The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season: What We Le…

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The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was among the top ten most active seasons in recorded history. Our experts are exploring what made this year particularly active and the science behind some of the biggest storms to date.

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After a period of 12 years without a Category 3 or higher hurricane making landfall in the U.S., Hurricane Harvey made landfall over Texas as a Category 4 hurricane this August.

Harvey was also the biggest rainfall event ever to hit the continental U.S. with estimates more than 49 inches of rain.

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Data like this from our Global Precipitation Measurement Mission, which shows the amount of rainfall from the storm and temperatures within the story, are helping scientists better understand how storms develop. 

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The unique vantage point of satellites can also help first responders, and this year satellite data helped organizations map out response strategies during hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. 
 

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In addition to satellites, we use ground stations and aircraft to track hurricanes.

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We also use the capabilities of satellites like Suomi NPP and others that are able to take nighttime views. In this instance, we were able to view the power outages in Puerto Rico. This allowed first responders to see where the location of impacted urban areas.

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The combined effort between us, NOAA, FEMA and other federal agencies helps us understand more about how major storms develop, how they gain strength and how they affect us. 

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To learn more about how we study storms, go to www.nasa.gov/Hurricanes.

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