Observations obtained by the Coyote small Uncrewed Aircraft System led to a significant improvement in the analyses of Hurricane Maria’s (2017) position, intensity, and structure, according to new research published in the journal Monthly Weather Review. The study by scientists with the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) highlights how the Coyote’s novel near-surface measurements helped to more accurately depict Hurricane Maria’s inner core, demonstrating their ability to improve forecasts.
The amount of wind shear, i.e., the change of the wind with height, is one of the most commonly used predictors of tropical cyclone intensity change, with large amounts of wind shear generally being unfavorable for intensification. Regardless of the direction of the wind shear, tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin usually have warm, moist air from the environment near the sea surface on their east side (solid red arrows in the images) and cool, dry air from the environment on their west side (solid blue arrows in images).
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.
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.”
The most dangerous part of the hurricane is the eyewall close to the ocean. It’s where the storm draws energy from heat in the water, which influences how strong – and how quickly – the storm will develop. It’s also where the strongest winds lurk.Direct and continuous observations of the lower eye-wall would help forecasters understand critical information about the storm’s development. NOAA P-3 “Hurricane Hunters” routinely fly through hurricane eyewalls to gather storm data, but avoid flying close to the ocean because conditions are too hazardous.
NOAA/AOML hurricane scientists attended the Aviation Week and Science Technology Laureate Awards in Washington D.C. to receive Aviation Week magazine’s prestigious Laureate award for Dual Defense Use. The NOAA/Raytheon team was recognized for using Coyote Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) during missions into Hurricane Maria, to help track and model hurricanes.
NOAA AOML scientists attended the Aviation Week and Science Technology Laureate Awards in Washington D.C. to receive Aviation Week magazine’s prestigious Laureate award for Dual Defense Use. The NOAA/Raytheon team was recognized for using Raytheon Coyote Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to track and model hurricanes.
A team from NOAA and Raytheon successfully demonstrated recent advancements of the Coyote Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) while completing a mid-flight launch from the NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft on January 7th. The successful flight verified new technology designed to improve Coyote’s ability to collect vital weather data to improve hurricane forecasts.
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.