Hurricane Dennis hit Cuba on the evening of July 8, 2005 as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with sustained winds of 125 knots (144 mph). The storm was responsible for 16 fatalities in Cuba. With its circulation disrupted by the island, Dennis emerged off of Cuba and moved into the Gulf of Mexico in the early morning hours of the 9th as a much weaker storm. At one point, Dennis was reduced to a Category 1 storm with sustained winds down to 80 knots (92 mph), as reported by the National Hurricane Center.
This image shows a rejuvinated Hurricane Dennis at 21:59 UTC (5:59 p.m. EDT) on July 9, 2005. At the time, the storm’s winds were back up to 90 knots (104 mph). Rain intensity, as measured by sensors on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, is indicated in the color overlay. The eye is well formed and contains intense 2-inch-per-hour rain rates (dark red area) in the northeastern part of the eyewall, an indication that strong heating is occurring in the core and is reinvigorating the system.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has been monitoring the progress of Dennis since it formed in the eastern Caribbean. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), the only radar measuring precipitation from space. Rain rates in the outer swath are
from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). Launched in 1997 to measure rainfall over the Tropics, TRMM continues to prove itself as an excellent platform for observing tropical cyclones.
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA.
Images produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang