These two Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) images were collected ten days apart. The first was collected on
September 18, 2002, before Hurricane Isidore blew through. Part of
the cloud field associated with Isidore
is visible in the lower right corner of
the left-hand frame.
The second imagecollected on September 28, 2002shows a marked increase in the albedo of the coastal waters, particularly in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This brightening of the sea water is most likely caused by increased wave action associated with the passing storm and increased rainwater runoff from the land. Both of these processes
entrain more suspended sediments in the water column which, in turn, make the water reflect a greater percentage of the incoming sunlight.
The cloud pattern in the lower right corner of the right-hand image is part of Tropical Storm Lili. Lili, now a hurricane, is currently forecast to follow a path similar to Isidores the week before.
Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE