Understanding Satellite Images of Hurricanes

Understanding Satellite Images of Hurricanes

Satellite images of hurricanes help prevent injuries and disasters.

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Hurricanes and Satellite Imagery

Meteorologists know how hurricanes can make life unbearable and do everything possible to prevent injuries and loss of lives. If you’ve seen satellite images of hurricanes, you can appreciate that experts spend a lot of time trying to track the development and movement of these deadly storms for a good reason. Meteorologists rely on unique aircraft and satellites that perform remote sensing to capture accurate satellite images for this purpose.

Weather satellites track the circulation patterns of air and visible clouds and provide useful hurricane satellite imagery. Meteorologists also use radars to gauge the amount of rain, precipitation, and the speed of the wind. At the same time, they also use infrared sensors to measure temperature differences within storms. These experts gather all the data and images to create useful computer forecasts.

Why Are Satellite Photos of Hurricanes Useful?

1. Forecast Hurricane Path and Intensity

Before a landfall, scientists can predict impending damage. They can analyze the current hurricane satellite images to give news agencies and governments the information that they need to help people alleviate the imminent danger. With satellite imagery, we are less likely to be hit with a hurricane without prior warning.

2. Long-Term Planning

The satellite view of hurricane allows scientists to study global hurricane prevalence patterns. This way, they can foretell the exact number of hurricanes that are likely to take place several decades from today. Thus, a detailed satellite image is adequate to aid governments in developing targeted protective measures.

3. Ease Naming Hurricane

There is no better way to name hurricane than rely on the right hurricane satellite image. Naming makes it possible to communicate effectively. Advanced technology enables meteorologists to design the best strategies to deal with different kinds of specific hurricanes.

Can I Get Real-Time Satellite Images?

Understanding the significance of satellite images of hurricanes, many people are looking for the ideal sources of real-time satellite images. The good news is that advanced technology has made that possible. Here are your options:

  • Near Real-Time Images

If you need real-time satellite images of a hurricane, you only need to visit Land, Atmosphere near Real-Time Capability for EOS. NASA developed this platform to serve the people and organizations that want to get the satellite images within three hours from the time when they are captured. This access is rapid enough to help many people achieve their goals. However, for the entities requiring more immediate access, such as organizations that monitor forest fires, this is far from adequate.

  • Automate Image Processing

Often, it is difficult to access quality satellite images on demand. For you to be able to change that narrative, you need to automate your imagery processing technology. Without ideal applications, you cannot achieve your dream. However, the good news is that the present technology can efficiently help you to receive real-time satellite images.

Nevertheless, you still need to secure a bandwidth that supports such a rapid transfer of data. The problem is the cost of developing one with the right capacity. Despite the challenge, investors have helped to start EarthNow, which delivers real-time hurricane satellite images.

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Hurricane 101

Let’s now consider the basics of hurricanes to be able to fully understand satellite images of hurricanes, as the people in the Atlantic call it. It is a typhoon and a tropical cyclone in the Indian Oceans and the Southern Hemisphere. Hurricanes begin as clusters of thunderstorms over the ocean. After a while, it starts drawing electric power from the warm Ocean and moist air, which empowers it to begin rotating.

The warm moist air subsequently rises into the atmosphere and freezes into solid water and then forms gigantic rain-producing clouds. Whenever the winds with speeds over 39 miles per hour create a closed circle, a tropical storm results from the storm clusters. However, at 74 miles per hour, violent storms become a hurricane.

Satellite images of hurricanes indicate that despite the violent nature of hurricanes, they have calm parts. This clear center is known as the hurricane eye.

The Shape

Meteorologists have invested a lot of energy to establish different shapes of hurricanes. The most powerful ones typically have round shapes. Experts at NASA say we can think of them as stacks of tires, which the wind spun. Nevertheless, if the winds shear, the heaps of the clouds get upset, and it then leans over and wobbles.

The Eye

The eye is a good indicator of storm power. They are typically calm, and a wall of deadly winds and deep clouds surrounds them. During the earlier stages, the eye is often less obvious.

Air circulation that surrounds the eye indicates the strength of the storm. When studying a satellite image of the hurricane, you need to consider whether it is exposed. If you see that it is, there is dry air in the eye, which might suggest the hurricane is weakening.

Lightning and gravity waves

National Hurricane Center satellite imagery efficiently maps the activity of light in hurricanes. Together with other lighting devices that perform similar work, you can observe whatever is happening below and inside the clouds. Since the lighting activity can help to forecast the potential intensification for an extended period, the ability to map the lighting is essential for you to mitigate the adverse effect of hurricanes.

Gravity waves also have the potential to forecast the intensity of hurricanes. Since they distribute energy across the atmosphere, the amount of momentum is directly proportional to the power of the storms. When you notice an extraordinary amount of waves, you can be sure there is powerful storm convection, which can find a way to the upper atmosphere.

Color and temperature

Satellite view of a hurricane can also reveal the color of the clouds, which is essential for determining the temperature. You need to have some necessary skills to interpret what each of the three typical colors means. In our everyday life, we consider red to represent hot and blue to stand for cold. However, that is not the case here.

When the images show blue, you need to know that the particular sections are the warmest.

If it is black, it stands for the coldest. On the other hand, red indicates the sections that are cooler than the others. Like the shape, the colors correspond with the speed of the wind.

Storm Evolution

Storm evolves, and the ability to know how this happens is critical for understanding satellite images of hurricanes. You need accurate satellite images of hurricanes to be able to fully understand what happens, as different factors, such as temperature and the speed of the wind, lead to the transformation of a hurricane from one form to another.


During major storms or hurricanes, you are likely to see several satellite images of a hurricane in news articles, social media, and other places. If you do not have the skills to understand them, they are likely to confuse you. With us, you are better placed to avoid making common mistakes but need to continue learning to be better equipped with the right information.

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