AOML Scientists Prepare for Operational Reconnaissance into Hurricane Isaias

NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) has tasked their P-3 Hurricane Hunters for reconnaissance missions into now category 1 Hurricane Isaias to begin Friday, July 31 at 4:00 AM with additional missions to follow in subsequent days.

Measurements collected within Isaias’ environment will provide forecasters with the most up-to-date information about the storm’s characteristics and will be used to initialize operational forecast models that rely on current measurements.

AOML hurricane scientists will process wind and temperature data acquired using tail-Doppler radar, dropsondes, and other instrumentation in real-time for quality and accuracy.

Obtaining these data in a timely manner is vital for diagnosing the storm as it emerges from Hispaniola since the complexities of island effects on Hurricane Isaias may impact its expected track forecast and thus the potential impact to the southeastern U.S.

While the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola disrupted the circulation of Isaias, the system has emerged north of the island. The National Hurricane Center forecasts it will continue to move northwest and intensify.

AOML and EMC hurricane experts have coordinated with the National Hurricane Center to target this northern side, expecting to transect the potential center six times at an altitude of 10,000 feet. This coverage will allow scientists and forecasters to visualize Isaias’ structure and how the hurricane interacts with the environment in which it is embedded.

Image of Tropical Storm Isaias. Photo Credit, NOAA

For the latest information about tropical cyclones and other weather systems, visit the NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center.

For information on numerical prediction of tropical cyclones, visit the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction Environmental Modeling Center.