Hurricane Alex (01L) off United States East Coast

Hurricane Alex skims the North Carolina shoreline in this image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite on August 3, 2004, at 12 p.m. U.S. Eastern time. At that time, Alex was a Category Two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour with stronger gusts. Storm surges of 2-4 feet, heavy surf, and rip currents are expected to affect the entire Atlantic shoreline. According to the Tropical Prediction Center, Alex is moving towards the northeast at 15 mph and is expected to maintain that course over the next 24 hours. For more information, please visit the National Hurricane Center. The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Alex formed as a tropical depression on July 31, and developed into a tropical storm on August 2. It reached hurricane status on August 3 as it neared the North Carolina coast.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Hurricane Isabel over the US East Coast

The eye of Hurricane Isabel approaches North Carolinas Outer Banks in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image captured by the Terra satellite on September 18, 2003 at 11:55 am US Eastern time.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

North Carolina Smoke Plume

A long smoke plume is visible in this SeaWiFS image coming from the northeastern corner of North Carolina on October 26, 2001. The plume is still visible over the Atlantic Ocean 260 kilometers (160 miles) east of its source. Another smaller smoke plume appears to be blowing eastward from central Virginia. The roughly rectangular region northwest of the plumes western end is the Great Dismal Swamp with dark Lake Drummond in the middle. The larger body of water to the south is Albermarle Sound. Moving southeastward along the coast, one can see more turbid coastal water jutting out toward the clear blue water of the Gulf Stream at capes Hatteras, Lookout, Fear, and Romain. The Gulf Stream leaves the coast near Cape Hatteras, and greener, more phytoplankton rich water is visible to the north.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

North Carolina Coast

High turbidity and dark coloration is still visible in North Carolinas coastal lagoons.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Effects of Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in North Carolina

The two images in the top row of this SeaWiFS timeline show North Carolinas estuaries before either of the two hurricanes came through. The three images in the bottom row show the estuaries after the hurricanes. The two smaller images at the upper left give dates for the two hurricanes.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Gulf Stream

There is a nice view of the north edge of the Gulf Stream as it separates from the coast at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in this SeaWiFS image.
Source: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Flooding in Tarboro, North Carolina

Hurricane Floyd brought upwards of 18 inches of rain to areas of Eastern North Carolina on September 16, 1999. Along the Tar River, the cities of Rocky Mount, Tarboro, and Greenville were flooded extensively, and the river remained high until September 28, when another 8 inches of rain caused the rivers to crest again. Many residents remained in shelters, and schools remained closed, two weeks after the arrival of Floyd. This pair of images from Landsat-7 shows the flooding in Tarboro. A regular pattern of light grey and white fields, sandwiched between the city of Tarboro to the west and a bend in the Tar River to the east, are easily seen in image from July 28, but were scoured by flood waters and appear dark grey in the image from September 30. Standing water (black) remains in much of the Tar Rivers floodplain in the later image.
Source: Data courtesy Landsat 7 project

Hurricane Dennis

Hurricane Dennis moved slowly north along the North Carolina coast on August 30, 1999, but the eye didnt cross over land. Although this resulted in relatively light damage, high winds and tidal surges eroded beaches and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people.
Source: Image and animation produced by Jesse Allen, NASA GSFC Visualization Analysis Lab, based on NOAA data

Views North Carolina Flood

These Landsat 7 images show a region in eastern North Carolina where flooding occurred due to heavy rains brought by Hurricane Floyd. Visible in the lower lefthand corner of this scene is Washington, NC, where the Tar River meets the Pamlico. This image was taken Sept. 23, 1999. Compare it to the image of the same region acquired on July 6, 1999, to see the difference in water level. There is also severe flooding along the Tar River to the northwest of this scene in the towns of Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Princeville, and Greenville. The next opportunity for Landsat 7 to acquire images over these latter towns is Sept. 30, 1999.
Source: Images courtesy of NASA and USGS' EROS Data Center

The Winds of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence stalled several hundred miles off the coast of the Carolinas on September 12, 2000. The storm had sustained winds of just over 75 miles per hour (33.5 meters per second), barely hurricane strength. Although Florence is not likely to strike land, strong riptides caused by the offshore winds killed two swimmers in North Carolina, and a kayaker is missing. The above image shows data from the QuikSCAT instrument aboard the SeaWinds satellite at 1200 UTC September 12, 2000. Florence is the small spiral of high winds just east of Florida. QuikSCAT measures wind speed over the ocean with radar. Because radar penetrates clouds, QuikSCAT can detect tropical depressions—the weather systems that evolve into typhoons and hurricanes—earlier than traditional weather satellites. Compare the concentrated winds of Hurricane Florence with the broad areas of high winds that circle Antarctica. The uninterrupted ocean and band of continuous low pressure that surrounds Antarctica is home to high winds, storms, and almost perpetual cloud cover.
Source: Images courtesy Seaflux, NASA/JPL