Joe Cione and the Coyote in the Naples Daily News

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You can read the article at

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AOML personnel participate in STEAM day at Marlin’s Park

CMDR Justin Kibbey joins CBS meteorologist Nicole Mitchell for STEAM day

LCDR Justin Kibbey joins CBS4 meteorologist Nicole Mitchell for STEAM Day


On May 24, 2016 AOML personnel joined NOAA National Weather Service-Miami meteorologists in teaching local students about the weather during CBS Channel 4’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Day at Marlins Park.  LCDR Justin Kibbey, AOML’s Associate Director, talked about piloting NOAA aircraft into hurricanes.  Also on display was the COYOTE, an unmanned airborne vehicle that was used to probe Hurricane Edouard in 2014.

COYOTE on display at STEAM day in Marlins Park

COYOTE on display at STEAM day in Marlins Park

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Listen to Frank Marks talk about hurricane forecast model upgrades on ABC-11 Eyewitness News in Raleigh

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You can hear the story at

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Neal Dorst talks about the start of the hurricane season on the Weather Underground’s Wunderblog

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You can read what he said at

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HRD observation team monthly meeting – 19 May 2016

The purpose of the observation team meetings is to bring together the people who use observations in their research on a regular basis to discuss issues they’re having, provide updates on observations they’re analyzing or collecting, and any other information that may be of interest to the broader group.  These meetings are also an excellent opportunity to integrate all of the many uses of observations in HRD’s capacity to improve the understanding and prediction of tropical cyclones.

Agenda for May 2016:

  1. Update on field program
  2. Status and research updates:
    • Jun Zhang: “Doppler Wind Lidar (DWL) Status Update and Observations in Tropical Storm Erika (2015)”
    • Leon Nguyen: “Observations of intensifying sheared tropical cyclones: Bertha and Cristobal (2014)”

The presentation from the meeting is available on the anonymous ftp site:

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Greater Miami AMS Chapter & HRD seminar – Neal Dorst, Robert Rogers, and Chris Landsea (NHC), 18 May 2016

greaterMiamiThe Greater Miami Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and HRD hosted a meeting to celebrate Hurricane Preparedness Week with several presentations including:

  1. Mr. Neal Dorst (AOML/HRD) – “60 Year History of the Hurricane Research”;
  2. Dr. Rob Rogers (AOML/HRD) – “NOAA’s HRD Advancing Tropical Cyclone Research and Prediction using Aircraft Observations”; and
  3. Dr. Chris Landsea (NHC) – “Hurricane Research Division – Analysis and Forecasting Milestones”.

The recording of all three seminars are available online at:

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Frank Marks in article about storm surge product

Web page from Ch 11 Eyewitness News

Web page from Ch 11 Eyewitness News

HRD’s director Dr. Frank Marks is quoted in an Eyewitness News 11 article about a new storm surge forecast product.

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70th Anniversary of Navy Hurricane Hunters

VW-4 Hurricane Hunters' patch

VW-4 Hurricane Hunters’ patch

On May 17, 1946, Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Three (VWP-3) was established at Naval Air Station Miami with the nickname “Hurricane Hunters”.  Although several Naval aircraft had flown into Atlantic hurricanes over the previous three years, this was the first Navy unit specifically assigned the task to be ‘on call’ for tropical weather reconnaissance in the Atlantic basin.  The original squadron flew PB4Y-2M Privateers and would fly long-range synoptic missions out of Miami looking for signs of disturbed weather that might indicate the formation of a hurricane.

Navy Hurricane Hunter aircraft participating in Project STORMFURY.

Navy Hurricane Hunter aircraft participating in Project STORMFURY.

