September 01, 2009
The JPL-built Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of a then Category 4 Hurricane Jimena early on Tuesday, Sept. 1, as the storm approached the southern tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula. The image shows how the storm looks through an AIRS infrared window channel. Window channels measure the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures in dark purple are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the hurricane. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds, so the purple color indicates the cool cloud tops of the storm.
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