An inside view of Hurricane Katrina becoming a monster (Video)

{ }Not everyone can fly in a Hurricane Hunter. For people who want to get right inside the eye of a Category 5 cyclone but don’t have a pilot’s license (and leak-proof underwear, presumably), there’s this wonderful computer simulation of Hurricane Katrina forming in 2005. The animation, built using a numerical model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, shows what happened in the 36 hours before the U.S.'s most costly storm hit land: the nascent system feeding and growing on warm, moist air over the Bahamas; a low-pressure dimple developing in its center; a full-blown eye opening that whips winds around at 140 m.p.h. and above. Coils of warm air are yellow and cold air is blue. The video was created by the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois and was recently screened as part of the larger climate film “Dynamic Earth” at the planetarium-oriented Fulldome U.K. festival. (Hat tip to New Scientist TV)

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