NOAA hurricane researchers successfully deployed a new uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) into Tropical Storm Tammy (2023) near an uncrewed surfance vehicle, saildrone, to measure parts of the storm too dangerous for humans to go. The Altius 600 UAS was launched from the NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory during missions into the storm in coordination with the saildrone researchers and pilots.
NOAA and partners are improving hurricane forecasting by harnessing the power of new technologies and working to coordinate these technologies to predict hurricane track, intensity, and rapid intensification.
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.