The image shows the hurricane through an infrared camera lens. It’s been tweaked to show the storm in apocalyptic colors that accentuate the hurricane’s eye and make its teeth look like the comic book character Ghost Rider or the Grinch, some Twitter users suggested.
It’s creepy, but in a nutshell, CNN meteorologist Judson Jones explains that “basically, scientists use color tables to identify the strongest part of the storm.” In the viral Twitter post, gray, black and red were chosen.
Paul Meyer, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Earth Science Office, told CNN that the skull’s “teeth” are cold convective clouds.
Before & After: Color enhancement is added to infrared satellite imagery (second image below) to help meteorologists find the strongest portions of the storm: