Hurricane Watch
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Studying a Storm From Many Angles
data showing forecasted path of Hurricane Rita Sea-Surface Height
This forecast map showing sea-surface height -- an indicator of heat stored in the ocean -- in the Gulf of Mexico is based on data from four satellites, including Jason and Topex/Poseidon. The interaction of Hurricane Rita with the upper ocean is the primary source of energy for the storm. Hurricane intensity is therefore greatly affected by the upper ocean temperature structure and can exhibit explosive growth over warm ocean currents and eddies, seen in red in this image.
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