Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

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at the NASA Langley Research Center

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Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy's Wind Flow

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Hurricane Sandy's wind flow.

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The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this imagery and data over Hurricane Sandy as the storm approached the U.S. east coast on October 28, 2012. The image at left covers an area 250 miles (400 kilometers) wide and extends from Massachusetts to Florida; it shows much of the western half of the hurricane. The eye of the storm is to the right and outside of the observed area. High-altitude clouds cover much of the image, with low-level clouds visible over the Bahamas.

The map at lower right is overlain with cloud-tracked wind vectors derived from MISR stereo imagery. The arrows point in the direction of wind flow, and their lengths are proportional to wind speed. The color-coding indicates the measured height of the wind field. The cyclonic (counter-clockwise) rotation of the winds associated with Hurricane Sandy are readily apparent in the low-level winds off the eastern coast of Florida, with speeds exceeding 45 mph (20 meters per second).

The map at upper right shows details of the wind field around New York, northern New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England. In this region, the low-level winds are coming from the east, pushing water toward the coast, leading to calls for evacuations in the area. The upper-level winds seen by MISR are coming from the south, with much greater strength. Some of the wind speeds exceed 92 mph (41 meters per second) at the upper levels.

MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Terra spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The MISR data were obtained from the NASA Langley Research Center Atmospheric Science Data Center, Hampton, VA.

Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team.

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