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Hurricane Season 2005: Arlene
Experience a Flight Over a Tropical Storm

Still shot from the fly through of Tropical Storm Arlene.

During NASA's Aura Validation Experiment (to make sure the data the Aura satellite is reading is correct), a WB-57 aircraft captured pictures of Tropical Storm Arlene as it was making landfall on June 11, 2005. This movie was created from still photographs taken by the NASA GSFC Atmospheric Compact Atmospheric Mapper (ACAM) instrument's cockpit camera (Scott Janz and Paul Newman are the science investigators for ACAM). The aircraft was flying at 55,000 feet. Click on image above to view animation (no sound.) Credit: NASA

Earlier Updates

QuickScat Image of Tropical Storm Arlene over the Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Arlene spins off the southwestern tip of Cuba in this QuickSCAT image captured on June 9, 2005. The vibrant colors in this image depict relative wind speed, as measured by the sensor, with the highest wind speeds in red. Though the first tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, Arlene is not a powerful storm. Its strongest winds were maintained around 35 knots about the time this image was acquired. Arlene strengthened slightly the following day, but was not expected to become an intense hurricane before making landfall.

The barbs indicate wind direction. The winds spiral around a calm center in a structure that is typical for a tropical storm, but the most powerful winds do not surround the center of the storm. Represented by red, these winds are north of the center. Click here for a higher resolution copy of the above image. Credit: NASA

Image of Tropical Storm Arlene

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite captured this 3D image of rainfall inside Tropical Storm Arlene, the first named tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. The satellite shows a heavy cluster of thunderstorms on the northeast side of the circulation center. The Precipitation Radar on TRMM shows that within this cluster, extremely deep energy-releasing clouds extend to 17 km (56,000 feet). Three towering clouds (depicted in red) near the center of the circulation, are releasing a large amount of energy. The 3D image shows the height of the clouds, and the colors indicate the rain intensity, with red being the most intense. Click here for a higher resolution copy of the above image.Credit: NASA/JAXA

Image of Tropical Storm Arlene taken by the astronauts on the International Space Station.

Astronauts on the International Space Station took this image of Tropical Storm Arlene on June 10, 2005. Credit: NASA

TRMM satellite photo of Tropical Storm Arlene on June 9, 2005.

Arlene is the first named tropical system of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season. Tropical Storm Arlene developed on June 8 from a region of tropical thunderstorms and rotation in the atmosphere in the western Caribbean, north of Honduras. It is not unusual for storms early in the Atlantic hurricane season to develop in the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. This TRMM image from early morning on June 9 shows the rainfall inside the clouds of Arlene. The satellite information confirms what Hurricane Hunter aircraft also determined: That the heavy rain clouds and region of strongest energy release were displaced 50-75 miles northeast of the storm's rotating core. Because the energy and spin are not well aligned, the current forecast is for Arlene to strengthen only gradually. This section will be updated continuously with breaking news about this storm and subsequent storms throughout the season. Credit: NASA/JAXA