NASA Video Shows Tropical Storm Gordon Churning Over Florida

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of the storm.

by Josie Rhodes Cook

Tropical Storm Gordon, which initially made headlines as a tropical cyclone, made landfall west of the Alabama-Mississippi border Tuesday night, and threatens heavy rain and flooding after it weakened to a tropical depression over Central Mississippi, according to the National Hurricane Center. And NASA caught all the action on the International Space Station, 255 miles over the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured images of Tropical Storm Gordon around 11:30 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, according to video from International Space Station. The video shows Tropical Storm Gordon chugging away over the Gulf of Mexico and moving northwest at 15 miles an hour. And as Tropical Storm Gordon moved into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, NASA’s Aqua satellite also identified three areas of the strongest storms east of the storm’s center, the NASA blog reports. Clearly, these NASA resources are invaluable in giving us a clear view of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Gordon, which is now just Tropical Depression Gordon according to the National Hurricane Center, made landfall Tuesday with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70 miles per hour. The storm resulted in one reported death, that of a child who was killed after a tree fell on a mobile home in Escambia County, Florida. The storm may have been downgraded and seem less dangerous now, but it could still lead to heavy rain and flooding, as was happening on Wednesday in Florida.

See also Hurricane Maria as Seen From Space Shows Path to Puerto Rico, USA

There may be fewer hurricanes during this year’s hurricane season in the United States, according to an outlook released in early August by Colorado State University. “The tropical Atlantic remains anomalously cool, and vertical wind shear across the Caribbean has been quite strong over the past month. The tropical Atlantic has also been very dry in July. All these conditions tend to be associated with quieter Atlantic hurricane seasons,” the University report stated.

Just 12 named storms, five hurricanes and one major hurricane of Category 3 or higher intensity are expected this hurricane season, reports to The Weather Channel. Gordon may have wreaked most of the havoc it can, but the NHC is also watching Florence, a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, closely.

There are more tools than ever before that allow us to monitor storms like Gordon or Florence, and no matter how many there are this hurricane season, it’s really amazing that such clear video of these storms is available thanks to the International Space Station and the fine folks at NASA.

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