15th Anniversary of the Odisha Cyclone

Odisha cyclone makes landfall (METEOSAT-5)

Odisha cyclone makes landfall (METEOSAT-5)

On October 29, 1999, a Super Cyclonic Storm struck near the city of Bhubaneswar in the Indian state of Odisha.  The day before it had become the strongest cyclone on record in the North Indian Ocean when its maximum sustained winds peaked at 140 kt (260 km/hr).  It also became the deadliest Indian cyclone since the Bhola cyclone 29 years before.

The storm began as a disturbance in the West Pacific, but did not organize into a depression until it moved over the Malay peninsula into the Bay of Bengal.  There, it steadily strengthened as it moved on a northwest course across the Bay.  It rapidly intensified to its peak a day before landfall, but its winds slightly decreased to 135 kt (250 km/hr) as it came ashore.  It brought a 26 foot (8 m) storm surge to the Odisha coast and dumped torrential rains on the area as the cyclone stalled shortly after landfall.  This caused the greatest flooding to the area seen in the last century. A blocking high-pressure ridge to the north forced the storm back over the Bay where it finally dissipated.

Track of Odisha cyclone (Wikipedia)

Track of Odisha cyclone (Wikipedia)

Despite the evacuation of tens of thousands of families from the shore, over 9,800 people died in this cyclone.  Many drowned in the storm, but substantial numbers were lost to disease and starvation in the aftermath.  Crops throughout the province were destroyed, 405,000 livestock animals perished,  and millions of trees were uprooted.  275,000 homes were damaged and over a million and a half people were left homeless. Total financial damage is estimated to be US$4.5 billion.

Paper on the rapid intensification of Hurricane Earl in 2010 released online in Monthly Weather Review

The paper discusses changes to the structure of Hurricane Earl (2010) as it rapidly intensified.   It found

  • Earl tilted with height before it intensified, but was upright during the intensification.
  • Strong thunderstorms played a significant role in the rapid intensification of Hurricane Earl.
  • Thunderstorms located on the inside of the eyewall are a condition favorable for intensification.
  • It is important to learn why thunderstorms form where they do to improve forecasts.
  • It is also important to observe the structure of the hurricane to better represent where these thunderstorms may occur in forecast models and improve hurricane forecasts.

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The paper can be accessed at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00175.1.

Paper on a dataset of dropwindsonde observations in tropical cyclones released online by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

A long-term (1996–2012), high-quality, high vertical resolution (∼5–15 m) GPS dropsonde dataset is created from NOAA Hurricane flights and consists of 13,681 atmospheric profiles for 120 tropical cyclones.

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The paper can be accessed at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00203.1.

Doppler radar quick-looks from 11:00 AM P-3 flight into Hurricane Simon, 5 October 2014

As Simon continued its northwestward motion southwest of Baja a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating the HWRF model. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 360 km of Simon sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early afternoon of 5 October 2014. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from the P-3 Doppler patterns around Simon. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Simon had an asymmetric distribution of precipitation around the storm center at all altitudes with the majority of the precipitation in the northeast semicircle. A vertical cross-section of the radar reflectivity on the leg to the northwest from the center showed that the radar echo tops in the eyewall dropped significantly in 24 h with echo tops only reaching up to 8-11 km altitude, with a distinct “bright band” extending radially outward from the center denoting the altitude of the 0° isotherm. There is clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with a very broad area of stronger winds 30-40 km east-northeast of the circulation center at all altitudes. There is also a slight indication of a secondary wind maximum 130-140 km northeast of the circulation center at 1- and 3-km altitudes, and in the vertical cross-section. From 1-6 km altitude there is a 10-15 km tilt of the circulation center toward the east with height suggesting increasing westerly shear of the horizontal wind over Simon at this time.

All the Simon radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/simon2014/radar.html

Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Doppler radar quick-looks from 11:00 AM P-3 flight into Hurricane Simon, 4 October 2014

As Simon continued its northwestward motion southwest of Baja a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating the HWRF model. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 360 km of Simon sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early afternoon of 4 October 2014. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from the P-3 Doppler patterns around Simon. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Simon had a symmetric distribution of precipitation around the storm center at all altitudes. A vertical cross-section of the radar reflectivity on the leg to the northwest from the center showed that the radar echo tops in the eyewall were as high as 15-km altitude, and a distinct “bright band” extending radially outward from the center denoting the altitude of the 0° isotherm. There is clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with stronger winds only 5-10 km northeast of the circulation center at all altitudes. There is also an indication of a secondary wind maximum 110-120 km in the northern semicircle around the circulation center at all altitudes, and in the vertical cross-section. From 1-6 km altitude there is very little tilt of the circulation center with height suggesting very little vertical shear of the horizontal wind over Simon at this time.

