NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument on the International Space Station provided a look at the strong winds that created blizzard conditions and coastal flooding during the historic winter storm that blanketed much of the U.S. East Coast, starting Jan. 23, 2016. At 7:30 p.m. PST on Jan. 22, RapidScat showed sustained winds as strong as 30 meters per second (65 mph/105 kilometers per hour) off the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. Many beachfront towns from southern New Jersey to Maryland were flooded as winds pushed ocean waters inland. The town of Cape May, New Jersey, reported a flood level of 8.98 feet (2.74 meters) -- the highest on record.
This image shows ocean winds near the surface off the U.S. East Coast, from the hook of Cape Cod at top right to the Florida peninsula at bottom left. The mid-Atlantic states are directly in the path of the highest wind speeds.
RapidScat measures Earth's ocean surface wind speed and direction over open waters. The instrument's data on ocean winds provide essential measurements for researchers and scientists to use in weather predictions, including hurricane monitoring. The NASA instrument arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept. 23, 2014, providing a new resource for tracking and studying storms ranging from tropical cyclones to nor'easters. RapidScat has kept busy in 2015's already active Southern Hemisphere hurricane season and the Northern Hemisphere's winter storm season.
For more information on RapidScat, visit http://winds.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/RapidScat/ and http://www.nasa.gov/rapidscat.