Climate fires and hurricanes collide in this shocking NASA satellite image


Smoke meets cyclones in a jarring new series of satellite images posted to NASA’s Earth Observatory website.

In the images, which combine recent observations of the United States taken by several different NASA satellites from Sept. 14 to 16, orange-tinted smoke from an immense series of wildfires on the West Coast sails clean across the country to collide with tropical cyclones on the other side.

One image, from Sept. 15, shows the two weather catastrophes directly interacting, as churning winds from Hurricane Paulette literally block wildfire smoke in the upper atmosphere from flowing further into the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, Hurricane Sally — bearing down on the Gulf Coast at the time — pushes the smoke plume further north. When Paulette dissipated the following day, the smoke continued its eastward journey over the ocean.

Three satellite maps from Sept. 14 (top), 15 and 16 show the gargantuan smoke plume from the West Coast wildfires brushing past hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and East Coast. In the middle image (Sept. 15), Hurricane Paulette blocks the smoke from traveling further east over the Atlantic ocean. (Image credit: Joshua Stevens/ NASA)





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