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New NASA Hurricane Posters Blow Onto the Web
Two new informative hurricane posters are now online at the NASA Web Portal. One poster features Hurricane Katrina, the costliest hurricane ever to hit the United States. The other poster, titled "Spin Cycle: Hurricane Energetics," highlights the various components of a hurricane as observed by NASA satellites.

Hurricane Katrina poster Image to right: Poster: Hurricane Katrina-Watching a Monster Storm Click on image to enlarge. Credit: NASA

NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) manage and distributes a wide variety of data about the Earth to scientists and organizations. These posters, created by the EOSDIS Outreach Team and data centers, showcase some of the data the project manages and distributes.

"Hurricane Katrina: Watching a Monster Storm," shows how the stage was set for a "perfect storm." The poster also explains how scientists can evaluate a storm's impact by looking at data from multiple satellite instruments. Sea surface temperature data, wind field, precipitation and cloud structure data are used to illustrate the development of the storm.

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured images of the destructive flooding Katrina caused in New Orleans. The poster also contains a population density map of the same area showing the large numbers of people that were living at risk from such flooding. This map was created by the NASA-supported Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) at Columbia University.

Katrina developed on August 24, 2005, off the Atlantic coast of South Florida, where warm ocean waters were favorable for storm intensification. She struck the Gulf Coast states of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana as a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds near 140 mph. Wind, rain and storm surges associated with the storm caused extensive devastation.

Hurricane Energy poster Image to left: Poster: Spin Cycle - Hurricane Energetics Click on image to enlarge. Credit: NASA

The "Spin Cycle" poster focuses on the energy driving a tropical cyclone’s development. A tropical cyclone is the generic name for a tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane.

The energy of a tropical cyclone depends on the temperature of the ocean over which the storm is passing. The effects of sea surface temperature on a storm are seen in the strength of its winds, and in the intensity and area covered by its rainfall. Satellites have improved measurements of these key factors.

All of these measurements are available to assist scientists in their research and applications. Used together, the data can lead to a better understanding of how tropical cyclones behave. EOSDIS currently supports the daily production of over 2 terabytes of Earth science data.

Related Links:

+ Spin Cycle Poster and other Earth system science posters
+ Hurricane Katrina: Watching a Monster Storm poster + SEDAC and the other EOSDIS data centers
+ Inquiries

Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center