Archive - Eye Wall of Katrina

October 04, 2020

Hurricane_katrina_eye_viewed_from_hurricane_hunter copy

Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published September 10, 2005.

Referred by: Brandon Zehm, NOAA
Summary authors & editors: Brandon Zehm; Jim Foster

The photo above showing the upper eye wall of Hurricane Katrina was captured from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft (WC130) over the Gulf of Mexico a day before Katrina made landfall (August 28, 2005). At this time, Katrina was a strong category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, and her eye was approximately 30 miles (48 km) in diameter. Note the spiral banding in the eye wall clouds and the clear, blue sky above Katrina's eye. Hurricane Hunters are large, sturdy cargo planes with turboprop engines. Their mission is to fly directly into the hurricane, and they typically penetrate the eye multiple times in order to gage a storm's wind speed and barometric pressure. They're fitted with specialized probes for this purpose -- one such probe can be seen above.

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