For the first time ever, Saildrone Inc. and NOAA have used an uncrewed surface vehicle to collect oceanic and atmospheric data from inside the eye of a hurricane. On September 30th, 2021 saildrone 1045 travelled directly into Category 4 Hurricane Sam.
Saildrone Inc. and the NOAA have released the first video footage gathered by an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) from inside a major hurricane barreling across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 was directed into the midst of Hurricane Sam, a category 4 hurricane, which is currently on a path that fortunately will miss the U.S. east coast. SD1045 is battling 50 foot waves and winds of over 120 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, is giving us a completely new view of one of earth’s most destructive forces.
AOML’s newest issue of the Keynotes Newsletter is now live! This issue offers in-depth research highlights about new technology for the 2021 hurricane season, the ocean’s role in fueling hurricanes, new uses for Ship of Opportunity Data, new research on heat tolerant corals, eDNA and it’s connection to marine food webs, new sargassum tracking tools, recent publications, and more.
Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory are collaborating with NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory to test the Micro-pulse Doppler lidar (Microdop), a small light instrument to measure storm winds from NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter P-3 aircraft to learn if this data can improve hurricane forecasts.
Saildrone is announcing a new mission to deploy five uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) from the US Virgin Islands in August to gather key data throughout the 2021 Tropical Atlantic hurricane season. The USVs will be equipped with specially designed “hurricane wings” to enable them to operate in extreme conditions. Saildrones are the only USVs capable of collecting this data and are designed to withstand winds over 70 mph and waves over 10 feet, which occur during a hurricane weather system. The five saildrones will sail into the paths of hurricanes to provide valuable real-time observations for numerical hurricane prediction models and to collect new insights into how these large and destructive weather cells grow and intensify.
Scientists at AOML are preparing for the active anticipated 2021 Atlantic hurricane season with the introduction of new observation tools, modeling techniques, and field campaigns to improve hurricane intensity and track forecasts.
Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory are now focusing on what happens where the sea meets the atmosphere to help solve the hurricane intensity problem. The place right above where the air meets the sea is called the planetary boundary layer. The ocean drives global weather. By building on past research, scientists have determined that factors in the boundary layer and underlying ocean such as salinity, temperature, currents, wave and wind patterns, precipitation, are crucial to understanding the energy that fuels a hurricane.
In January 2021, AOML in partnership with NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) completed the air launch testing of the Air-Launched Autonomous Micro-Observer (ALAMO) profiling float. This testing cleared the ALAMO floats for flight and deployed from the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft during their hurricane reconnaissance missions. The data collected and transmitted by the ALAMO floats will be used to understand the ocean’s interaction with tropical cyclones and improve coupled hurricane forecasting models.
Hurricane scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory have created a new, advanced moving nest model within the Unified Forecast System, the bedrock of NOAA’s weather prediction applications . AOML’s Hurricane Modeling and Prediction Team developed the high resolution moving nest model for the FV3 dynamical core, laying the foundation for next generation advancements in hurricane forecasting.
Originally Published January 25th, 2021 at NOAA.Gov
“We’re hopeful this new technology, once it can be successfully tested in a hurricane environment, will improve our understanding of the boundary layer and advance NOAA forecast models used in forecasts,” said Joseph Cione, lead meteorologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory Hurricane Research Division. “Ultimately, these new observations could help emergency managers make informed decisions on evacuations before tropical cyclones make landfall.”