It (she?) was my very first hurricane and as such Isabel deserves documentation (despite the rather lack-luster event - see my post on the hurricane).
"After originating in the eastern Atlantic west of the Cape Verde Islands, Isabel became the second major hurricane of the 2003 Atlantic season when it was declared a Category 3 storm by the National Hurricane Center on September 8. Over the next four days, Isabel strengthened into an extremely powerful Category 5 hurricane [Ed. note: The highest!] with winds estimated at 160 mph before dropping to a Category 4 hurricane on September 13." (Source)
By the time it made landfall on September 18 near Cape Hatteras on NC's Outer Banks, Isabel had dropped to to a Category 2 (borderline Category 1) storm with winds around 100 mph. It caused severe flooding and power outages in Eastern North Carolina and South-Eastern Virginia, but left the Triangle relatively unscathed.
Below are poignant meteorological images, a short video and news articles on the hurricane (including one on the benefits of hurricanes, if there are any :-/ )
Satellite Cloud View
Wednesday, September 17
4:45 - 7:45 PM
6:15 - 9:15 PM
7:15 - 10:15 PM
Thursday, September 18
6:45 - 9:45 AM
9:15 AM - 12:15 PM
10:45 AM - 1:45 PM
3:45 - 7:15 PM
5:00 - 8:45 PM
6:45 - 9:45 PM
The Triangle escaped with minor rainfall and high winds.
Isabel from Space
Astronaut Ed Lu snapped this photo of the eye of Hurricane Isabel from the International Space Station on September 13, 2003 at 11:18 UTC. At the time, Isabel was a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, packing winds of 150 miles per hour with gusts up to 184 miles per hour.
Earth Sciences and Image Analysis, NASA-Johnson Space Center. 2 Sep. 2003. "Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record." Link (22 Sep. 2003).