September 14, 2012 - Tropical Storm Leslie (12L) and Hurricane Michael (13L) in the Atlantic Ocean

Tropical Storm Leslie (12L) and Hurricane Michael (13L) in the Atlantic Ocean

On September 9, 2012 two storms continued to spin across the Atlantic Ocean. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments flying aboard both the Aqua and Terra satellites captured true-color images of Tropical Storm Leslie and Hurricane Michael on that same day. The resulting combined image gives a stunning view of the turbulent region.

Hurricane Michael, the eastern-most storm, was both the more powerful and more compact of the two at the time this image was captured. The central eye can be seen, although it appears to be mostly cloud-filled. The convective bands are tightly wound near the center of the storm, forming a distinct and compact apostrophe shape. Tropical Storm, Leslie, in the west, is by far the larger storm, and the storm bands were bringing rain to a greater area. The eye appears indistinct, although thick clouds are located centrally. Bermuda can be seen outlined to the northwest of Leslie.

At 1500 UTC, about 1 hour and 50 minutes before this image was captured, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Michael was carrying maximum sustained winds near 90 mph (150 km/h), making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This was weaker than its peak as a Category 3 on September 5. Michael continued to weaken, and became a remnant low on September 11. The NHC published its last advisory on the system at 2100 UTC on that day.

The NHC also issued an advisory on Tropical Storm Leslie at 1500 UTC on September 9. At that time, tropical storm force winds were affecting Bermuda as Leslie skirted to the east of the island with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (96 km/h). After brushing Bermuda, Leslie strengthened slightly as it headed towards Canada.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, Leslie made landfall Tuesday, Sept. 10 in Fortune, Newfoundland, at about 8:30 a.m. AST (7:30 a.m. EDT) with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 km/h). The Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper reported power outages and flight cancellations. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news reported heavy rainfall and wind gusts up to 82 mph (132 km/h) over the Avalon Peninsula, including St. John's that caused power outages, and downed trees. Leslie became a post-tropical cyclone as it began to move away from Newfoundland.

Image Facts
Date Acquired: 9/9/2012
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC