Hurricane Florence 2018

Start Date

September 7, 2018

Overview

UPDATE 9/17/18:  Remnants of Hurricane Florence are now a post-tropical cyclone moving over the Mid-Atlantic states.  To date the storm has caused approximately 25 deaths.  Tens of thousands of homes in the Southeast, including the Carolinas have been damaged as floodwaters continue to rise, and numerous communities, including the City of Wilmington, NC are cut off by the floodwaters.  Search and rescue operations are continuing, and thousands of people remain in shelters.  NASA Scientists have begun to map the floodwaters by aircraft using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) which has the ability to see through clouds to more concisely map the floodwaters and aid first responders as well as in the recovery effort.

UPDATE 9/14/18: Hurricane Florence made landfall at 7:15 AM EDT near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane with estimated maximum winds of 90 mph. As of 5 PM EDT, Florence is now a tropical storm with estimated maximum winds of 70 mph and is located near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. It is forecasted to move across South Carolina and weaken into a tropical depression by Sunday. NASA Earth Science is bringing all relevant observations and science expertise to bear on Hurricane Florence before, during, and after landfall to provide situational awareness to stakeholders and the public. The intent is to provide a more comprehensive awareness throughout the entire disaster life cycle.

Photograph of Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station on 9/12/2018 at ~600 miles from Southeast U.S. coastline.

Photograph of Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station on 9/12/2018 at ~600 miles from Southeast U.S. coastline.

UPDATE 9/12/18: With Category 4 Hurricane Florence less than 48 hours from making landfall on the Southeast Coast, the NASA Disasters program has been hard at work identifying geographically referenced science information products for response partners like FEMA, the National Guard, USGS and more. The Disasters team has been providing a variety of satellite and airborne remote sensing capabilities to aid storm preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. As flooding is one of the primary threats during this event, much of what the Disasters program will be providing will be related to information on flooding. Hurricane Florence could be the strongest storm to target the Carolinas in decades, FEMA officials have said. 

