NASA looks at Eastern Pacific's Category 3 Hurricane Lester

August 30, 2016

NASA satellites provided forecasters with infrared and visible imagery of Major Hurrricane Lester as it continued to move through the Eastern Pacific Ocean. After peaking as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 29, Lester weakened to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale today, Aug. 30.

On Aug. 29 at 7:25 p.m. EDT (23:25 UTC) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Lester and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of the storm when it was a Category 3 hurricane. The VIIRS image showed a cloud-free eye about 20 nautical miles wide, surrounded by powerful thunderstorms.

At 11 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted Lester reached its peak with maximum sustained winds near 140 mph (220 kph), making it a Category 4 Hurricane. Lester was symmetrical.

By Aug. 30, however, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that Lester was showing signs of weakening as maximum sustained winds decreased. NHC forecaster Kimberlain said that "The areal extent of deep convection within the hurricane's central dense overcast (CDO) has decreased substantially, and the CDO has lost much of its axisymmetry since late yesterday [and does not appear as rounded]."

At 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT/0900 UTC) on Aug. 30 there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect. The center of Hurricane Lester was located near18.2 degrees north latitude and 133.2 degrees west longitude. That puts Lester's eye about 1,435 miles (2,305 km) east of Hilo, Hawaii, and east of Category 4 Hurricane Madeline.

The NHC said that Lester is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. The estimated minimum central pressure is 956 millibars.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 125 mph (205 kph) with higher gusts. Lester is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, infrared data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite was made into a false-colored infrared image from data taken on Aug. 30 at 6:29 a.m. EDT (10:29 UTC). Infrared data provide temperatures, and the AIRS image showed powerful storms with very cold cloud top temperatures in excess of minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) surrounding what appeared to be a less-defined eye.

NHC forecasts call for Lester to continue in a westerly direction before turning to the west-northwest on Aug. 30. For updated forecasts, visit the NHC website at:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Hurricane Articles from Brightsurf:

Hurricane resilience in the Bahamas
A new Stanford-led study provides information on how to invest in natural coastal ecosystems that the Bahamian government, community leaders and development banks are applying in post-disaster recovery and future storm preparation in the Bahamas.

NASA finds a weaker hurricane Juliette
Hurricane Juliette has been weakening and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at the strength of storms within.

NASA sees Dorian become a hurricane
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the northwestern Atlantic Ocean as Dorian reached hurricane status during the afternoon of August 28, 2019.

Landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico on 20 September 2017 and triggered more than 40,000 landslides in at least three-fourths of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities.

NASA sees Atlantic's Leslie become a hurricane
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Hurricane Leslie that revealed strong storms circled the center.

NASA sees Walaka becoming a powerful Hurricane
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and analyzed Walaka's rainfall and cloud structure as it was strengthening into a hurricane.

NASA finds a weaker Hurricane Olivia
Infrared data from NASA's Terra satellite revealed that the area of coldest cloud topped thunderstorms has dropped from the previous day, indicating weaker uplift and less-strong storms

NASA looks at heavy rainmaker in Hurricane Lane
Cloud top temperatures provide scientists with an understanding of the power of a tropical cyclone.

Hector weakens but remains Category 4 Hurricane
Hurricane Hector has weakened slightly but still remains a robust Category Four storm at present.

UA forecast: Below-average hurricane activity
The UA hurricane forecasting model, which has proved to be extremely accurate over the years, is calling for fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic this year on the heels of a devastating 2017.

Read More: Hurricane News and Hurricane Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to