SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - We are almost done with hurricane season, which officially wraps up on November 30. A new time-lapse clip from NASA shows how tiny particles, called aerosols, interacted with this year's hurricanes.
How does NASA know what's blowing in the wind? Scientists tracked tiny aerosol particles like dust, smoke, and sea salt by combining satellite data with mathematical models of the atmosphere. View the clip below:
This visualization of the 2017 hurricane season follows smoke from the Pacific Northwest all the way to Europe and dust from the Sahara traveling west to the Americas. Sea salt gets whipped up into the air and concentrated into the winds of hurricanes, revealing the characteristic spiral shape. Hurricane rains wash dust out of the center of storms, leaving the sea salts, shown in blue in the video above.
Here is an excerpt from a NASA article on this subject:
"Tracking aerosols over land and water from August 1 to November 1, 2017. Hurricanes and tropical storms are obvious from the large amounts of sea salt particles caught up in their swirling winds. The dust blowing off the Sahara, however, gets caught by water droplets and is rained out of the storm system. Smoke from the massive fires in the Pacific Northwest region of North America are blown across the Atlantic to the UK and Europe. This visualization is a result of combining NASA satellite data with sophisticated mathematical models that describe the underlying physical processes."
"It is very interesting to see how all of these processes are related," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams. "Thankfully, hurricane season is wrapping up soon so we can finally put this active year behind us."