Five years later, NASA is revisiting Hurricane Katrina with a short video that shows the storm as captured by NASA satellites. NASA provides space-based satellite observations, field research missions, and computer climate modeling to further scientists’ understanding of these storms. NASA also provides measurements and modeling of global sea surface temperatures, precipitation, winds and ocean heat content — all ingredients that contribute to the formation of tropical cyclones
On Aug. 29, 2005, after passing over the Caribbean and Florida, Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast as a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. As hurricanes go, Katrina was actually only moderate in size when it reached the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts, having weakened from a category 5 the day before. However, Katrina had a very wide footprint, which caused a broad area of large ocean swells to develop within the Gulf of Mexico. As the hurricane made its final landfall, the resulting storm surge was massive and unrelenting. Ultimately, this storm surge was responsible for much of the damage as it flooded coastal communities, overwhelmed levees, and left at least 80 percent of New Orleans underwater.