Hurricane Katrina: A NASA Satellite Video Retrospective early August 2005, Katrina was just a name. By September, it had become synonymous with the costliest and one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in U.S. history. Five years later, NASA is revisiting Hurricane Katrina with a short video that shows the storm as captured by NASA satellites. NASA provides space-based satellite observations, field research missions, and computer climate modeling to further scientists' understanding of these storms. NASA also provides measurements and modeling of global sea surface temperatures, precipitation, winds and ocean heat content all ingredients that contribute to the formation of tropical cyclones.

On Aug. 29, 2005, after passing over the Caribbean and Florida, Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast as a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. As hurricanes go, Katrina was actually only moderate in size when it reached the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts, having weakened from a category 5 the day before. However, Katrina had a very wide footprint, which caused a broad area of large ocean swells to develop within the Gulf of Mexico. As the hurricane made its final landfall, the resulting storm surge was massive and unrelenting. Ultimately, this storm surge was responsible for much of the damage as it flooded coastal communities, overwhelmed levees, and left at least 80 percent of New Orleans underwater.

By the time the hurricane subsided, Katrina had claimed more than 1,800 human lives and caused roughly $125 billion in damages. As scientists and rescue organizations worked on the ground to prepare for the hurricane and assist in its wake, NASA provided data gathered from a series of Earth-observing satellites to help predict the hurricane's path and intensity. In the aftermath, NASA satellites also helped identify areas hardest hit. In this 3 1/2-minute video created by NASA-TV producer Jennifer Shoemaker at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., viewers will see many different kinds of data NASA satellites gathered about the storm. The video contains a sampling of the kinds of things NASA studies about hurricanes. Various additional data products are created in hurricane and post-hurricane research that are not depicted in the video.

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