Hurricane Ike makes landfall

September 13th, 2008
GOES-12 and GOES-13 IR images

GOES-12 and GOES-13 10.7 µm IR images

Hurricane Ike (satellite montage) made landfall as a Category 2 storm during the early hours of 13 September 2008. The comparison of GOES-12 and GOES-13 10.7 µm IR images (above) is a good demonstration of the value of the larger batteries on-board the GOES-13 (and newer) satellites — these larger batteries allow the satellites to operate through the Spring and Fall season “eclipse” periods (when the satellite is in the Earth’s shadow, and the solar panels cannot generate the power necessary to operate the GOES imager and GOES sounder instrument packages). Note that a strong spiral band was in the process of intensifying and moving inland along the far northeastern Texas and far southwestern Louisiana coastlines  during the GOES-12 eclipse period — the evolution of this feature was easily followed using the GOES-13 imagery.

MODIS IR images

AWIPS images of the MODIS 11.0 µm IR channel

A sequence of AWIPS images of the 1-km resolution MODIS 11.0 µm IR channel data (above) showed better details of the cloud features than could be seen using the 4-km resolution GOES IR imagery above.

A closer view using an AWIPS image of the MODIS 3.7 µm shortwave IR channel (below) uses a color enhancement designed to highlight some of the warmer features in the eye region –  some eyewall mesovortex structure was indicated on radar reflectivity data around the time that the eye was approaching the coast.

AWIPS image of the MODIS 3.7 µm IR channel + surface reports

AWIPS image of the MODIS 3.7 µm IR channel + surface reports

Interestingly, the landfall of Hurricane Ike marked the first time on record that 6 consecutively-named tropical cyclones (Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike) have made landfall in the US.

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