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NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

News & Articles Archive

This season’s Humberto isn’t the first tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Basin to be given the name. In fact, it’s the fifth Hurricane Humberto to emerge in the Atlantic, but this time, NOAA is watching through the sophisticated Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) of GOES-16.  
Photo of Florida after a hurricane
In 2004, the Atlantic Basin had one of its most active and destructive hurricane seasons on record. When the season finally ended, it ultimately produced more than $61 billion in damage and caused thousands of deaths across several countries.  Fifteen years later, we’re reviewing the season and highlighting a few of the monsters — from NOAA’s satellites’ perspective.
Graphical Image of the United States
Every day in America, millions of people wake up with the same question on their minds, “What’s the weather today?” The US Department of Commerce found that the majority of Americans check the weather forecast 3.8 times per day, equating to 301 billion forecasts consumed per year! These days, we take accurate forecasts — available multiple days in advance — for granted. 
On February 4, 1979, an iceberg slightly larger in area than the city of Indianapolis was first spotted in the Wilkesland Sea after breaking off (or “calving”) from Antarctica. Eleven years later, the giant chunk of ice known as C-02 had drifted farther north than any other in recorded history… until now.
In the late evening hours of August 17, 1969, a catastrophic storm named Hurricane Camille slammed into the Gulf Coast. A Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 175 mph and a storm surge of more than 24 feet, Camille devastated much of coastal Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. More than 250 people lost their lives and damage was estimated at about $10 billion in 2019 dollars. 
image of GOES-17
A blockage in the loop heat pipe of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the primary instrument on NOAA’s GOES-17 satellite, prevented the instrument from cooling properly and impeded its ability to collect data, according to a special Mishap Investigation Board.
Animated GIF of a fire
Every evening from late spring to early fall, two planes lift off from airports in the western United States and fly through the sunset, each headed for an active wildfire, and then another, and another. From 10,000 feet above ground, the pilots can spot the glow of a fire, and occasionally the smoke enters the cabin, burning the eyes and throat.
Photo of a man and a arctic fox
When researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) trapped a young female Arctic fox near her den in Krossfjorden, Svalbard, on July 29, 2017, they were hoping she could offer a bit of insight into the spatial ecology of Arctic foxes. Researchers wanted to know how the animals use their environment in terms of hunting and protecting their territory during different seasons, so they outfitted the coastal or blue fox with a satellite collar and released her back into the wild. Little did the scientists know, less than a year later this fox would traverse barren polar environments, traveling more than 2,700 miles to a remote part of Canada. 
Photo of scientists
An inflatable decelerator technology that could one day help humans land on Mars will fly on the same Atlas V rocket as the JPSS-2 satellite.