Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm over Mexico Beach on Wednesday, October 10th. By Thursday skies were clearing and damage was being assessed, in large part with satellites.
Thursday morning around 2:45 a.m. (CST) the VIIRS instrument aboard the NOAA-20 satellites took photos of the city lights over the Florida Panhandle and into Southern Alabama and Georgia. Then, the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) compared it to an image from the same instrument about a week ago, on October 6th. The result is a clear view of the power outages suffered along Michael’s path.
NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center also compared images showing a before and after of the night lights along the Florida coast:
The VIIRS instrument is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. It’s a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. The nighttime light imagery can be obscured by cloud cover, which is why the best comparable image to October 12th was October 6th; clouds obscured the view from October 7th-October 11th.
You can view nighttime images from arrow the globe with NASA’s interactive map here.