Patricia (Eastern Pacific)

Oct. 23, 2015 - Update #3 - NASA Analyzes Record-Breaking Hurricane Patricia

NASA satellites and instruments have been monitoring the record-breaking Hurricane Patricia as it rapidly intensified off the southwestern coast of Mexico on October 23. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP saw frigid cloud top temperatures, NOAA's GOES-West satellite provided imagery and animations that showed the extent of the storm, NASA's Terra satellite provided visible data, and the RapidScat instrument aboard the International Space Station measured its surface winds.
When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Patricia on October 23 at 5:20 a.m. EDT the VIIRS instrument that flies aboard Suomi NPP looked at the storm in infrared light. Cloud top temperatures of thunderstorms around the eyewall were between 180K (-135.7F/ -93.1C) and 190 Kelvin (-117.7F/ -83.1C).
Suomi NPP Satellite Sees Frigid High Clouds

When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Patricia on October 23 at 5:20 a.m. EDT the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite or VIIRS instrument that flies aboard Suomi NPP looked at the storm in infrared light. "Cloud top temperatures of thunderstorms around the eyewall were between 180K (-135.7F/ -93.1C) and 190 Kelvin (-117.7F/ -83.1C)," said William Straka III of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Then, as you go into the eye itself, it gets warmer."

The higher the cloud tops, the colder they are as temperatures get colder with altitude in the troposphere. Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability of generating heavy rainfall.

At 8 a.m. EDT on October 23, 2015, the National Hurricane Center reported Patricia became the strongest eastern north pacific hurricane on record with sustained winds near 200 mph. This animation of images captured from October 20 to 23 from NOAA's GOES-West satellite shows Hurricane Patricia near western Mexico.
GOES Satellite Animation Shows Rapid Intensificationa
On October 22, Patricia was a Category one hurricane. By 8 a.m. EDT on October 23, 2015, the National Hurricane Center reported Patricia became the strongest eastern north pacific hurricane on record with sustained winds near 200 mph. An animation of images captured from October 20 to 23 from NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed Hurricane Patricia intensify within 24 hours and develop a clear eye near the coast of western Mexico. The animation was created at NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
On Oct. 23 at 17:30 UTC (1:30 p.m. EDT) NASA's Terra satellite saw the eastern quadrant of Hurricane Patricia over Mexico and the storm's pinhole eye.

Oct. 23, 2015 - Update #2 - Hurricane Patricia Seen From the International Space Station

Outside the International Space Station, cameras captured dramatic views of Hurricane Patricia at 12:15 p.m. EDT on October 23, 2015 as the mammoth system moved north at about10 mph, heading for a potentially catastrophic landfall along the southwest coast of Mexico sometime during the day, according to the National Hurricane Center. Packing winds of 200 miles per hour, Patricia is the strongest in recorded history in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The National Hurricane Center says that once Patricia crosses the Mexican coast it should weaken quickly and dissipate Oct. 24 due to upper level winds and mountainous terrain, but likely will introduce copious amounts of rainfall to the Texas coast through the weekend.
Credits: NASA