With a well-formed eye and a symmetrical shape, Hurricane Bill looked the part of the major hurricane it was forecast to become when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image at 12:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on August 18, 2009. About three hours after this image was taken, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew over the storm and observed winds near 175 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour), said the National Hurricane Center. The weather agency expected Bill to become a major hurricane (a Category 3 storm or stronger) late on August 18 or early August 19.
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.