November 1, 2013 - Tropical Storm Thirteen (13L) in the Atlantic Ocean

Tropical Storm Thirteen (13L) in the Atlantic Ocean

In late October, 2013 short-lived Tropical Storm Lorenzo spun over the Atlantic Ocean. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-color image of the storm on October 21 at 1655 UTC (12:55 p.m. EDT), just as it was transitioning from a tropical depression to a tropical storm. At that time the storm had a faint suggestion of a cloud-filled eye and a weak apostrophe shape. While reasonably symmetric, the bulk of the storm clouds were found in the northern and eastern quadrants.

Tropical Depression 13L was born at about 1500 UTC (11:00 a.m. EDT) about 650 miles (1,045 km) east-southeast of Bermuda. It had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 km/h) and was moving to the northeast at 8 mph (13 km/h). By 2100 UTC (5:00 p.m. EDT), it had strengthened and had earned the name Tropical Storm Lorenzo.

By the morning of October 22, Tropical Storm Lorenzo’s maximum sustained winds reached peak intensity of 50 mph (85 km/h) and they extended outward up to 70 mi (110 km) from the center. The storm retained this intensity through October 24, when it faced increasing wind shear, drier air, and cooler water temperatures. By the end of the day, it had become a post-tropical cyclone.

On October 25 the National Hurricane Center noted that the remnants of Lorenzo were still generating disorganized showers and thunderstorms about 1,150 miles southwest of the Azores islands. Satellite imagery on that date showed a cold front approaching the remnants of Lorenzo. Subsequently, the last of Lorenzo’s energies were absorbed into the cold front, and added to a severe windstorm that hit northwestern Europe on October 27-28.

Known popularly as the “St. Jude Storm”, but also dubbed “Cyclone Christian” by the Free University of Berlin’s Meteorological Institute, “Simone” by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and “Carmen” by the European Windstorm Centre, the storm brought extreme winds to much of the region, and killed at least 17 people. The strongest wind gusts were in southern Demark, where they reached 120.8 mph (194.4 km/h), setting a record for the highest winds in the country’s history.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 10/21/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC