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Exploring major hurricanes from space

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Jaclyn Whittal
Meteorologist

Friday, October 4, 2013, 5:11 PM -

Hurricanes are one of the most powerful weather events that occur on earth, which can also be just as awe-inspiring from space. 

The ISS can play such an integral role in monitoring hurricanes, but it can also be quite captivating to see. 

If we take a recent storm like Superstorm Sandy, we're talking about a diameter 1600 km wide -- right across to Wisconsin, and Ontario, with hurricane force winds.

Hurricane Wilma had a perfectly defined 'pinhole eye' which was seen only from space

Hurricane Wilma had a perfectly defined 'pinhole eye' which was seen only from space

Another storm that comes to mind is Hurricane Wilma -- which actually had the lowest recorded central pressure in the Atlantic Basin ever. It had a perfectly defined eye, called a pinhole eye. It is just tiny and you can see it perfectly from space. 

Another defying storm is hurricane Isabel about 10 years ago. This hurricane didn't quite have the pinhole eye like Wilma, but it had some interesting cloud characteristics and features such as a multiple vorticies forming within the eyewall itself, so you can see areas of spinning rotation, it's incredible to see from space. 

We're keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Karen as it tracks toward the Gulf Coast this weekend. Be sure to check here for regular updates throughout the weekend.

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