Saturday, August 30, 2008

Terrible Beauty

Satellite weather imagery is one of the best applications of space technology, and a real life saver when it comes to tropical storms like Gustav, which tore into western Cuba and is now strengthening and heading for landfall somewhere on the U.S. Gulf coast. New Orleans is under mandatory evacuation. This recent satellite image is a frame of an animated GIF from - the animation has a terrible kaleidoscopic beauty. The interactive tracking map (static frame below) from the same web site shows Gustav strengthening to Cat 5 in the mid-Gulf at 11 pm Sunday night, then weakening to "only" Cat 4 the following day, with the projected path reaching New Orleans with 138-150 mph winds, gusting to 167-184 mph. Cross your fingers (this is about as effective as praying).

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