In the nearly twenty-two hours that elapsed between when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite snapped the above image on August 30, and when the Terra satellite flew over the next day, Hurricane Frances intensified into a Category 4 storm. In the above image, acquired at 1:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT), Frances has maximum sustained winds of 194 kilometers per hour (121 mph), a Category 3 Hurricane. The next morning at 10:45 a.m. EDT, the storm’s winds reached 285 kilometers per hour (135 mph), putting it in the Category 4 range. The storm has visually changed the period between the two acquisitions. On August 31, the storm seems more compact with a larger eye than it does in the above image.
NASA image courtesy Jesse Allen, based on data from the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC
- Aqua - MODIS