NASA’s Quick Scatterometer spacecraft and its SeaWinds instrument tracked the development of an unusual storm in the South Atlantic ocean for several days at the end of March 2004. The storm was declared a hurricane before it came ashore in Brazil, though its status as a hurricane is being contested. The storm caused considerable damage, including some deaths. This was the first hurricane observed in the South Atlantic since the start of meteorological satellites in the sixties. In the image captured on March 27, 2004, white arrows representing wind speed and direction are superimposed on the color image of wind speeds.
Image and caption coutesy of W. Timothy Liu at JPL, Project Scientist of QuikSCAT.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite is designed to
measure rainfall over the global tropics using the combination of a
microwave sensor and the first and only precipitation radar in space.
he National Hurricane Center in Miami estimated the storm was a full-fledged, Category I hurricane with central winds between 75 mph and 80 mph (121 kph to 129 kph), making it the first hurricane in the South Atlantic in recorded history. Brazilian scientists however, have disagreed, saying the storm had top winds of 50 mph to 56 mph (80 kph to 90 kph), far below the 75 mph (121 kph) threshold of a hurricane.