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Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey is more remarkable for being the eighth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season than for any particular hazard it has posed. Harvey is the earliest recorded eighth storm in a season. This and a number of other factors have led forecasters to predict that the 2005 hurricane season may be the most active recorded, with projections calling for three to five more hurricanes (two of the previous eight storms reached hurricane status, Dennis and Emily), as well as a number of tropical storms.

Tropical Storm Harvey may not be a full-fledged hurricane, nor is it threatening the U.S. East Coast, but neither it is a “tempest in a teacup.” Harvey brought heavy rain to Bermuda as it passed the island. This image shows Tropical Storm Harvey as recorded by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite at 15:25 UTC (around 11:25 local time in Bermuda) on August 3, 2005. Though loosely organized, Harvey has the same spiral structure that develops in its stronger hurricane cousins.

Also apparent in this MODIS observation is the effect of Harvey on atmospheric haze and pollution. Fine aerosols, often from car exhaust fumes and emissions from coal-fired power plants, provide a “seed” for moisture to form very fine droplets of water in the air. In hot and humid air as has dominated the weather on the U.S. East Coast in the past several days, this shows up as severe haze. Harvey has pushed this haze north and westward ahead of the storm, resulting in an even heavier blanket of haze well away from the storm and clear air and skies at the outer fringes of the storm where there are not clouds.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.