Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory are at the forefront of hurricane research to improve track and intensity forecasts. Every hurricane season they fly into storms, pour over observations and models, and consider new technological developments for how to enhance NOAA’s observing capabilities. The 2014 hurricane season will provide an opportunity to test some of the most advanced and innovative technologies, including unmanned hurricane hunter aircraft and sea gliders, which will help scientists better observe and, eventually, better predict a storm’s future activity.
NOAA hurricane hunters are prepared to enter a new chapter in the use of unmanned aircraft systems: deploying an unmanned aircraft from an airplane inside a hurricane. Starting on September 14, 2014, NOAA’s hurricane hunting manned aircraft fleet will fly into position to observe any developing tropical systems in the Atlantic using this new tool. The Coyote unmanned aircraft will be the first unmanned aircraft deployed directly inside a hurricane from NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft. The goal of the Coyote is to collect temperature, pressure and wind observations below 3,000 feet, where manned aircraft can not fly safely.
NOAA successfully deployed unmanned aircraft from a NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter directly into a hurricane for the first time. NOAA deployed four Coyote Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Hurricane Edouard during flights conducted September 15-17, 2014 out of Bermuda. Scientists on board the P-3 aircraft received meteorological data from the Coyote UAS in both the eye and surrounding eyewall of Hurricane Edouard.
AOML, NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center, and partners from Sensitel completed a successful calibration flight of the Coyote unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on September 3, 2014.
Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory are in the Caribbean to launch two underwater gliders from a vessel off Puerto Rico to collect temperature and other weather data to improve hurricane forecasting.One of the gliders will collect observations in the Caribbean Sea, and another in the North Atlantic Ocean. They are positioned to operate over the next six months (June-November) collecting data in areas where hurricanes are common and areas where there is a lack of environmental data.
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ended on November 30th, will be noted in the record books as having been a relatively quiet year with the fewest hurricanes since 1982. In fact, it will be ranked as the sixth least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950. Despite this, the 2013 season was quite an active […]
While tropical cyclones can dramatically impact coral reefs, a recent study reveals their passage also exacerbates ocean acidification, rendering reef structures even more vulnerable to damage. Calcifying marine organisms such as corals that thrive in alkaline-rich waters are increasingly imperiled as seawater becomes more acidic due to the ocean’s uptake of carbon dioxide. The detrimental effects upon these organisms have been documented, but less is known about how reefs might react to ocean acidification when coupled with an additional stress factor such as a tropical cyclone.
NOAA hurricane scientists are expanding their observations this summer, working with NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) mission and its innovative Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles to push the boundaries of hurricane operations. NASA looked to NOAA’s hurricane experts to augment its HS3 science team, supporting their five-year mission to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.
In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active season this year.For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).