News Release

NASA satellites on-hand as Dorian becomes a category 3 hurricane

Peer-Reviewed Publication

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

GPM'S IMERG data on Hurricane Dorian

image: As of early on August 30, 2019 Hurricane Dorian has been producing 2 to 6 inches of rain along the path of its inner core for several days. This estimate come from the NASA IMERG algorithm, which combines observations from a fleet of satellites, in near-realtime, to provide global estimates of precipitation every 30 minutes. The storm-total rainfall at a particular location varies with the forward speed of the hurricane, with the size of the hurricane's wind field, and with how vigorous the updrafts are in the hurricane's eyewall. The graphic also shows the distance that tropical-storm force (39 mph) winds extend from the Hurricane Dorians low-pressure center, as reported by the National Hurricane Center. The symbols H2, H1, and TS represent category 2 hurricane, category 1 hurricane, and tropical storm, respectively. view more 

Credit: Visualization by NASA Goddard

As Hurricane Dorian was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, NASA's fleet of satellites were gathering data during the day to assist weather forecasters and scientists. At 2:00 pm EDT the National Hurricane Center (NHC) posted a supplemental advisory. NHC reports that "extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian poses a significant threat to Florida and the northwestern Bahamas. The Hurricane Hunter plane finds Dorian is now a major hurricane."

NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite uses its IMERG algorithm with data from a fleet of satellites to provide global estimates of the precipitation within the storm every 30 minutes. This map is showing the estimates early on the morning of August 30 prior to Dorian becoming a Category 3 storm.

NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite uses its complement of instruments onboard to dissect storms and provide information on many different aspects of the hurricane including storm strength, cloudtop temperature, circulation, and rainfall, among others, within the structure of the storm. The next three images are all from the Suomi NPP satellite and its instruments which help scientists figure out the intensity of the storm and help predict where it will ultimately end up.

Hurricane Dorian is currently at latitude 24.8N and longitude 70.3W which is about 445 miles (715 km) east of the northwestern Bahamas and about 625 miles (1005 km) east of West Palm Beach, FL. The NHC forecast is: "A slower west-northwestward to westward motion should begin tonight and continue into early next week. On this track, the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and tomorrow, be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, and be near the Florida peninsula late Monday."

Currently the storm's maximum sustained winds are 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts, and is moving northwest at 10 mph (17 km/h). Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km). The minimum central pressure is 970 mb.


The summary of watches and warnings in effect have not changed since the last NHC update at 11:00 am EDT.

For more information and updates, visit:

By Lynn Jenner
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.