and Gordon will likely become a Category 2 hurricane later today (Sept. 13) or tonight and may develop into the Atlantic basin's first major hurricane within two days. By late in the weekend, Gordon should begin weakening as it travels over cooler ocean waters. The storm is expected to remain over the open Atlantic waters throughout its lifetime and should not pose a threat to any major land masses.

Tropical Depression # 8 Remains Poorly Organized

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Wed., Sept. 13, the center of tropical depression # 8 was located near latitude 12.0 north, longitude 28.5 west, or about 335 miles southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. The tropical depression was moving toward the west near 17 mph and this general motion was expected to continue over the next 24 hours.

Maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph and slow strengthening is expected, possibly becoming a tropical storm within 24 hours. The estimated minimum central pressure was 1007 millibars. Although forecasters expect the tropical depression to gain strength over the next few days, a region of low pressure in the storm's path combined with dry air to the north will likely have a major influence on its ultimate intensity. The storm is expected to remain over the open Atlantic waters for at least the next few days. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy, Goddard Space Flight Center/RSIS -- Image credit: Image Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project



Three Times the Tropics: Florence, Gordon, and Tropical Depression #8

Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storm Gordon, and the newly formed Tropical Depression 8 can be seen in this satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite.
Click image to enlarge


As Atlantic Hurricane season approaches its peak, which is mid-September, forecasters are watching three storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project

Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storm Gordon, and the newly formed Tropical Depression #8 can be seen in this satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). This satellite image was captured on Tues. Sept. 12 at 7:04 a.m. EDT. This data was processed by NASA's GOES Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Gordon to Become a Hurricane

At 5:00 a.m. EDT the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was located near latitude 22.6 north, longitude 58.3 west or about 445 miles north-northeast of the Leeward Islands. Gordon is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph and a turn to the north-northwest is expected during the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Gordon is expected to become a hurricane during the next day or so. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 millibars. By Friday, Sept. 15, Gordon will be a hurricane and is expected to be far east enough of Bermuda to not bring rain and winds to the island, but would likely bring heavy surf. Check the National Hurricane Center website: www.nhc.noaa.gov for updated forecasts.