“27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta” by GST – NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

  • ©Gregory W. Shirah  GST – NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • GST – NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


    Many records were broken during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season: most hurricanes ever, most Category 5 hurricanes, and most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic as measured by atmospheric pressure. This visualization shows all 27 named storms that formed in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and examines some of the conditions that made hurricane formation so favorable.

    The animation begins by showing that regions of warm water favorable for storm develop-ment advance northward through the peak of hurricane season and then recede as the waters cool. These warm waters power the hurricanes. Measurements indicate that there was very little shearing wind activity in 2005 to impede storm formation.

    Sea-surface temperatures, clouds, storm tracks, and hurricane category labels are shown as the hurricane season progresses. This visualization shows some of the actual data that NASA and NOAA satellites mea-sured in 2005 – data used to predict the paths and intensities of hurricanes. Satellite data play a vital role in helping us understand the land, ocean, and atmosphere systems that have such dramatic effects on our lives.



    Custom data ingest, registration, and date-mapping shaders and MEL scripts.

    Dual CPU linux systems running Fedora Core 4 Dual CPU Macintosh running OS X 10.4


    Linux: Maya, Renderman, Interactive Data Language (IDL)
    OS X: Photoshop, After Effects

Additional Contributors:

    Director: Greg Shirah

    Producer: Dr. Horace Mitchell

    Primary Animators: Greg Shirah, Alex Kekesi, Lori Perkins

    Science Adviser: Dr. Jeff Halverson

    Additional Contributors: Jesse Allen, Dr. Tom Bridgman, Dr. Jeff de La Beaujardiere, Joycelyn T. Jones, Marte Newcombe, Eric Sokolowsky, Cindy Starr, Vicky Weeks, James W. Williams

    Editor: Stuart Snodgrass

    Writer: Michael Starobin

    Narrator: Michael Starobin

    Audio: Mike Velle

    Systems Support: Kevin Mahoney

Animation / Video Overview: