Hurricane Dennis was bearing down on the Gulf Coast of the United States on July 10, 2005, at 12:15 p.m. (16:15 UTC) when the Terra MODIS instrument acquired this true-color image. With winds of 117 knots (135 miles per hour; 1 knot = 1.15 mph), Dennis was a powerful Category 4 storm just hours away from making landfall. At the time this image was taken, the eye of the storm was about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south, southeast of Pensacola, Florida, and the storm was moving northwest at about 15 knots 18 mph).
But despite its large size and powerful winds while out at sea, Dennis wasn't as destructive as many residents of Florida and the other Gulf states feared based on the more than 20 deaths Dennis caused in the Caribbean. When it made landfall in the US, Dennis had dropped to Category 3 storm status with 120mph winds that drove a ten-foot wall of water before it. Parts of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi were declared federal disaster areas with at least a billion dollars in damage done, but only one death was attributed to the storm.
For additional information and warnings about this storm, please visit the National Hurricane Center.