27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta

  • Released Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Many records were broken during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season including the most hurricanes ever, the most category 5 hurricanes, and the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic as measured by atmospheric pressure. This visualization shows all 27 named storms that formed in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and examines some of the conditions that made hurricane formation so favorable.

The animation begins by showing the regions of warm water that are favorable for storm development advancing northward through the peak of hurricane season and then receding as the waters cool. The thermal energy in these warm waters powers the hurricanes. Strong shearing winds in the troposphere can disrupt developing young storms, but measurements indicate that there was very little shearing wind activity in 2005 to impede storm formation.

Sea surface temperatures, clouds, storm tracks, and hurricane category labels are shown as the hurricane season progresses.

This visualization shows some of the actual data that NASA and NOAA satellites measured in 2005 — data used to predict the paths and intensities of hurricanes. Satellite data play a vital role in helping us understand the land, ocean, and atmosphere systems that have such dramatic effects on our lives.

NOTE: This animation shows the named storms from the 2005 hurricane season. During a re-analysis of 2005, NOAA's Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center determined that a short-lived subtropcial storm developed near the Azores Islands in late September, increasing the 2005 tropical storm count from 27 to 28. This storm was not named and is not shown in this animation.

'27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta' played in the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival in August 2007. It was also a finalist in the 2006 NSF Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Color bar for sea surface temperatures in degrees F: blues are less than 80 , white is about 82, yellows and reds are above 82

Color bar for sea surface temperatures in degrees F: blues are less than 80 , white is about 82, yellows and reds are above 82

For More Information


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Additional credits:
Sea surface temperature Data by Remote Sensing Systems and sponsored by the NASA Earth Science REASoN DISCOVER Project and the AMSRE-E Science Team.

NCEP Cloud composite courtesy of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

Storm tracks and strenghts courtesy of NOAA's National Weather Service.

Blue Marble MODIS data composite courtesy of the MODIS Science Team NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the NASA Earth Observatory.

Music created and produced by UniqueTracks. Fantasy (theme from Norma) - Vincenzo Bellini.

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, May 31, 2006.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 12:00 AM EST.


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

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