November 30th marked the official end to the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Scientists and forecasters from across NOAA worked tirelessly throughout the season to conduct critical tropical cyclone research. This year, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) coordinated the longest series of missions into a single tropical system, arranged multiple observing assets for simultaneous data collection, deployed new sUAS technology, and included a novel “moving nest” to our next-generation hurricane model.
An Area-I Altius-600 uncrewed aircraft system was deployed from a NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft (N42RF, “Kermit”) into Hurricane Ian by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Scientists at AOML deployed to the Cabo Verde islands in August to explore how tropical waves that move off the coast of West African develop into tropical storms and hurricanes. These first-ever missions thousands of miles across the Atlantic mark the farthest distance traveled by NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters to help forecast models better predict the future track and intensity of developing storms.
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.
This summer during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) will once again be on the frontlines helping NOAA prepare the public for severe weather. They will also conduct new research on the complex processes of how tropical cyclones form, develop, and dissipate.
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 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.
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.”
NOAA Hurricane Hunters continue reconnaissance for Tropical Storm Eta, which threatens to bring tropical cyclone hazards to south Florida as it restrengthens over water.