Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) found that Atlantic Niño, the Atlantic counterpart of the Pacific El Niño, increases the formation of tropical cyclones off the coast of West Africa, also known as Cape (Cabo) Verde hurricanes. The study published in Nature Communications is the first to investigate the links between Atlantic Niño/Niña and seasonal Atlantic tropical cyclone activity and the associated physical mechanisms.
There is more to the job of a Hurricane Hunter than meets the eye. Researchers and pilots from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) bravely fly into one of the most dangerous environments on Earth to collect data inside a tropical cyclone, which helps to improve forecast models and protect lives and property.
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.
Originally Published Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at NOAA NESDIS
As we move through the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, you will no doubt hear a lot about the Saharan Air Layer—a mass of very dry, dusty air that forms over the Sahara Desert during the late spring, summer and early fall. This layer can travel and impact locations thousands of miles away from its African origins, which is one reason why NOAA uses the lofty perspective of its satellites to track it.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30 but not before churning out 18 named storms, including catastrophic Hurricane Dorian. Throughout the season, AOML’s hurricane scientists were at the forefront of NOAA’s efforts to prepare vulnerable communities for severe weather.
AOML hurricane researcher Jason Dunion participated in NOAA’s El Niño Rapid Response Field Campaign, a comprehensive land, sea, and air sampling effort in the tropical Pacific, to study the current El Niño and improve weather forecasts thousands of miles away.