Hurricane Emilia in the North Pacific Ocean
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Hurricane Emilia in the North Pacific Ocean

July 16, 2012
The fifth named storm of the 2012 Pacific hurricane season, Emilia quickly became the strongest storm of that season to date, peaking as a Category 4 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane Wind Scale on July 10, 2012. On that day, Hurricane Emilia packed maximum one minute sustained wind speeds of 140 mph and a barometric pressure of 945 mbar.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Hurricane Emilia on July 11, at 2120 UTC (11:20 a.m. EDT). At that time, the storm had passed peak power, but still sported a clearly visible eye with high clouds overhead. Emilia passed the day of July 11 vacillating between a strong Category 2 and a weak Category 3 hurricane.

By 11 a.m. EDT on July 12, Emilia's maximum sustained winds had increased again to near 115 mph (185 km/h) and Emilia regained Category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. The center of Hurricane Emilia was located near latitude 15.1 north and longitude 121.4 west. That's about 925 miles (1485 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Late in the day on July 12, the eye disappeared from satellite imagery and the storm began to weaken.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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