All the Simon radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/simon2014/radar.html

Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Doppler radar quick-looks from 5:00 AM P-3 flight into Hurricane Gonzalo, 17 October 2014

As Gonzalo continued its northeastward motion toward Bermuda a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating the HWRF model, and as part of an Ocean Winds and Rain experiment. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 300 km of Gonzalo sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early morning of 17 October 2014. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from the P-3 Doppler patterns around Gonzalo. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Gonzalo still had a symmetric distribution of precipitation around the storm center at all altitudes. A vertical cross-section of the radar reflectivity on the leg to the northwest from the center showed that the radar echo tops in the eyewall were as high as 15-km altitude, and a distinct “bright band” extending radially outward from the center denoting the altitude of the 0° isotherm. There is a clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with stronger winds 30-35 km east of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, rotating upwind (clockwise) with increasing height, indicative of increasing westerly flow with altitude. There is also an indication of a secondary wind maximum 75-80 km in the eastern semicircle around the circulation center at all altitudes. From 1-6 km altitude there is 5-10 tilt of the circulation center with height toward the east-southeast indicative of increasing westerly shear of the horizontal wind.

All the Gonzalo radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/gonzalo2014/radar.html

Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Doppler radar quick-looks from 5:00 AM P-3 flight into Hurricane Gonzalo, 16 October 2014

As Gonzalo continued its northward motion southwest of Bermuda a NOAA P-3 collected airborne Doppler radar data to use in initializing and evaluating the HWRF model, and as part of an Ocean Winds and Rain experiment. Included here you see images of the horizontal winds within 300 km of Gonzalo sampled from the tail Doppler radar on the P-3 aircraft during the early morning of 16 October 2014. These images are at three altitudes (1 km, 3 km, and 6 km) and are a composite of winds from the P-3 Doppler patterns around Gonzalo. Also plotted on each analysis are the locations of dropsondes deployed by the P-3 (plotted using standard station symbols). These analyses show that Gonzalo still had a symmetric distribution of precipitation around the storm center at all altitudes. A vertical cross-section of the radar reflectivity on the leg to the northwest from the center showed that the radar echo tops in the eyewall were as high as 16-km altitude, and a distinct “bright band” extending radially outward from the center denoting the altitude of the 0° isotherm. There is a clear indication of a circulation center at all altitudes, with stronger winds 15-20 km east-northeast of the circulation center at 1-km altitude, rotating upwind (clockwise) with increasing height, indicative of increasing southwesterly flow with altitude. From 1-6 km altitude there is very little tilt of the circulation center with height.

All the Gonzalo radar composites at 0.5-km height resolution are available at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/gonzalo2014/radar.html

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Radius-altitude reflectivity cross-section to the northwest of the center of Gonzalo. Aircraft altitude is denoted by the white line near 3-km altitude.

Hurricane Field Program Update – Friday, October 17, 2014 11AM Eastern

OPERATIONS

Friday, 17 October 2014

G-IV: Is tasked for another synoptic surveillance mission around Tropical Storm Ana. The aircraft will depart Honolulu, HI at 1730 UTC and recover in Long Beach, CA about 8 h later.

NOAA43: Is tasked for the 1130 UTC reconnaissance center fix for Hurricane Gonzalo. The aircraft will depart St. Croix at 0830 UTC and recover in MacDill AFB about 8 h later.

Drifter buoy deployment:  A series of 10 drifting buoys will be deployed from an Air Force C-130 aircraft southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii, ahead of Tropical Storm Ana’s track. The launch is scheduled for the time between 1200 and 1600 UTC.

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For the latest information about tropical cyclones and other weather systems, please visit the NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center web site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

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DISCLAIMER: The above discussion is intended to provide a brief summary of recent and future HRD Hurricane Field Program Operations. Any use of this material beyond its original intent is prohibited without permission of the HRD Director. Media inquiries should be directed to Erica Rule (305-361-4541) or Erica.Rule@noaa.gov, Evan Forde (305-361-4327) or Evan.Forde@noaa.gov, Monica Allen (301-734-1123) or Monica.Allen@noaa.gov.