Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Hurricane Isabel lurks ominously off the US coastline in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image taken September 16, 2003 at 1:40 pm, local time (17:40 UTC) by NASA's Aqua satellite. Isabel seems to be heading towards Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the bulge of land in the upper left of the image. The narrow finger of water above it is Chesapeake Bay.
At the time this image was taken, Isabel boasted winds of 105 miles per hour with higher gusts, making it a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It was moving north-northwest at 7 miles per hour.
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