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Satellite Spies Three Storms Swirling in the Atlantic
This NOAA GOES-13 satellite image taken on Aug. 21 at 7:45 a.m. EDT shows three of the four tropical systems being watched in the Atlantic Ocean basin. From left to right are: System 95L, Tropical Depression 9 and System 96L. Post-tropical Storm Gordon is just beyond the horizon.
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Storms are a-brew in the Atlantic Ocean.

This image, taken yesterday (Aug. 21) by NOAA's GOES-13 satellite, shows three storm systems gathering strength.

Tropical Depression 9 was re-named Tropical Storm Isaac yesterday after its wind gusts reached speeds of 40 mph (64 kph).

Behind it, in the eastern Atlantic, is another low pressure area called System 96L. It is associated with a tropical wave, and is spinning about 425 miles (684 kilometers) southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) gives it a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next day or so.

Tropical Storm Gordon captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite on Aug. 20 at 8:20 a.m. EDT, before it transitioned into a post-tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Gordon captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite on Aug. 20 at 8:20 a.m. EDT, before it transitioned into a post-tropical storm.
Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team

System 95L can be seen in the western Gulf of Mexico, where it's producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms just off-shore of the coast of Mexico. Its center of circulation is elongated, meaning it has a lower chance of getting organized and turning into a tropical storm. Tropical cyclones need a strong, round pattern of circulation to strengthen.

A second image, captured on Aug. 20, shows the remains of Tropical Storm Gordon fizzling out east of the Azores. The NHC issued its final advisory on Gordon on August 20 at 5 p.m., when Gordon still had maximum sustained winds near 45 mph (75 kph) and was weakening. Gordon is expected to dissipate in a couple of days east of Portugal.

Forecasters recently upped the chances for a busier-than-normal 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, with 12 to 17 named storms and between five to eight hurricanes. Named storms include tropical storms and hurricanes. The busiest months of the hurricane season are typically August and September.

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