Science and Technology News

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hurricane Season 2011: Hurricane Rina (Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea)

GOES-13 Satellite Sees Hurricane Rina Grow Larger and Stronger

Tropical Storm Rina achieved hurricane status around 2 p.m. EDT today, Oct. 24 and NOAA's GOES-13 visible imagery showed her getting bigger as she gets stronger.

A visible image from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-13 at 1:31 p.m. EDT showed that Rina had taken a more organized and circular form. The image was created at the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Rina exploded into hurricane status with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, after having maximum sustained winds only near 45 mph this morning. The imagery from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite showed areas of heavy rainfall around Rina's center, where hot towering clouds were likely. Research done at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has shown that tropical cyclones are likely to intensify within six hours of a "hot tower" being spotted in a tropical cyclone.

At 2 p.m. EDT Rina was located near 17.1 North and 83.0 West. That's about 195 miles (310 km) southwest of Grand Cayman and about 360 miles (580 km) east-southeast of Chetumal, Mexico. It was moving to the northwest near 5 mph (7 kmh) and is expected to turn west-northwest later today.

Currently, Rina is a Category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, but the National Hurricane Center expects Rina to continue intensifying.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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