Latest Updates

September 14, 2018
Comparison of Civil Air Patrol photography and UAVSAR imagery from 9/17/18.
UDPATE 9/21/18: Comparison of Civil Air Patrol photography and UAVSAR imagery from 9/17/18. This image compares UAVSAR classified quad-polarimetric imagery near Cheraw, South Carolina on 9/17/18 with Civil Air Patrol photography of the same area from 9/18/18. In the UAVSAR image, pink denotes urban areas whereas red, orange and yellow usually denote inundated trees and vegetation.  Dark blue or black are are usually flooded open water; roads can be black even if not flooded. ...
September 14, 2018
NASA SPoRT Sea Surface Temperatures from 9/13/18 at 6:00 UTC
UPDATE 9/21/18: SPoRT Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) composite image from 9/20/18. View the latest SPoRT SST image: https://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/sportPublishData.pl?dataset=sst   UPDATE 9/14/18: NASA SPoRT Sea Surface Temperatures from...
September 15, 2018
VIIRS Black Marble nighttime data showing pre and post event imagery from Wilmington NC.
UPDATE 9/21/18: Suomi-NPP VIIRS Black Marble nighttime data showing pre and post event imagery from Wilmington NC. Suomi-NPP VIIRS Black Marble nighttime data showing pre and post event imagery from Jacksonville NC. The NASA Black Marble product suite has been used to assess disruptions in energy infrastructure and utility services...
September 20, 2018
Screenshot from the North Atlantic Hurricane Watch web portal.
Screenshot from the North Atlantic Hurricane Watch web portal. The North Atlantic Hurricane Watch (NAHW – https://nahw.jpl.nasa.gov ) portal monitors hurricanes and tropical convection in the North Atlantic and East Pacific ocean basins.  It provides interactive visualization, data integration and on-line analysis tools. The portal: i) integrates model forecasts with satellite and airborne observations from a variety of instruments...
September 18, 2018
This MODIS flood detection map from 9/19/18 shows the 1-day flood product (in red), on top of the 1-day surface water product (in yellow) in Google Earth.
UPDATE 9/19/18: This MODIS flood detection map from 9/19/18 shows the 1-day flood product (in red), on top of the 1-day surface water product (in yellow) in Google Earth. The MODIS Near Real-Time Global Flood Mapping Project produces global daily surface and flood water maps at approximately 250 m resolution, in 10x10 degree tiles. This project was developed in collaboration with Bob Brakenridge at the Dartmouth Flood Observatory (DFO):...
September 14, 2018
Figure 1.  Weekly total rainfall (inches), valid 11-18 September 2018, from the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) product.  Four counties are denoted, for which soil moisture histogram animations are shown later in thi
  UPDATE 9/18/18: Soil moisture transformation from dry (brown/orange) to near saturation (purple/blue) over North Carolina associated with flooding rainfall from Hurricane #Florence (SPoRT-LIS product incorporating #MRMS precipitation). @NASA_LIS pic.twitter.com/SRgPnz5nL6 — NASA SPoRT (@NASA_SPoRT)...
September 18, 2018
ARIA damage proxy map derived from images taken before (September 02, 2016) and 12 hours after the hurricane's landfall (September 14, 2018 7:06 PM local time).
UPDATE 9/18/18:ARIA damage proxy map derived from images taken before (September 02, 2016) and 12 hours after the hurricane's landfall (September 14, 2018 7:06 PM local time). The ARIA team has created a flood extent map from Sentinel-1 SAR data acquired from Track 4, 12 hours after the landfall of Hurricane Florence. The map was pushed to the FEMA's SFTP server and is available to download from  ...
September 15, 2018
The images were taken before (September 09, 2018) and 36 hours after the hurricane's landfall (September 15, 2018 18:57 PM local time).
UPDATE 9/18/18:The images were taken before (September 09, 2018) and 36 hours after the hurricane's landfall (September 15, 2018 18:57 PM local time).  The ARIA team has created a flood extent map from Sentinel-1 SAR data acquired from Track 106, 36 hours after the landfall of Hurricane Florence. The map was pushed to the FEMA's SFTP server and is available to download from  https://aria-...
September 14, 2018
Precipitation rates within Hurricane Florence from the GPM IMERG "early run" half hourly data product, obtained 9/14/18 at 15:00 UTC.
UPDATE 9/18/18: Over the weekend #HurricaneFlorence brought torrential rains and record flooding to the Carolinas. This GPM IMERG visualization shows storm-total accumulated rainfall on the left for 9/12/18 - 9/17/18 vs. a sequence of 3-hour accumulations on the right https://t.co/numzHJXzb2 pic.twitter.com/pzAgkVrRXl— NASA Precipitation (@NASARain)...
September 15, 2018
CYGNSS ocean surface (10m referenced) wind speed during overpasses of Hurricane Florence on 10 Sep (left) and 11 Sep (right) 2018. The storm center is identifiable in the vicinity of maximum wind speed values.
UPDATE 9/17/18: CYGNSS ocean surface (10m referenced) wind speed during overpasses of Hurricane Florence on 10 Sep (left) and 11 Sep (right) 2018. The storm center is identifiable in the vicinity of maximum wind speed values. All eight CYGNSS observatories have been continuously operating in science mode since Hurricane Florence transitioned from a tropical storm to a Cat1 hurricane on 9 Sep 2018. Examples of ocean surface winds measured during overpasses on 10 and 11 Sep are...
September 14, 2018
GEOS wind speeds visualization of Hurricane Florence.
