Hurricane Katrina (12L) in the Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Katrina (12L) in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Credit:

    Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

August 27, 2005, marked the first day that an eye became apparent in satellite imagery of Hurricane Katrina. In the morning of August 27, Katrina’s winds reached 185 kilometers per hour (115 miles per hour), making the storm a Category 3 hurricane. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image at 11:20 a.m. U.S. Central time, the inner eyewall had begun to deteriorate and an outer eyewall was forming. The two eyewalls are clearly visible as two concentric circles at the center of the storm. Katrina was also expanding, and by the end of the day, had doubled in size.

The next day, Katrina exploded into a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 257 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour). When Katrina came ashore on August 29, it was one of the deadliest and costliest storms to hit the United States.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 700x900
  • JPEG 224 KB
  • 1400x1800
  • JPEG 811 KB
  • 2800x3600
  • JPEG 3 MB
  • 5600x7200
  • JPEG 7 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    August 27, 2005
  • Visualization Date:

    August 27, 2005
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration