Images: Rapid Intensification of Hurricane Irma Seen in New SMAP Wind Images


This pair of images shows ocean surface wind speeds for Hurricane Irma as observed at 5:26 a.m. EDT on Sept. 4, 2017 (top) and 24.5 hours later at 6:02 a.m. EDT on September 5th (bottom) by the radiometer instrument on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. Color indicates wind speed, with red being highest and blue lowest. Irma intensified from a Category 2 hurricane on Sept. 4 with observed wind speed of 106 miles per hour (47.5 meters per second) to a Category 5 hurricane on Sept. 5 with a maximum observed wind speed of 160 miles per hour (71.4 meters per second).

SMAP is managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, with participation by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. JPL is responsible for project management, system engineering, instrument management, the radar instrument, mission operations and the ground data system. Goddard is responsible for the radiometer instrument. Both centers collaborate on the science data processing and delivery of science data products to the Alaska Satellite Facility and the National Snow and Ice Data Center for public distribution and archiving. JPL is managed for NASA by Caltech.