405th Anniversary of the Sea Venture’s hurricane encounter


Bermuda’s Coat of Arms and Motto

On July 24, 1609 the English ship Sea Venture encountered a hurricane while en route to resupply the Jamestown colony in Virginia.  The ship had recently been constructed for the specific purpose of carrying colonists and supplies, but it was launched before its caulking had properly set.  Running into the violent storm the Sea Venture became separated from the rest of the resupply fleet and began leaking profusely.  By chance, the next day the ship came upon an archipelago in the midst of the ocean.  Sir George Somers deliberately grounded his vessel on the reef surrounding the islands to prevent it sinking.  150 people and a dog were landed on the main island by the Venture‘s longboat.

Many survived for nearly a year as the Venture was scavenged for material to construct two new ships, the Patience and the Deliverance.  The two ships sailed from what they dubbed “Somers Isles” for Jamestown in May of 1610.  Eventually, accounts of their miraculous survival reached England.  These publications inspired William Shakespeare in his writing the play “The Tempest” in which Prospero conjures up a storm to drive his rival’s ship to his island exile.

Somers Isles remained the property of the London Company (and its successor the Somers Isles Company) until it was taken over by the British crown in 1684.  Eventually, the islands were renamed the Bermuda Islands in honor of Juan de Bermudez, who had first discovered them a century before the Sea Venture found refuge there.  The coat of arms of Bermuda bears an image of the Sea Venture foundering upon the reef and its motto “Quo Fata Ferunt” is Latin for “Whither the Fates Carry [Us]“.


HRD Scientists brief NOAA Aircraft Operations Center personnel on IFEX 2014, MacDill AFB, FL – 10 July 2014

Intensity Forecast Experiment (IFEX) Field Program Director Paul Reasor and HRD Director Frank Marks briefed the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) personnel on IFEX plans for 2014 and HFIP progress. The presentations are available in a .zip archive on the anonymous ftp site at:


HRD seminar – Bryce Tyner, North Carolina State University – 15 July 2014

Bryce presented a seminar on “ Sensitivity to the Planetary Boundary Layer Scheme for High-Resolution Simulations of Irene (2011) ”.


Turbulent transport associated with large eddy circulations (LECs) in the hurricane boundary layer (HBL) are not well understood. With the rapid growth in computational capabilities, it is now possible to resolve these LECs and their associated turbulent fluxes in numerical modeling simulations. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, a large eddy simulation (LES) is used to examine the HBL for Irene (2011). WRF-LES permits resolving the hurricane vortex within the synoptic and mesoscale environment, while also resolving the coherent LECs within the HBL. A budget of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) is examined and the significance of the turbulent fluxes within the HBL are examined. Furthermore, the turbulent fluxes over land are compared with those prior to landfall. Within the high resolution LES nest, wind gust factors are also examined and are compared to prior observational and numerical studies of gust factors in the TC environment.

A copy of the presentation is available on the anonymous ftp site:


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520th Anniversary of Columbus’ first encounter with a Hurricane

christopher columbus

On July 16, 1494, Christopher Columbus ran afoul of a hurricane while sailing south of Cuba during his second voyage to the New World.  Having established a new colony on the north coast of Hispañola in April, Columbus sailed westward along what he thought was a peninsula of China for the next four months.  After an excursion to explore Jamaica, he was anchored at what is now Santa Cruz del Sur on the 16th when a storm of great ferocity came upon his four ships.  He later wrote to Queen Isabella, offering the first recorded description of a hurricane by a European.  He assured her that only his dedication to God and to the extension of the Spanish monarchy would compel him to face such dangers.

HRD Monthly Science Meeting of July 2014

July’s Science meeting had 4 presentations:

  1. Kelly M. Núñez Ocasio:  An Extreme Event in the Eyewall of Hurricane Felix
  2. Robert Nystrom:   Storm-Relative Correlation Structures
  3. Joseph Patton:  Extratropical Transition of Hurricane Sandy
  4. Robert Rogers:  Deep convection and its role in RI

The presentations are available on the anonymous ftp site at:


HRD Debrief for missions into Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur – 11 July 2014

HRD researchers discussed the results from the 5 P-3 and 4 G-IV missions into Tropical Storm/Hurricane Arthur. The agenda for the discussion was:

  • Missions Overview (Reasor)
  • Science Discussions
    • N42: TDR (Rogers/Bucci)
    • N43: TDR (Aberson/Zhang)
    • G-IV: TDR/ET (Gamache/Aberson)
  • Field Program Issues

G-IV jet ready to fly over Hurricane Arthur this afternoon – July 4, 2014

NOAA’s G-IV jet is scheduled to fly over Hurricane Arthur.  The jet collect data right over Hurricane Arthur. The flight will take off at 1:30 PM Eastern. Below is the flight track. The numbers on the figure represent the turn points that the aircraft will make. The red dots in the figure show the locations that launch weather balloons twice a day while the purple dots are the locations that launch balloons once a day.


Hurricane Field Program Update – Friday, July 4, 2014 10:15AM Eastern


Thursday, July 4, 2014

G-IV: Is tasked to fly a Extratropical Transition research mission over Hurricane Arthur. The jet will take off at 1730 UTC (1:30PM Eastern) from MacDill AFB and recover back at MacDill AFB. No HRDers will be on this flight.


For the latest information about tropical cyclones and other weather systems, please visit the NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center web site at


To access updates on IFEX and other HRD activities via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feed, check out the HRD home page at

To directly access updates on IFEX HFP Operations via our WordPress blog on the web, check the site

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.