Public Release: 

NASA's Aqua satellite finds Florence temporarily fighting wind shear

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


IMAGE: At 1:20 a.m. EDT (0520 UTC) on Sept. 7, 2018 the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Florence in infrared light. AIRS found coldest cloud tops... view more 

Credit: NASA/NRL

Tropical Storm Florence appeared weaker in infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite, with warmer cloud top temperatures. However, forecasters believe this is a temporary setback.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center cautioned that the U.S. coasts will start to feel some effects from Florence over the weekend of Sept. 8 and 9. Regardless of Florence's eventual track, large swells will begin to affect Bermuda later today and portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Infrared satellite data at 1:20 a.m. EDT (0520 UTC) on Sept. 7, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite showed coldest cloud top temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) around Florence's center and in a band of thunderstorms northeast of center.

NHC forecaster Zelinsky said "Florence's structure continues to be negatively affected by strong southwesterly [wind] shear. Cloud tops have generally warmed over the past 6 hours, and recent microwave data show that the low-level circulation center of Florence is displaced nearly 20 nautical miles to the southwest of the mid-level center."

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Friday, Sept. 7 the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 25.1 degrees north and longitude 50.7 degrees west. Florence is moving toward the west near 7 mph (11 kph). This general motion will likely continue for the next couple of days. A turn toward the west-northwest is expected by the end of the weekend.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in intensity is expected today. However, Florence is forecast to restrengthen and become a hurricane again over the weekend.

Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda later today and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

NHC noted "There is still very large uncertainty in Florence's track beyond day 5, and it is too soon to determine what, if any, other impacts Florence could have on the U.S. East Coast next week.".


For updates on Florence, visit:

By Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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