NASA never fails to capture dazzling images of our home planet, and on Thursday it released an animation of 2012's Hurricane Sandy that almost — almost — makes you forget how devastating that storm actually was. It's a stunningly beautiful 44-second video, replete with its own soundtrack, albeit a soundtrack that evokes Yanni on Xanax.
Musical notes aside, the video shows the output of a computer model known as NASA's GEOS-5 global atmosphere model, which was one of many computer models to project the storm's unusual path, strength, and structure.
The NASA model not only produced an accurate track of Sandy, but also captured fine-scale details of the storm’s changing intensity and winds, NASA said. The video provides insight into the storm's near-surface wind field, and the weather systems that were around it, forcing it to make a never-before-seen left turn straight into the New Jersey coastline, causing severe damage along the New Jersey Shore and flooding parts of New York City.
Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast late in 2012’s Atlantic hurricane season, causing 159 deaths and between $50 and $100 billion in damage.
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Center for Climate Simulation. Video courtesy of NASA/GSFC/William Putman.