Satellite images from NASA show the west coast of America ablaze, as wildfires take their toll on California, Oregon and Washington state. On the other side of the country, Hurricane Sally is making landfall with wind speeds of 85 miles per hour. Several other hurricanes are converging in the Atlantic Ocean too, with Hurricanes Paulette, Teddy and Karina also visible in the image.
However, Hurricane Paulette does not pose a threat to land.
NASA said it is unusual for so many natural threats to be present in one image.
The space agency said: “NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the United States on Sep. 15, 2020, showing the fires in the West, the smoke from those fires drifting over the country, several hurricanes converging from different angles, and Hurricane Sally making landfall.
“Red points in the west note areas that are significantly higher in temperature than the areas around it and are indicative of fires.
“These points are most pronounced up and down the West Coast, but dot the country from coast-to-coast as well.
“In addition, in this image are captured four hurricanes/tropical storms in both the East and the West.
“On the left hand side is Karina which is moving away from the Baja California area. Hurricane Sally, seen in the middle of the image, made landfall overnight on the Gulf Coast bringing catastrophic flooding in its wake.
“Hurricane Paulette sits off the East Coast near Bermuda with winds of 74 mph, although no landmasses are threatened.
“Hurricane Teddy, in the lower right hand corner is east of the Leeward Islands, also has sustained winds of 74 mph, and is travelling west-northwest.
“Satellite images are generated every single day, in fact multiple times from multiple satellites, but it is still very unusual to capture an image of so many hazards in one image.”
Hurricane Sally is already causing devastation over the US Gulf coast, as the slow moving storm batters Alabama and Florida.
More than 500,000 people have been left without power and one person has died.
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On the other side of the America, wildfires have reached record-breaking proportions, with the smoke so dense and huge it has reached Europe, according to observations from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) on the EU’s Copernicus satellite.
Mark Parrington, CMAS senior scientist and wildfire expert, said: “The scale and magnitude of these fires are at a level much higher than any of the 18 years that our monitoring data covers [since 2003].
“The fact that these fires are emitting so much pollution into the atmosphere that we can still see thick smoke over 8000 kilometres away reflects just how devastating they have been in their magnitude and duration.”
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