Hurricane Andrew made landfall on August 24, 1992, near Homestead, Florida, becoming one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in U.S. history. It had an extremely low central pressure of 922 millibars and maximum sustained wind speeds estimated at 165 miles per hour. The storm rapidly intensified less than 36 hours before landfall, leaving most residents less than a day to secure their homes and heed evacuation orders.
The active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30, producing 21 named tropical storms (39‑73 mph winds), seven hurricanes (74 mph winds and above), and four major hurricanes (111 mph winds and above). The year will be remembered as the third-most active on record, as well as the third costliest, causing more than $80 billion in damage.
Hurricane scientists at AOML sampled multiple storms this summer as the Atlantic entered its peak period for hurricane formation. From Elsa to Sam, the observations they gathered supported NOAA’s mission of preparing the public for severe weather by providing critical data for accurate, up-to-date 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.
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.
NOAA Hurricane Model Performance is Evaluated for the First Time in Predicting Rainfall from 2017 Hurricane Harvey
A recent study published in the journal Atmosphere evaluated for the first time, how well NOAA’s regional hurricane model was able to forecast the location and amount of devastating rainfall in 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model predicted the realistic total rainfall and the location of the maximum rainfall of Hurricane Harvey, which were the most devastating impacts of the storm’s landfall in coastal Texas.
Frank Marks, Sc.D. honored with the OAR Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating the meaning and value of NOAA-related science and research to non-scientific audiences. The award is named in honor of Dr. Daniel L. Albritton, a retired OAR scientist, who proved to be one of the most effective communicators of NOAA research and related science.
Scientists strategically deployed the gliders during the peak of hurricane season, from July through November 2017, collecting data in regions where hurricanes commonly travel and intensify. The gliders continually gathered temperature and salinity profile data, generating more than 4,000 profiles to enhance scientific understanding of the air-sea interaction processes that drive hurricane intensification.
With hurricane season in full swing, NOAA will host a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) about the Science of Hurricane Hunting to Improve Forecasts on September 22, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Hurricane scientist Frank Marks, Sc.D., Director of the Hurricane Research Division at AOML, and P-3 hurricane hunter pilot Commander Justin Kibbey of the NOAA Corps will answer questions. The first half of hurricane season has produced a significant number of storms in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. This AMA is a great opportunity to answer questions about how and why we study these storms.
On Saturday, May 30th, personnel from AOML’s Hurricane Research Division along with Outreach & Communications staff participated in the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science’s annual “Feel the Force” event. The one-day outreach event drew over 1000 people who learned about preparing their homes and families to deal with disasters, especially hurricanes. HRD scientists staffed the permanent museum exhibit dedicated to explaining how scientists fly into storms to gather scientific data. In addition to speaking to people about the experience of flying into tropical cyclones, they also took the opportunity to explain the latest innovations in technology being tested this season and how their work will benefit hurricane intensity forecasts. HRD scientists also granted media interviews throughout the day and led a team of children in the Museum’s “Wild and Crazy Weather Challenge”.