Dr. Robert Simpson, founder of the National Hurricane Research Project (what eventually became HRD), as well as former director of the National Hurricane Center and co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, was feted at an Explorers Club Washington Group luncheon at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, on March 8, to celebrate his 101st birthday. You can find pictures of the event, and a short biography, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/03/10/meteorologist-behind-hurricane-scale-robert-simpson-honored-at-101-years-of-age/.
Dr. Simpson at home in 2012.
Cyclone Gafilo near peak intensity on March 6, 2004
On March 7, 2004, Very Intense Tropical Cyclone Gafilo made landfall on the island of Madagascar in the southern Indian Ocean. The day before landfall, the storm reached peak intensity when its ten-minute winds were estimated from satellite to reach 125 knots (230 km/hr), making it the most intense cyclone on record for the southwest Indian Ocean basin.
JTWC track (Wikipedia)
Roaring across Madagascar, the cyclone left a swath of destruction of about $250 million in damage and over 240 dead or missing. Moving slowly, Gafilo dumped up to 10 inches of rain along its path, which added to the flooding left by Cyclone Elita that struck the island weeks before. The storm weakened over the island but was still a coherent cyclone when it reached the Mozambique Channel. It then recurved and struck the western shore of Madagascar, inflicting more damage and crossed back over the island to the Indian Ocean.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) laboratory scientific reviews are conducted every five years to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research conducted in OAR and to help in planning future science. These reviews are intended to ensure that OAR research is linked to the NOAA Strategic Plan, relevant to NOAA Research mission and priorities, and consistent with NOAA planning, programming, and budgeting. As part of this process, AOML will be reviewed March 4-6, 2014, in Miami, FL.
The review panel is Dr. Bill Lau (NASA Goddard), Dr. Rana Fine (RSMAS), Dr. Doug Luther (UH), Dr. Paul Sandifer (NOAA/NOS), Dr. Dick Dodge (NOVA Southeastern Univ.), Dr. T.N. Krishnamurti (FSU), and Dr. Mike Montgomery (Naval Postgraduate School).
OAR and AOML leadership will provide overviews of the programs, followed by presentations from scientists in each of the research areas. The review agenda and supporting materials are posted at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/review/
.Parts of the review are open to the public. Remote access via GoToMeeting will be available. Please register using the following links. The meetings will be in broadcast mode only.
Track of Cyclone Mahina (Whittingham, 1958)
On March 4, 1899 a devastating tropical cyclone struck the York Peninsula in northern Queensland, Australia. The storm’s center made landfall near Bathhurst Bay on the peninsula’s Pacific coast, which was the home anchorage for the pearling fleet that farmed the Great Barrier Reef for the gems. Some 400 people perished in the storm, approximately 300 on vessels in the Bay and about 100 Aboriginal Australians on land.
Cyclone Mahina memorial tablet
For many years Mahina held the world’s record for storm surge, estimated at 13 meters (43 feet). However, recent scholarship has proposed the actual storm surge was more on the order of three to five meters (10-16.5 feet.) Wave run-up in the small bay may have accounted for marine debris being deposited on the 15 meter (49 feet) cliffs overlooking the beach.
Cyclone Mahina received its name from Clement Wragge, Chief of the Queensland weather bureau. A few years prior he’d begun the practice of naming tropical cyclones near Australia with women’s names, preferably ones from the South Sea island cultures. It was a custom that later influenced the use of personal names for Atlantic hurricanes.
Abstracts and recordings of the 6 presentations and 5 posters AOML & HRD researchers presented (or were co-authors) at the 94th AMS Annual Meeting are available online from the AMS website:
- Status on reaching the Goals of the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP) Robert L. Gall, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and F. Toepfer, F. Marks, and E. Rappaport
- Were Sandy’s track and intensity changes unusual? Frank Marks, NOAA/AOML/HRD, Miami, FL; and S. Gopalakrishnan and H. Chen
- Observing System Simulation Experiments to evaluate the potential impact of proposed observing systems on hurricane prediction Robert Atlas, NOAA/AOML, Miami, FL; and S. J. Majumdar, T. Vukicevic, A. Aksoy, D. S. Nolan, and L. Bucci
- OSSE Evaluation of Rapid Airborne Ocean Observing Strategies in the Gulf of Mexico George R. Halliwell Jr., NOAA/AOML, Miami, FL; and V. H. Kourafalou, M. Le Henaff, and R. Atlas
- On the limits of measuring the maximum wind speed in hurricanes David S. Nolan, Univ. of Miami/RSMAS, Miami, FL; and J. A. Zhang and E. W. Uhlhorn
- ENSO phase transition in spring and its potential impact on tornado outbreaks in the U.S Sang-Ki Lee, University of Miami, Miami, FL; and R. Atlas, D. B. Enfield, C. Wang, and H. Liu
- Real-time Analysis of Hurricane Sandy’s Wind Field Mark Powell, NOAA/AOML, Tallahassee, FL; and S. Murillo and B. Annane
- Eyewall Mesovortices in Hurricane Fabian (2003) using the HWRF Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) Sarah Dunn Ditchek, Yale University, New Haven, CT; and S. D. Aberson
- Weather Avoidance Guidelines for NASA Global Hawk High-Altitude UAS Daniel J. Cecil, NASA/MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and E. Zipser, C. S. Velden, S. A. Monette, G. M. Heymsfield, S. A. Braun, P. A. Newman, P. G. Black, M. L. Black, and J. P. Dunion
- Geostationary advanced infrared sounder radiance simulation and validation for OSSE Zhenglong Li, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and J. Li, T. J. Schmit, R. Atlas, S. P. F. Casey, B. Annane, and T. Vukicevic
- Impact Assessments of Adding Errors to Simulated Radiance Data in Observing System Simulation Experiments Sean P. F. Casey, JCSDA/Eearth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, College Park, MD; and L. P. Riishojgaard, M. Masutani, T. Zhu, J. S. Woollen, R. Atlas, Z. Li, and T. J. Schmit
Posted in Data Assimilation, Dynamics and Physics, HFIP-Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project, Modeling and Prediction, Observations, Presentations
Tagged Altug Aksoy, Bachir Annane, climate, Doppler radar, Eric W. Uhlhorn, eyewall mesovortices, Frank D. Marks, Global Hawk, Hua Chen, Hurricane Fabian, Hurricane Sandy, Jason P. Dunion, Jun A. Zhang, Lisa R. Bucci, Mark D. Powell, Michael L. Black, Observing System Simulation Experiments, P3, satellite, Shirley T. Murillo, Sim D. Aberson, Sundararaman G. Gopalakrishnan, Tomislava Vukicevic
The HFIP Annual Review Meeting was held in College Park, MD, from 19-20 February, 2014. The agenda and background information are available at http://www.hfip.org/events/review_meeting_feb_14/index.php.
Posted in Data Assimilation, Dynamics and Physics, HFIP-Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project, Modeling and Prediction, Observations
Tagged Doppler radar, Frank D. Marks, HEDAS, Hua Chen, HWRF, Javier Delgado, Joseph J. Cione, Jun A. Zhang, Russell St. Fleur, Sundararaman G. Gopalakrishnan, Thiago S. Quirino, Xuejin Zhang