NASA-NOAA satellite tracking record-breaking Tropical Storm Paulette

September 08, 2020

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Storm Paulette as it tracked through the Central North Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 8. Paulette, like some other tropical storms this year, has broken a season record.

Tropical Depression 17 developed on Sunday, Sept. 6 by 11 p.m. EDT about 1,160 miles (1,865 km) west of the Cabo Verde Islands. Twelve hours later on Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. EDT, it had strengthened and organized into a tropical storm and was renamed Tropical Storm Paulette.

Record-Breaking Paulette

Paulette's development set another hurricane season record. Paulette is the 16th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It is also the earliest 16th named storm of any Atlantic season by 10 days. The previous record was Philippe, which formed on September 17, 2005.

Satellite Views of Paulette

On Sept. 8, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard Suomi NPP provided a visible image of Paulette when it passed overhead. Forecasters looking at the VIIRS imagery noted that Paulette's organization had noticeably improved since last night. The tropical storm is still sheared (vertical wind shear is pushing against the storm from the northeast), with its outflow restricted to the southwest.

The National Hurricane Center noted, "Overnight AMSU imagery indicated that convection was beginning to wrap around the western portion of its circulation." The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) is a multi-channel microwave radiometer installed on meteorological satellites. The instrument examines several bands of microwave radiation from the atmosphere to perform atmospheric sounding of temperature and moisture levels. That instrument flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite and NOAA weather satellites.

On Sept. 8 at 12:05 a.m. EDT (0405 UTC) NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed Paulette using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument. AIRS found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

Paulette's Status

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 8, the center of Tropical Storm Paulette was located near latitude 18.4 degrees north and longitude 43.3 degrees west. Paulette is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 kph). The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 millibars. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts.

A turn toward the west-northwest or west with a slight increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. Moderate additional strengthening is possible today and Paulette could be near hurricane strength by tonight, Sept. 8.
NASA Researches Tropical Cyclones

Hurricanes/tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA's expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For more than five decades, NASA has used the vantage point of space to understand and explore our home planet, improve lives and safeguard our future. NASA brings together technology, science, and unique global Earth observations to provide societal benefits and strengthen our nation. Advancing knowledge of our home planet contributes directly to America's leadership in space and scientific exploration.

For updated forecasts. Visit:

By Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Tropical Storm Articles from Brightsurf:

NASA finds powerful storm's around Tropical Storm Cristina's center
A low-pressure area strengthened quickly and became Tropical Storm Cristina in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and infrared imagery from NASA revealed the powerful thunderstorms fueling that intensification.

NASA satellite gives a hello to tropical storm Dolly
During the morning of June 23, the fourth system in the Northern Atlantic Ocean was a subtropical depression.

NASA follows Tropical Storm Nuri's path
An animation of four days of imagery from NASA's Terra satellite showed the progression and landfall of Tropical Storm Nuri.

NASA finds an elongated Phanfone now a tropical storm
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of Phanfone as it continues moving through the South China Sea.

Tropical Storm Krosa gets a comma shape
Tropical Storm Krosa continued on its journey northward in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean when NOAA's NOAA-20 polar orbiting satellite passed overhead and captured a visible image of the strengthening storm in a classic tropical cyclone shape.

Satellite shows Tropical Storm Flossie holding up
Satellite imagery showed that Tropical Storm Flossie's structure didn't change much overnight from July 31 to August 1.

NASA tropical storm Erick strengthening
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed a stronger Tropical Storm Erick in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

GPM satellite provides a 3D look at Tropical Storm Barry
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided a couple of views of Tropical Storm Barry that showed its cloud heights and rainfall rates.

NASA looks at Tropical Storm Funani's rainfall
Tropical Storm Funani (formerly classified as 12S) continued to affect Rodrigues Island in the South Pacific Ocean when the GPM satellite passed overhead and analyzed its rainfall.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Man-yi approaching typhoon strength Tropical Storm Man-Yi con
Tropical Storm Man-Yi continued to strengthen in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean as NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of the storm.

Read More: Tropical Storm News and Tropical Storm 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