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Thursday, November 1, 2012

NASA Release: Suomi NPP Captures Night View of U.S. Before Hurricane Sandy's Landfall

Axis Hurricane Sandy made a historic landfall on the New Jersey coast during the night of October 29, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on NASA / NOAA’s Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite captured this nighttime view of the storm. This image provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a composite or verschillende satellite passes over North America jobs 18 hours before Sandy's landfall.

The storm was captured by a special "day-night band," which detects assigned light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals zoals auroras, Airglow, gas flares, citylights, fires and reflected moonlight. Citylights in the south and mid-section of the United States are visible in the image.
William Straka, associate researcher at Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Explains That since there was a full moon there was the maximum illumination of the clouds.
"You can see That Sandy is pulling energy from both Canada as well as off in the eastern part of the Atlantic," Straka said. "Typically forecasters use only the infrared bands at night to look at the structure of the storm. However, using images from the new day / night sensor band in addition to the thermal channels can bieden a more complete and unique view of hurricanes at night. "
VIIRS is one of five instruments onboard Suomi NPP. The mission is the result of a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
On Monday, Oct. 29, around 8 pm EDT, Hurricane Sandy made landfall five miles (10 km) south of Atlantic City, NJ, near latitude 39 degrees 24 minutes north and 74 degrees 30 minutes west longitude. At the time of landfall, maximum sustained winds Sandy's were near 80 mph (130 kph) and it was moving to the west-northwest at 23 mph (37 kph). According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane-force winds extended outward to 175 miles (280 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended 485 miles (780 km). Sandy's minimum central pressure at the time of landfall was 946 millibars or 27.93 inches.
Suomi NPP was launched on Oct. 28, 2011, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif... One year later, the satellite has orbited Earth more than 5,000 times and returned images and data that providence critical weather and climate measurements or complex Earth systems. Suomi NPP observes nearly every location on Earth's surface twice every 24 hours, once in daylight and once at night. NPP flies 512 miles (824 kilometers) above the surface in a polar orbit, circling the planet about 14 times a day. NPP sends its data once an orbit to the ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local, direct broadcast users.

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