Hurricane Carlotta Stands Out in Earth View
Picture yourself on the Moon looking down at the Earth, and if you're looking at it from the perspective of NOAA's GOES-13 satellite, you see the eastern Pacific Ocean. The thing that strikes you most is Hurricane Carlotta, located off the southwestern coast of Mexico today, June 16, 2012.
The GOES-13 satellite, known more formally is the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-13), is a geostationary satellite that monitors the weather over the eastern U.S. Geostationary means the satellite stays in a fixed orbit and rotates with the Earth. GOES satellites are operated by NOAA, and the NASA GOES Project uses the data from the satellite to create stunning images like this one.
At 8 a.m. EDT on June 15, Carlotta became the first hurricane of the eastern Pacific Ocean season. As Carlotta neared the western coast of Mexico, warnings and watches were posted. Hurricane Carlotta's maximum sustained winds were near 80 mph by 11 a.m. EDT. Carlotta was located about 120 miles (195 km) south-southeast of Puerto Angel and 330 miles (530 km) southeast of Acapulco, Mexico. Because tropical-storm-force winds extend out 50 miles (85 kilometer) from Carlotta's center, Puerto Angel was not yet experiencing them at 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT), but that will change as Carlotta draws ever closer.
As Carlotta nears the coast, rainfall poses one of the biggest threats. Heavy rains resulting in flooding and landslides are then possible as Carlotta interacts with rugged terrain near the southwestern coast of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center has forecast accumulations of 3 to 5 inches (75 to 125 mm) with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches (300 mm) over the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas. Storm surge and hurricane-force winds are also expected.
Another feature that stands out is a strong cold front over the central U.S. triggering severe storms in the Dakotas, western Nebraska and western Kansas. In the southern hemisphere fair weather clouds populate much of South America.
Image: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Text: Rob Gutro, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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