10th Anniversary of Hurricane Jeanne


Infrared satellite picture of Hurricane Jeanne at Florida landfall (NOAA)

On the night of Sept. 25, 2004, Hurricane Jeanne made landfall at Sewall’s Point, FL, just three weeks after Hurricane Frances came ashore near the same location.  It was the last of four hurricanes to affect Florida that year, being preceded by Charley, Frances, and Ivan.


Hurricane Jeanne’s track (Wikipedia)

Jeanne began as a tropical wave which organized into a tropical depression prior to passing through the Lesser Antilles.  Once west of the islands, it was upgraded to a tropical storm and then a hurricane after it made landfall in Puerto Rico.  It skimmed along the north shore of Hispañola, which weakened it back down to a depression as it dumped tremendous rains on the mountains there.  Over 3000 people died from flash floods and landslides.  Turning north and moving over the Turks and Caicos, Jeanne seemed destined to recurve out to sea and do no more harm.  But a high pressure ridge to its north stalled and then forced it into a clockwise loop.  During this maneuver, Jeanne regained strength and began heading westward.  As it struck Florida, the hurricane achieved its peak power, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 km/hr).  Once ashore, Jeanne turned northwest and traveled up Florida and across Georgia before incorporating into a cold front as an extratropical low.  All along its track, Jeanne produced heavy rains and flooding.



Hurricane Jeanne near its peak. MODIS satellite (NASA)

Damage from Jeanne was hard to assess since clean-up after Frances had not been complete. One estimate of US$7 billion would make Jeanne the 15th costliest hurricane on record.  It was certainly the final sour note in Florida’s hurricane sonata for that year.

HRD participated in ten NOAA missions into Jeanne, after it had made its loop and began to intensify.  Some of the research to come out of Jeanne:

  • Environmental Ingredients for Supercells and Tornadoes within Hurricane Ivan Adam K. Baker, Matthew D. Parker, Matthew D. Eastin Weather and Forecasting Volume 24, Issue 1 (February 2009) pp. 223-244
  • On Momentum Transport and Dissipative Heating during Hurricane Landfalls Jun A. Zhang, Ping Zhu, Forrest J. Masters, Robert F. Rogers, Frank D. Marks Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Volume 68, Issue 6 (June 2011) pp. 1397-1404
  • A Comparison of Adaptive Observing Guidance for Atlantic Tropical Cyclones S. J. Majumdar, S. D. Aberson, C. H. Bishop, R. Buizza, M. S. Peng, C. A. Reynolds Monthly Weather Review Volume 134, Issue 9 (September 2006) pp. 2354-2372
  • Eye and Eyewall Traits as Determined with the NOAA WP-3D Lower-Fuselage Radar Carl E. Barnes, Gary M. Barnes Monthly Weather Review Volume 142, Issue 9 (September 2014) pp. 3393-3417
  • Tropical Cyclone Destructive Potential by Integrated Kinetic Energy Mark D. Powell, Timothy A. Reinhold Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 88, Issue 4 (April 2007) pp. 513-526
  • THIRTY YEARS OF TROPICAL CYCLONE RESEARCH WITH THE NOAA P-3 AIRCRAFT Sim D. Aberson, Michael L. Black, Robert A. Black, Joseph J. Cione, Christopher W. Landsea, Frank D. Marks Jr., Robert W. Burpee Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Volume 87, Issue 8 (August 2006) pp. 1039-1055
  • A Parametric Model for Predicting Hurricane Rainfall Manuel Lonfat, Robert Rogers, Timothy Marchok, Frank D. Marks Jr. Monthly Weather Review Volume 135, Issue 9 (September 2007) pp. 3086-3097
  • On the Limits of Estimating the Maximum Wind Speeds in Hurricanes David S. Nolan, Jun A. Zhang, Eric W. Uhlhorn Monthly Weather Review Volume 142, Issue 8 (August 2014) pp. 2814-2837
  • Estimating Maximum Surface Winds from Hurricane Reconnaissance Measurements Mark D. Powell, Eric W. Uhlhorn, Jeffrey D. Kepert Weather and Forecasting Volume 24, Issue 3 (June 2009) pp. 868-883
  • Turbulence Structure of the Hurricane Boundary Layer between the Outer Rainbands Jun A. Zhang, William M. Drennan, Peter G. Black, Jeffrey R. French Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Volume 66, Issue 8 (August 2009) pp. 2455-2467
  • Wavelet Analyses of Turbulence in the Hurricane Surface Layer during Landfalls Ping Zhu, Jun A. Zhang, Forrest J. Masters Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Volume 67, Issue 12 (December 2010) pp. 3793-3805
  • Air–Sea Enthalpy and Momentum Exchange at Major Hurricane Wind Speeds Observed during CBLAST Michael M. Bell, Michael T. Montgomery, Kerry A. Emanuel Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Volume 69, Issue 11 (November 2012) pp. 3197-3222

