NASA timelapse offers glimpse into active hurricane season

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – NASA is offering up a unique way to visualize this year’s active Atlantic hurricane season. The visualization, created by the NASA Goddard Media Studios, shows how sea salt, dust, and smoke were transported by the wind across the globe from July 31 to November 1. 2017.

 

 

 

Scientists at NASA Goddard explain how viewing these particles is a way to see what is going on in the atmosphere:

How can you see the atmosphere? By tracking what is carried on the wind. Tiny aerosol particles such as smoke, dust, and sea salt are transported across the globe, making visible weather patterns and other normally invisible physical processes. This visualization uses data from NASA satellites, combined with mathematical models in a computer simulation allowing scientists to study the physical processes in our atmosphere. By following the sea salt that is evaporated from the ocean, you can see the storms of the 2017 hurricane season. During the same time, large fires in the Pacific Northwest released smoke into the atmosphere. Large weather patterns can transport these particles long distances: in early September, you can see a line of smoke from Oregon and Washington, down the Great Plains, through the South, and across the Atlantic to England. Dust from the Sahara is also caught in storms systems and moved from Africa to the Americas. Unlike the sea salt, however, the dust is removed from the center of the storm. The dust particles are absorbed by cloud droplets and then washed out as it rains. Advances in computing speed allow scientists to include more details of these physical processes in their simulations of how the aerosols interact with the storm systems.

 

Enjoy this one of a kind look at weather patterns!

– Meteorologist Pierce Legeion

Pierce Legeion is a meteorologist and digital journalist for WNCT 9 First Alert Weather.

Courtesy: earthsky.org & NASA Goddard

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s