Hurricane Katrina (12L) in the Gulf of Mexico
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.