This false-color image shows Hurricane Isabel viewed by the AIRS and AMSU-A instruments at 1:30 EDT in the morning of Thursday September 18, 2003. Isabel will be ashore within 12 hours, bringing widespread flooding and destructive winds. In figure 1 on the left, data retrieved by the AIRS infrared sensor shows the hurricane's eye as the small ring of pale blue near the upper left corner of the image. The dark blue band around the eye shows the cold tops of hundreds of powerful thunderstorms. These storms are embedded in the 120 mile per hour winds swirling counterclockwise around Isabel's eye. Cape Hatteras is the finger of land north-northwest of the eye. Isabel's winds will soon push ashore a 4- to 8-foot high mound of 'storm surge' and accompanying high surf, leading to flooding of Cape Hatteras and other islands of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Also seen in the image are several organized bands of cold, (blue) thunderstorm tops being pulled into the storm center. Other thunderstorm are forming north of the islands of Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico near the bottom of the picture.