Tropical storms and billowing wildfire smoke rage in the same NASA satellite photo

Storms and wildfires rage in the same satellite photo snapped by NASA's Aqua satellite.  (Image credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System.)

A satellite spotted several tropical storms and dozens of wildfires ravaging the United States together in one image. 

NASA's Aqua satellite captured six tropical storms and more than 100 different U.S. wildfires in a single photo snapped on Tuesday (Sept. 15). The wildfires, which have particularly scoured California, have now burned about 4 million acres (over 16,000 square kilometers) across 10 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. When the photo was taken, there were six named storms total — Sally off the Gulf Coast, Paulette, Rene, Teddy and Vicky in the Atlantic Ocean and Karina in the Pacific. 

While "satellite images are generated every single day, in fact multiple times from multiple satellites," NASA said in a statement, "it is still very unusual to capture an image of so many hazards in one image."

Related: No, we can't control hurricanes from space

In the image, you can see Hurricane Sally making landfall on the Gulf Coast overnight on Sept. 15, where it brought extreme flooding. The red spots in the image show the areas across the country where significantly higher temperatures indicate fires. 

On the left of the image, you can see Hurricane Karina in the Pacific. In the Atlantic, on the right of the image, are several other tropical storms. Then-Hurricane Paulette, for one, can be seen nearing Bermuda with winds as high as 74 mph (119 kph), though it is not expected to hit land, according to NASA. In the lower right-hand corner of the image, you can see Hurricane Teddy, swirling east of the Leeward Islands. Teddy also has winds reaching 74 mph (119 kph). 

Email Chelsea Gohd at or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.