AVHRR images capture natural calamities in Mid-Atlantic Region

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Abstract

The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fblar Orbiting Environmental satellite is used to assess the severity of natural disasters including drought and vegetative conditions in this study. Satellite images captured the impact of extremely dry conditions suffered throughout the Mid-Atlantic region during the summer of 1999, which was dubbed as the drought of the century [Eos, August 17, 1999, p.365]. According to NOAA, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island endured their driest periods from April through July 1999 in 105 years of recordkeeping. Based on statistics from the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia exhibited departures of 26%, 29%, 32%, and 35%, respectively from normal precipitation totals during the 1999 summer According to the National Weather Service, a deficiency of 15% or more over a 6-month period can be considered as the onset of drought. Reduced rainfall in this region resulted in low soil moisture, which has a significant impact on vegetation conditions.

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