With winds reaching 155 mph, this years Hurricane Carlotta became the
second strongest eastern Pacific June hurricane on record. These images
from MISR show the hurricane on June 21, the day of its peak intensity.
The pictures are oriented so that the spacecraft's flight path is from
left to right; north is at the left.
The top image is a color view from MISRs vertical (nadir) camera,
showing Carlotta's location in the eastern Pacific Ocean, about 500 km
south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The middle image is a stereoscopic anaglyph created using MISRs nadir
camera plus one of its aftward-viewing cameras, and shows a closer view
of the area around the hurricane. Viewing with red/blue glasses (red
filter over the left eye) is required to obtain a 3-D stereo effect.
Near the center of the storm, the eye is about 25 km in diameter and
partially obscured by a thin cloud. About 50 km to the left of the eye,
the sharp drop-off from high-level to low-level cloud gives a sense of
the vertical extent of the hidden eye wall. The low-level cloud is
spiraling counterclockwise into the center of the cyclone. It then rises
in the vicinity of the eye wall and emerges with a clockwise rotation at
high altitude. Maximum surface winds are found near the eye wall.
The bottom stereo image is a zoomed-in view of convective clouds in the
hurricane's spiral arms. The arms are breeding grounds for severe
thunderstorms, with associated heavy rain and flooding, frequent
lightning, and tornadoes. Thunderstorms rise in dramatic fashion to
about the same altitude as the high cloud near the hurricane's center,
and are made up of individual cells that are typically less than 20 km
in diameter. This image shows a number of these cells, some fairly
isolated, and others connected together. Their three-dimensional
structure is clearly apparent in this stereo view.
MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The
Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of