On August 23 at 16:17 UTC (12:17 p.m. EDT) an infrared image of Hurricane Danielle's clouds from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite showed a tightly compact cyclone. The strongest convection and thunderstorms appeared as a large circle in the inside of the storm. The thunderstorms were so high, and powerful that the infrared data measured their temperatures as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. creates the images from the AIRS instrument.Another instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite helped find the center of Danielle early this morning. At 04:34 UTC (12:34 a.m. EDT), Danielle's eye (that developed yesterday) was no longer evident, indicating that it was obscured by clouds. Using the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) instrument that flies on Aqua, microwave imagery helped locate the center and confirmed that Danielle's center was just left of the previous estimate.
At 5 a.m. EDT on August 24, Danielle became a category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. Hurricane-force winds currently extend 30 miles out from the center, while tropical storm-force winds extend 115 miles from the center.
Danielle is moving west at 20 mph, and was still far away from land areas. Danielle's center was located about 1,110 miles east of the Lesser Antilles near 15.9 North and 44.6 West. A turn toward the west-northwest and then northwest is expected by early Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, Miami, Fla. Danielle's estimated minimum central pressure is 973 millibars.
Global computer models show Danielle remaining in an environment with low vertical wind shear for the next 24 hours over warm water temperatures between 28 and 29 Celsius (82 and 84 FahreLow wind shear and warm waters help power a tropical cyclone (the general name for tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes). Those factors are expected to help Danielle continue to intensify over the next 24 hours, so Danielle could become a major hurricane (Category 3) by Wednesday, August 25.
For all tropical cyclone updates from NASA's Hurricane page: www.nasa.gov/hurricane
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