New technologies successfully deployed in recent hurricane flights


Dr. Joe Cione of AOML’s Hurricane Research Division displays the Coyote UAS (Credit NOAA/AOML)

During NOAA’s recent reconnaissance and surveillance missions into Hurricane Edouard, aircraft-deployed unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) were successfully deployed for the first time. On September 16, 2014, Sensintel’s Coyote UAS was released into major Hurricane Edouard’s eye using NOAA’s P-3 aircraft operating out of Bermuda as the delivery vehicle. Once deployed, the 7-lb, 5-ft-wingspan Coyote proceeded to spiral downward and outward into the high-wind hurricane eyewall. At an altitude of approximately 3000 ft, it penetrated Edouard’s western eyewall and then proceeded to orbit into the southwestern portion of the eyewall before briefly re-entering the eye during its 28-minute mission. Data from this demonstration (pressure, temperature, humidity, wind velocity and many aircraft-derived metrics) are currently being analyzed and evaluated. Preliminary investigations already suggest a highly unique dataset.

coyote ready_launch

The Coyote being readied for launch. (Credit: NOAA/AOML)

The next day, still operating out of Bermuda, the team was able to successfully conduct a second Coyote mission into Hurricane Edouard. This time, the experiment was designed was to send the Coyote along a low-level inflow channel similar to what air might experience as it spirals towards the eye. This second flight set endurance records for the Coyote, remaining airborne for 68 minutes at a controlled altitude of 1000-2500 ft.  The Coyote may also have directly measured the sea-surface temperature as it expired into the ocean.  This is the first such dataset of its kind. “Data from these new and promising technologies have yet to be analyzed but are expected to provide unique and potentially groundbreaking insights into a critical region of the storm environment that is typically difficult to observe in sufficient detail,” said Joe Cione, a NOAA Hurricane Researcher and Principal Investigator for the Coyote project.  In all, four Coyotes were deployed in Edouard.

In addition, a new technology that builds on the proven success of the GPS dropwindsonde was also tested for the first time this hurricane season, thanks to support from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (the Sandy Supplemental) and stellar engineering work by NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Several modified dropwindsondes that incorporate an infrared sensor allowed for the first-ever estimates of co-located air-sea thermodynamic measurements within a hurricane. These special instruments (called IR sondes) also included an experimental, large parachute design which allows for higher-resolution vertical sampling r than was previously available.


Joe Cione and members of the Coyote team monitor the data from the piloting station on the P3. (Credit: NOAA/AOML)

Data from these new and promising technologies (both IR sondes and Coyote) will be analyzed and are expected to provide unique and potentially groundbreaking insights into a critical region of the storm environment that is typically difficult to observe.


RDML Anita Lopez (NOAA Corps) meets Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley. (Credit: NOAA)

The Government of Bermuda hosted these missions and effectively served as international partners in NOAA’s effort to improve hurricane forecasts for all countries affected by these storms.  NOAA looks forward to continued research into the application of air-deployed unmanned aircraft to support and improve hurricane research and forecasts.

US Representative Mario Diaz-Balart visits with HRD scientists

U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) visited AOML today. He met a few of our HRD scientists who presented current research highlights and accomplishments such as our flights into Hurricane Cristobal, our work on the HWRF modeling system, and our new hurricane sampling technology – the unmanned aerial system called Coyote.

L-R: US Rep. Diaz-Balart, Joe Cione, Xuejin Zhang, Shirley Murillo and Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan

L-R: US Rep. Diaz-Balart, Joe Cione, Xuejin Zhang, Shirley Murillo and Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan

L-R: US Rep. Diaz-Balart, Robert Atlas, Thiago Quirino and Joe Cione.

L-R: US Rep. Diaz-Balart, Robert Atlas, Thiago Quirino and Joe Cione.