MINNEAPOLIS - Let's break down the numbers: We've had 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes in the Atlantic this hurricane season.
Of those 10 hurricanes, six were major ones of Category 3 or higher. We had more major hurricanes make landfall this year than we have in a decade. Harvey, Irma, and Maria all made landfall, creating devastating flooding and damage in the areas they moved through.
Combining all of the satellite data and mathematical models, NASA generated a time lapse that looks at dust, smoke and sea salt in the atmosphere. And you can see how far they travel!
Smoke from the Pacific Northwest traveled across the entire country and even into Europe. Also, the thick dust storms that blow across the African continent. That dust is believed to help develop the thunderstorms that create hurricanes. Sea salt is also concentrated in the atmosphere when hurricanes develop.
Computer simulations like these allow scientists to analyze the atmosphere and see how all of these processes fit together and evolve over time. Understanding these processes can help us understand how the atmosphere works.