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Hurricane Genevieve Swirls in the Pacific Ocean

August 19, 2020
Hurricane Genevieve’s prominent eye in GOES West imagery.

Hurricane Genevieve, as seen by NOAA's GOES East satellite on August 18, 2020, first appeared as Tropical Depression Twelve-E in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, transitioning into a hurricane by the end of Monday. As of Wednesday morning, the hurricane was just off the coast of Baja California and had maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, making it a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The imagery above displays Hurricane Genevieve's prominent eye, which is defined as a relatively calm area of 20 to 40 miles in diameter. Hurricane eyes are usually clearly visible during a period of rapid intensification, and Band 2 imagery, which has the finest spatial resolution of all of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) bands on the GOES-R satellites, can give especially rich detail on Hurricane Genevieve's progression.

Combined with details from Mesoscale Domain Sectors (which can be moved to focus on areas of severe weather and provide updates as often as every 30 seconds) researchers can glean a great deal of information about a storm's intensity. "This," added GOES-R program scientist Dan Lindsey, "is 1-minute Band 2 Visible imagery from the GOES-16 ABI, [from one] of GOES-16's mesoscale sectors...over the hurricane in order to collect the data."

The GOES-East geostationary satellite, also known as GOES-16, keeps watch over most of North America, including the continental United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Africa. The satellite's high-resolution imagery provides optimal viewing of severe weather events, including thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes.