Like dancers pirouetting in opposite directions, the rotational patterns of two different tropical storms are contrasted in this pair of Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) nadir-camera images.
The left-hand image is of Tropical Storm Bud, acquired on June 17, 2000 (Terra orbit 2656) as the storm was dissipating. Bud was situated in the eastern Pacific Ocean between Socorro Island and the southern tip of Baja California. South of the storms center is a vortex pattern caused by obstruction of the prevailing flow by tiny Socorro Island. Sonora, Mexico and Baja California are visible at the top of the image.
The right-hand image is of Tropical Cyclone Dera, acquired on March 12, 2001. Dera was located in the Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar. The southern end of this large island is visible in the top portion of this image.
Northern hemisphere tropical storms, like Bud, rotate in a counterclockwise direction, whereas those in the southern hemisphere, such as Dera, rotate clockwise. The opposite spins are a consequence of Earths rotation.
Each image covers a swath approximately 380 kilometers wide.
Image courtesy NASA/JPL/GSFC/LaRC, MISR Team