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Earth from Space

Hurricane Catarina Hits Brazil

IMAGE:  Hurricane Catarina, Brazil

High-resolution image (328 Kb)

Before March 2004, only two tropical cyclones had ever been noted in the South Atlantic Basin, and no hurricanes. In late March 2004, a circulation center well off the coast of southern Brazil developed tropical cyclone characteristics and continued to intensify as it moved westward. The system developed an eye and apparently reached hurricane strength on Friday, March 28, before eventually making landfall late the next day.

The crew of the International Space Station was notified of the cyclone and acquired these excellent oblique photos of the storm just as it made landfall on the southern Brazilian state of Catarina. The storm has been unofficially dubbed "Hurricane Catarina." Note the clockwise circulation of Southern Hemisphere cyclones, the well-defined banding features and the eyewall of at least a Category 1 system. The coastline is visible under the clouds in the upper right corner of the image.

Astronaut photograph ISS008-E-19646 was provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
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Updated: 04/08/2004