Hurricane Hector

Hurricane Hector has been a ‘Major Hurricane’ in the Central Pacific for the past week. At one point, the hurricane was nearly categorized as a Category 5 hurricane, however weakened, and is currently a Category 3 hurricane (i.e. ~120 mph winds as of 8AM Hawaiian Standard Time (HST), 9 August 2018). The storm is moving west at ~16 mph, and was ~350 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Polar-orbiting satellites observed Hector, earlier this morning, via the Near-Constant Contrast (NCC) and the Advected Layered Precipitable Water (ALPW) satellite products. The NCC, a derived product of the Day/Night Band (DNB) sensor, utilizes a sun/moon reflectance model to illuminate atmospheric features, and sense emitted (i.e. city lights) and reflected (i.e. clouds) lights during the nighttime.  NCC image is at 750-m spatial resolution and is taken at 1152Z  (0152 local time), 9 August 2018, during the new moon phase of the lunar cycle. Imagery shows Hector’s large areal extent, eye wall, and cloud cover, along with nearby emitted city lights from the Hawaiian islands.

In complement to NCC, the ALPW product, derived from polar-orbiting satellites,  highlights precipitable water values within 4 atmospheric layers, different from the Blended Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product. The ALPW animation below, shows one of the layers (surface to 850mb), where high TPW values are observed within Hector. High TPW values indicate large amounts of moisture within the surface-850mb layer that are then transported westward with respect to time (i.e. see animation). It is important to note, missing data values are observed in the imagery (i.e. black pixels), representing regions of precipitation. Animation is from 18Z, 8 August 2018 to 15Z, 9 August 2018, showing Hector’s westward movement as the hurricane skirts along the southern edge of the Hawaiian islands. So far, the islands have received some rainfall and high surf along its southern shores. ALPW product is at 16-km spatial resolution.

For more updates on Hurricane Hector, click on the following link.

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