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Hurricane Earl, with pal Hurricane Danielle. Image NASA Goddard photo and video.

NASA image acquired August 29, 2010

Two powerful storms span the Atlantic Ocean on August 29, 2010 when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true color image. In the south, storm bands cover the Leeward Islands while in the north, the bands reach nearly to the coast of Newfoundland.
Hurricane Danielle, the northern storm, carried maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kpm) at the time of this image, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The center of the storm was located 605 miles (795 km) southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. In this image, the storm shows a clear asymmetry, with most bands located in the northern semi-circle of the storm and the eye is indistinct. Increasing asymmetry and a dissipating eye are signs of a weakening storm. By the evening of August 30, Danielle became a post-tropical storm, and was predicted to continue to dissipate over the next few days.
To the south, Hurricane Earl shows several curved bands of thunderstorms around a dense center. Near the time of the image, the maximum sustained winds were 75 mph (120 km/hr), making it a Category 1 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
By the evening of August 30, 2010, Hurricane Earl had strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained wind speeds of 135 mph (215 km/hr). It was located 110 mi (170 km) northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico and moving away from the Virgin Islands. The storm was expected to continue to travel towards the north-northwest, passing near the east coast of the United States by the end of the week. National Hurricane Center tracking errors are 200-300 miles 4-5 days out, and it is not yet possible to accurately predict what, if any direct impact this storm may have on the United States.
Storm surge can be expected to lift tidal levels to 3-5 feet above normal in areas of hurricane warnings and 1 to 3 feet above normal in areas of tropical storm warnings. Such storm surges will be accompanied by large and battering waves.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

Click here to see more images from MODIS

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

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Alex Reshanov