This animation, comprised of two images taken simultaneously at 11:15 local time (15:15 GMT) on 27 August 2011 with different Envisat sensors, shows Hurricane Irene, which struck the US east coast at the end of August.
The first black and white radar image provides an unusual view of a hurricane as it shows the rough ocean surface through the clouds. In the centre of the image, a dark spot can be seen where the eye of the hurricane passed over North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This area of serene weather at the centre of the hurricane was visible to the radar because calm water provided a smooth surface, appearing darker. The second image is from Envisat’s MERIS instrument and shows the typical spiral cloud pattern of the hurricane.