Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows tropical storms around North America in August of 2021. Storm activity has been ramping up earlier than usual this year.
When this image was captured by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 16 (GOES-16) on August 18, Hurricane Grace was strengthening and headed for the Yucatan Peninsula and remnants of Tropical Storm Fred were moving northeast through the United States.
Smoke from large wildfires in California is also visible in the photo, as well as two other storms. Henri, which is now offshore near the Bahamas, could become the fifth named storm of the year.
“Starting early last week, the large-scale conditions became especially favorable for tropical cyclone development in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic basins,” said Patrick Duran, a hurricane expert based at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
“The Madden-Julian Oscillation, a global-scale phenomenon that plays a role in tropical convection, became favorable for thunderstorm formation. At the same time, a large atmospheric wave called an equatorial Kelvin wave moved across the Atlantic, making conditions even more favorable for storm development.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer