NASA Terra Satellite Captured Image of Hurricane Rina

The visible image of Hurricane Rina was taken by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite on October 24, 2011 at 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT) when it was off the coast of Mexico. On October 25, when NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead it collected valuable data about Rina’s cloud top temperatures. Rina, which formed over the northwest Caribbean Sea, is the sixth of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane is currently a Category 2 storm, but appears to be intensifying as it approaches southeastern Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. It could be bumped up to Category 3 or higher. The tropical storm-force winds extend out 115 miles (185 km) from the center. 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that Rina is crawling to the west-northwest near 3 mph (6 kmh) and is expected to turn to the northwest and speed up a little over the next two days. NASA AIRS infrared data also shows that Rina is in an area of very warm ocean temperatures, over the 80 degree Fahrenheit (26.6 C) minimum to maintain a tropical cyclone, which will help Rina strengthen over the next day or two.