Here’s a complete animation of Hurricane Sandy from October 23-31, as seen by GOES-13, a geosynchronous satellite that is in orbit nearly 36,000 km (23,000 miles) above Earth. This huge storm was costly in terms of death and destruction. The death toll currently stands at 160 (88 in the U.S., 54 in Haiti, 11 in Cuba), with damage estimates ranging from $10 – $55 billion.
Below is a timelapse animation which shows the full hemisphere view from GOES-13, showing the development of Hurricane Sandy as it begins over Central America and begins its path up through the Caribbean and the east coast of the U.S.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of the storm around 3:13 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (7:13 Universal Time) on October 31. Credit: NASA/NOAA
This image from the Suomi NPP satellite shows remnants of Hurricane Sandy as it moved inland in the early morning hours of October 31, 2012. As the center of the system passed Pennsylvania, its maximum sustained winds were 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour. This image is from the “day-night band” on VIIRS, which detects light wavelengths from green to near-infrared. The Moon lit the tops of the clouds.
Sandy’s clouds stretched from Hudson Bay to Chicago and Washington. Clusters of lights gave away the locations of some cities throughout the region; but along the East Coast, clouds mostly obscured the lights, many of which were blacked out due to the storm. On October 31, the Wall Street Journal reported that several million customers in multiple states were without electricity.
You can see more satellite images of Sandy’s traverse at the NASA Earth Observatory website.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.