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Hurricane Season 2005: Philippe
Latest Update - September 20, 2005 - 2:10 p.m. EDT

Quikscat Image of Philippe

Image of Hurricane Philippe taken by the Quikscat satellite on September 20, 2005.

This is an image from NASA's Quikscat satellite showing circulation winds around Hurricane Phillipe taken on Tuesday, September 20 at 9:50 a.m. UTC (5:50 a.m. ET). At the time of this image, Phillipe was located at 56.8 West longitude, 18.8 North latitude. It was 350 miles (560 km) east-northeast of the Leeward Islands. Phillipe was moving toward the north-northwest near 6 mph (9 km/hr) and that general motion is expected to continue. It's moving slowly toward the open waters of the Atlantic.

At 5 a.m. ET, Phillipe's maximum sustained winds were near 80 mph (130 km/hr) and extend outward from the center up to 15 miles. Tropical storm force winds (39 to 73 mph) extend outward from the center to up to 85 miles. Some increase in strength was possible during the next 24 hours. The estimated minimum central pressure at the time was 985 millibars or 29.09 inches of mercury.

The 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. + High resolution TIF image Image Credit: NASA JPL

Earlier Images

Aqua satellite captured this image of Hurricane Phillipe on September 18, 2005.

A tropical depression formed off the Brazilian coast on September 17, 2005. Once it was organized enough to have winds of over 62 kilometers per hour (39 miles per hour), it was classified as a tropical storm and given the name Philippe, becoming the 16th named storm system of the 2005 hurricane season. It continued to gather strength in the next few hours, becoming a category 1 hurricane just 24 hours later, while tropical storm Rita grabbed the title of the latest storm of the season. Adding Philippe and Rita to the roster of storms in 2005, the year has already become one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons since records were started in 1851.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of Philippe at 1:05 p.m. local time while the storm was still not quite at hurricane strength, though it would reach this status only hours later. Philippe has the classic spiral structure of a hurricane, but there is little evidence yet of a well defined eye in the storm’s center.

Forecasters were not too concerned about Philippe at the time of the satellite pass. The projected storm track will take Philippe nearly directly north, grazing the Antilles Island chain and perhaps Bermuda. But it was not predicted to make landfall or pose significant danger or threats to coastal areas. + High resolution image Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.

Earth Observatory
Goddard Space Flight Center