Tropical Storm Fay came ashore in Florida early in the morning on August 19, 2008, a day after striking the Florida Key Islands. Hurricane warnings that had been in place on August 18 were canceled after Fay failed to reach minimal hurricane status as previously predicted. However, with winds of 95 kilometers (60 miles) per hour and heavy rain, Fay remained a serious storm. Numerous tornadoes spawned by the storm were reported. Earlier, the storm system had traveled the length of Hispaniola, bringing heavy rains and winds to the Dominican Republic and Haiti before moving along Cuba’s southern coast. In the Dominican Republic, the national Emergency Operations Center (Spanish Language) reported five fatalities from the storm.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this photo-like image of the storm at 2:50 p.m. local time (18:50 UTC) on August 18, 2008. Fay had crossed through central Cuba and was most of the way across the Florida Straits when MODIS obtained this image. The storm system appears as an organized ball of spiraling clouds, but it lacks the central eye usually associated with a hurricane. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, tides were around two to four feet higher than normal from the storm surge, and rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches of rain (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain through central Cuba were forecast, with reports of local patches of heavier rain.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ full spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.
You can download a 250-meter-resolution KMZ file of the storm suitable for use with Google Earth.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Jesse Allen.