Having churned through the Atlantic for two weeks, Hurricane Florence is among the longest-lived cyclones of the 2018 season. That means the storm’s winds have had plenty of time to rage and ease as they ran into different environmental conditions over the Atlantic Ocean. This animation highlights the storm’s wind field between September 1 and September 14, 2018. The strongest winds appear red; weaker winds are white. The wind data comes from the Goddard Earth Observing...
September 15, 2018
LANCE imagery of water vapor, precipitation, and wind speed in Hurricane Florence from 9/15/18 viewed in NASA Worldview.
LANCE imagery of water vapor, precipitation, and wind speed in Hurricane Florence from 9/15/18 viewed in NASA Worldview. NASA’s Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (Earth Observing System) (LANCE) provides data and imagery from Terra, Aqua, Aura, Suomi NPP and GCOM-W1 satellites in less than 3 hours from satellite observation, to meet the needs of the near real-time (NRT) applications community. LANCE leverages existing satellite data processing systems in order to...
September 14, 2018
GPM Core Observatory overpass of Hurricane Florence from 9/14/18 at 18:36 UTC. Ground track shows rain rates (mm/hr) from the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument, 3D swath shows rain rates in the atmospheric column from the Dual-frequency Precipitation
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission is an international network of satellites that provide the next-generation global observations of rain and snow. Building upon the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the GPM concept centers on the deployment of a “Core” satellite carrying an advanced radar / radiometer system to measure precipitation from space and serve as a reference standard to unify precipitation measurements from a constellation of research and operational satellites. Through improved measurements of precipitation globally, the GPM mission is...
September 15, 2018
GFMS flood detection / intensity forecast for 9/18/18 
The GFMS is a NASA-funded experimental system using real-time TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) precipitation information as input to a quasi-global (50°N - 50°S) hydrological runoff and routing model running on a 1/8th degree latitude/longitude grid. Flood detection/intensity estimates are based on 13 years of retrospective model runs with TMPA input, with flood thresholds derived for each grid location using surface water storage statistics (95th percentile plus parameters...
September 15, 2018
Sentinel 1A overpass of coastal North and South Carolina from 9/14/18. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA. 
Sentinel 1A overpass of coastal North and South Carolina from 9/14/18. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA.  Mission description: Sentinel 1A/B is a two satellite synthetic aperture radar constellation operated by the European Space Agency. The backscattered microwave energy from the ground can be used to map flooded areas, and estimate wind speeds over the ocean. Both satellites have a 12-day repeat cycle, providing imagery at about 20m...
September 14, 2018
 AMSR-2 / GCOM-1 Surface Precipitation Rates from Hurricane Florence obtained 9/14/18
 AMSR-2 / GCOM-1 Surface Precipitation Rates from Hurricane Florence obtained 9/14/18 The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument on the Global Change Observation Mission - Water 1 (GCOM-W1) provides global passive microwave measurements of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric parameters for the investigation of global water and energy cycles. Near real-time (NRT) products are generated within 3 hours of the last observations in the file, by the Land...
September 14, 2018
The map shown here was generated using sea surface height measurements from the first 10 days (February 12-20, 2015) of data collected once Jason-3 reached its operational orbit of 830 miles (1336 kilometers).
 Jason-3 is the fourth mission in U.S.-European series of satellite missions that measure the height of the ocean surface. Launched on January 17, 2016, the mission will extend the time series of ocean surface topography measurements (the hills and valleys of the ocean surface) begun by the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite mission in 1992 and continuing through the Jason-1 (launched in 2001) and the currently operating OSTM/Jason-2 (launched in 2008) missions. These measurements provide scientists with critical information about circulation patterns in the ocean and about both global and...
September 14, 2018
ISS LIS near-realtime 12 Hour browse image from 9/14/18at  22:41 UTC
The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), is a space-based instrument used to detect the distribution and variability of total lightning (cloud-to-cloud, intra-cloud, and cloud-to-ground lightning). It measures the amount, rate, and radiant energy of lightning during both day and night. Two LIS instruments were built in the 1990s, one for the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) and a spare which was stored on a shelf for over 20 years. ...
September 14, 2018
This natural-color image shows how Hurricane Florence appeared from above to the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on September 11, 2018. The second image, acquired by CloudSat on the same day, shows a cross-secti
This natural-color image shows how Hurricane Florence appeared from above to the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on September 11, 2018. The second image, acquired by CloudSat on the same day, shows a cross-section—how the storm would look if it had been sliced near the middle and viewed from the side.  In April 2006, a Boeing Delta II rocket launched CloudSat,...

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