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Hurricane Otis
QuikScat image of Hurricane Otis taken on October 3, 2005.

This image of tropical depression Otis was captured by NASA's QuikScat satellite on October 3 at 9:23 p.m. EDT. At the time of this image, tropical depression Otis was just west of Baja California.

This image depicts wind speed in color and wind direction with small barbs. White barbs point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds, shown in purple, surround the center of the storm. The scatterometer sends pulses of microwave energy through the atmosphere to the ocean surface, and measures the energy that bounces back from the wind-roughened surface. The energy of the microwave pulses changes depending on wind speed and direction, giving scientists a way to monitor wind around the world.

On Saturday, October 1, Otis reached its peak as a Category 2 hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

The last report from the National Hurricane Center at 5 p.m. EDT, on Monday, October 3 noted that Otis consisted of a tight swirl of low clouds, because the deep convection vanished over the previous 6 to 8 hours. According to surface observations from Baja California and observations from the Mexican Navy's automated weather stations indicated that the maximum winds associated with the depression are about 25 knots (28.7 mph).

Otis was already embedded within a dry air environment and moving over increasingly cooler waters. The cyclone was expected to become a remnant low within the next 12 hours. Otis' remnants are then expected to move slowly toward the north-northwest until it finally dissipates.

Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center