Public Release: 

NASA sees powerful storms circling major Hurricane Sergio's eye

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: At 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Oct. 3, 2018 the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite gathered infrared data on Hurricane Sergio. Strongest thunderstorms circled the center... view more 

Credit: NASA/NRL

Very powerful storms ringed the eye of Hurricane Sergio in infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite. Sergio is a major hurricane in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.    

At 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Oct. 3 the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite gathered infrared data on Sergio.  Infrared data provides temperature information.

Strongest thunderstorms wit coldest cloud tops appeared in the eyewall of the hurricane and extended outward from the center. MODIS found cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). NASA research has shown that cloud tops with temperatures that cold were high in the troposphere and have the ability to generate heavy rain.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC noted at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Sergio was located near latitude 12.3 degrees north and longitude 116.7 degrees west. Sergio is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph). Fortunately, Sergio is far from land areas. It is about 855 miles (1,380 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

A west-northwestward to northwestward motion at a slightly slower forward speed is expected over the next few days. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 kph) with higher gusts.  Sergio is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 

Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, with weakening expected to begin by Friday.

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For updated forecasts on Sergio, visit: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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