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You are here: GES DISC Home Hurricanes Additional Features Science Focus HURRICANE VINCE October 9 - 11 2005

HURRICANE VINCE October 9 - 11 2005

Hurricane Vince track diagram

Figure 1. Best Track analysis of unusual Hurricane Vince in the far northeastern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.1


Storm Status

Wind Speed

Green=Tropical Depression

<39 mph

Yellow=Tropical Storm

39-73 mph

Light Red=Category 1-2 Hurricane

74-110 mph

Dark Red=Category 3-5 Hurricane



Hurricane Vince was the twentieth named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and an oddity among tropical disturbances.  Vince formed in an area of relatively high shear and very low Sea Surface Temperatures—ranging from 23-24 degrees C—but still managed to acquire tropical characteristics at 11 AM EDT on 9 October2.

Storm History

Vince developed from a non-tropical low that had meandered around the northeastern Atlantic for a few days.  Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center decided to hold off on issuing advisories for this system because of the unfavorable locations, and peculiar location of the disturbance.  At 11 AM EDT on 9 October, forecasters began issuing advisories on the system and gave it a name—Vince.  The development of this tropical system defied general assumptions by the weather community that Sea Surface Temperatures had to be at least 26-5 degrees C (80 degrees F) for any development to occur.  In this case, SSTs were a chilly 23-24 degrees C.




Nonetheless, Vince quickly became a hurricane a short six hours later at 5PM EDT, as he continued a slow northeastward movement towards the extreme southwestern corner of Spain.  His strength was hampered significantly, however, by strong upper level shear early on 10 October as Vince approached the Iberian Peninsula3.  The increased wind shear, combined with increasingly cooler waters, began Vince’s demise in the Northeastern Atlantic. 

Vince continued on this weakening trend as he edged closer to Portugal and Spain, and finally made landfall on the Iberian Peninsula (the first tropical cyclone to do so in recorded history4) near Huelva, Spain early on 11 October as a Tropical Depression.


Data, Images and Animations

+Explore and analyze gridded data of the hurricane using the GES-DISC Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure (Giovanni)

+Use Mirador or WHOM to obtain data provided by the GES DISC DAAC for a hurricane event.

+View animations and images of Hurricane Vince in the 2005 Past Hurricane Archive.

Vince RGB
MODIS Terra RGB using the MOD02HKM product. This image is of the swath data from Oct 08 at 1200 hrs. More images like this and parameters animation created from other datasets can be seen in our Archive Image Gallery for hurricane Vince.



1. Image courtesy of the NOAA coastal Services Center  Http://

2. Knabb, Richard. “Tropical Storm Vince Discussion Number 1.” 9 October 2005. (10 July 2006).

3. Franklin, James. “Tropical Storm Vince Discussion Number 4.” 10 October 2005. (10 July 2005).

4. Franklin, James, “Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Vince.” 22 February 2006. (10 July 2006).

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Last updated: May 27, 2010 04:35 PM ET