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Brazil's First Cyclone

The first tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity in the satellite era developed in the South Atlantic on March 25, 2004, and struck the southern coast of Brazil in Santa Catarina State. The storm was dubbed Catarina by Brazilian meteorologists.

Brazil is usually protected from cyclonic activity. Cool waters, atmospheric shear, and predominantly off-shore flow keep most storms from forming in the region. On March 24, 2004, however, meteorologists were shocked when satellite imagery revealed that an extra-tropical cyclone was exhibiting tropical cyclone features, including eye-wall formation. This animation shows infrared imagery from the GOES-12 satellite from March 24-28, 2010. At that time, GOES-12 was also known as "GOES-East," the Eastern U.S.'s main weather satellite. Its coverage of South America was limited to scans once every three hours when full hemisphere imagery is acquired. As Catarina developed, GOES-12 was tasked to provide special imagery of the storm as it approached the coast. Fast forward to the year 2010, and GOES-12 is now permanently observing South America as part of NOAA's contribution to the Global Earth Observing System of Systems, while GOES-13 has taken its place as GOES-East.

Brazil's First Cyclone
Copyright:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Keywords:GOES-12, GOES-South, Catarina, cyclone, Brazil
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