Hurricane Alley 2008

hurricane alley 2008

This page offers several versions of a HD-TV (720p and 1080p) digital animation of the 2008 hurricane season. The movie displays NOAA's NCEP half-hourly compilation of infrared cloud imagery over hurricane alley from the geosynchronous weather satellites, principally from NOAA's GOES-12 at 75W. The original cloud imagery was remapped to a rectangular latitude-longitude grid at 4 km spatial resolution and enhanced to display cloudtop texture. The GOES cloud images were overlaid on a true-color "Blue Marble" digital background map previously derived from the MODIS imager on NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) of satellites. There are brief outages in the time-series, principally when the GOES satellite shuts down as it passes through the Earth's shadow for an hour each day around 0500 UTC in September-October, just before dawn on the US East Coast.

The table below lists movie clips with varying duration, speed, and annotation, leaving it to the user to supply audio. Each movie is a large file that can be downloaded using anonymous FTP in the form ftp://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/hurr2008/<directory path>/<file name>, where the <directory path>/<file name> is listed in the right-hand column.

hurricane alley frame For a low-resolution preview, try this browser-compatible miniature version (half-size, double speed, mid-season, highly-compressed, MP4 movie with a sound track - 21 MB) of the large, high-resolution HD-TV movies listed below.

"Season" movies are the most complete, consisting of frames at 30-minute intervals from 1 May to 18 November 2008, with a date-time UTC stamp in the bottom center of the frame. "Highlight" movies are smaller files, cadenced at 60-minute intervals during the middle of the hurricane season, from 2 July to 14 September. Most versions are overlaid with hurricane names and storm tracks, with the tracks represented by dots whose size and color represent NOAA's hurricane categories 1 to 5. A few movies have captions summarizing each storm in a sidebar, The National Hurricane Center's Tropical Cyclone Reports contain comprehensive information on each tropical cyclone, including synoptic history, meteorological statistics, casualties and damages, and the post-analysis best track (six-hourly positions and intensities). Our plain movies without named storm tracks are useful for illustrating basic meteorology.

The digital movies are packaged in Apple's Quicktime file format, using the HD-TV H.264 codec (the "pro resolution" movies use Apple's PRORES codec, suitable for editing and custom compression to H.264). After downloading, the movies can be viewed using Apple's free Quicktime players for the Macintosh or Windows operating systems. The following table begins with the smallest low-resolution movies, proceeds to larger high-resolution versions, and finishes with a multi-layer master suitable for editing with Quicktime Pro or Apple's more sophisticated movie editors for use in documentary productions. The HD-TV movies are all silent, but royalty-free "caribbean music" is available. It takes good download speed, disk capacity, and video quality to play these large movie files.

Anonymous FTP URLs for large Quicktime movies of the 2008 hurricane season
Movie Characteristics

ftp://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/hurr2008/<directory path>/<file name> below

Highlights, 720p, low resolution, 74 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_h264_low.mov
Highlights, 720p, medium resolution, 165 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_h264_med.mov
Highlights, 720p, high resolution, 337 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_h264_high.mov
Highlights, 720p, best resolution, 626 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_h264_best.mov
   
Season, 720p, low resolution, without named tracks, 325 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_date_h264_low.mov
Season, 720p, high resolution, without named tracks, 1,630 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_date_h264_high.mov
Season, 720p, low resolution, 325 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_date_name_track_h264_low.mov
Season, 720p, high resolution, 1,630 MB n720/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_date_name_track_h264_high.mov
   
Season, 720p, pro resolution, without named tracks, 4,000 MB n720/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_date.mov
Season, 720p, pro resolution, named, without tracks, 4,000 MB n720/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_date_name.mov
Season, 720p, pro resolution, 4,000 MB n720/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_date_name_track.mov
Season, 720p, pro resolution, captioned, 4,050 MB n720/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_date_name_track_text.mov
Season, 720p, pro resolution, hourly, 2,020 MB n720/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_date_name_track_2x.mov
Highlights, 720p, pro resolution, 770 MB n720/4_shorter_highlights_qt/2008_hurr_highlights.mov
   
Season, 720p, pro resolution, multi-layered master, 5,860 MB n720/2_layered_qt/2008_hurr_layers.mov
   
Highlights, 1080p, low resolution, 155 MB n1080/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_1080_h264_low.mov
Highlights, 1080p, high resolution, 726 MB n1080/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_1080_h264_high.mov
   
Season, 1080p, low resolution, without named tracks, 712 MB n1080/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date_h264_low.mov
Season, 1080p, high resolution, without named tracks, 3.580 MB n1080/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_1080_h264_high.mov
Season, 1080p, low resolution, 685 MB n1080/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date_name_track_h264_low.mov
Season, 1080p, high resolution, 3,470 MB n1080/5_compressed_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date_name_track_h264_high.mov
   
Season, 1080p, pro resolution, without named tracks, 7,940 MB n1080/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date.mov
Season, 1080p, pro resolution, named, without tracks, 7,940 MB n1080/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date_name.mov
Season, 1080p, pro resolution, 7,980 MB n1080/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date_name_track.mov
Season, 1080p, pro resolution, captioned, 8,030 MB n1080/3_flat_qt/2008_hurr_1080_date_name_track_text.mov
Highlights, 1080p, pro resolution, 1,490 MB n1080/4_shorter_highlights_qt/2008_hurr_highlights_1080.mov
   
Season, 1080p, pro resolution, multi-layered master, 11,610 MB n1080/2_layered_qt/2008_hurr_layers_1080.mov
   
The FTP download service provided by browsers usually fails larger than a few GB. For large files, use command-line FTP, or a recent application on a computer capable of 64-bit addressing (32 bits limit file sizes to 4 GB).
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Please give credit for the satellite images to:
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mail icon NASA Official: Dennis.Chesters@nasa.gov

GOES Project, NASA-GSFC