Over the next 28 years the unit designation would change several times, ending up as VW-4 in 1974 (when the unit was disbanded) but they always kept the nickname “Hurricane Hunters”.  They shared it with the Air Force unit also assigned Atlantic tropical weather patrol duties, the 53rd WRS .  They also changed airframes several times as the fleet got upgraded from Privateers to WC-121 Super Connies and finally Orion P-3s just before being disbanded.  The unit was a vital part of Project STORMFURY, a joint Navy/Weather Bureau scientific experiment to see if seeding hurricanes with silver iodide could alter the structure of the storms.  The Navy Hurricane Hunters monitored the subject storms at several different levels using their superior vertically scanning radars.

Each year the Navy Hurricane Hunters would compete with their Air Force brethren to see who would fly the fewest missions.  Which ever unit ‘skated’ through the season would win the ‘coveted’ Hans Brinker Award, a skate spray painted silver and mounted on a board.

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AOML and HRD researchers at 32nd AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, San Juan, Puerto Rico – 10-14 April 2016

Twenty-three AOML and HRD scientists participated in the recent 32nd AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology in San Juan, PR, as authors or co-authors on 36 presentations and 11 posters. Roughly 650 presentations (452 oral presentations in 70 sessions and 196 posters in 2 session) were submitted to the conference.

Of the 440 TC-related presentations and posters at the conference, 205, or about 46%, used data sets developed at HRD. There were 4 regular sessions and 1 poster session dedicated to HFIP with 34 presentations, plus another 50 presentations sprinkled throughout the rest of the program that reported on HFIP and IFEX related work. It was also clear that HFIP research influenced a number of other presentations through recognition of the importance of evaluating numerical model system developments.

Recordings of the 36 presentations and the abstracts for the 11 posters AOML and HRD researchers presented (or were co-authors) at the Conference are available online from the AMS website. Links to some of the posters can also be found below:

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  1. Extreme Low-Level Downdrafts in Tropical Cyclones Measured by DropwindsondesSim D. Aberson; and K. Hansen
  2. Assessing the Value of the Coyote UAS Platform and Observations from the Perspective of Tropical Cyclone Data Assimilation and PredictionAltug Aksoy; J. Cione, H. Christophersen, and B. Dahl
  3. Investigating Major Hurricane Joaquin Track Forecasts using the Basin-Scale HWRFGhassan J. Alaka Jr.; X. Zhang, S. G. Gopalakrishnan, and F. D. Marks Jr.
  4. Impact Of CYGNSS Data On Hurricane Analyses And Forecasts In A Regional OSSE Framework – Bachir Annane; D. McNoldy, J. Delgado, L. Bucci, R. Atlas, and S. J. Majumdar
  5. Hurricane Outflow Jet Features Documented by Global Hawk Dropsondes and Satellite AMVs During HS3 as Targets for Future SHOUT OperationsPeter G. Black, SAIC/NRL, Monterey, CA; J. Dunion, S. A. Braun, and S. Velden
  6. Telescopic Nesting and Impact on Hurricane Forecast Skill – Thomas Black, NOAA/NWS/EMC, College Park, MD; S. Trahan, Y. C. Kwon, V. Tallapragada, X. Zhang, S. Gopalakrishnan, Z. Janjic, Z. Zhang, and D. Jovic
  7. The TROPICS smallsat tropical cyclone mission: High Temporal Resolution Microwave Imagery as Part of NASA’s Third Earth Venture-Instrument (EV-I3) ProgramWilliam Blackwell, Lexington, MA; S. Braun, R. Bennartz, C. Velden, M. DeMaria, J. Dunion, R. Rogers, R. Atlas, and F. Marks
  8. Impacts of an Airborne Doppler Wind Lidar on Tropical Cyclone Analyses and ForecastsLisa Bucci; G. D. Emmitt, J. A. Zhang, Christophersen, K. Ryan, C. O’Handley, A. Aksoy, B. Dahl, and R. Atlas
  9. Ensemble Forecast of Hurricane Edouard (2014) – Hua Chen; R. F. Rogers and S. Gopalakrishnan
  10. Initial assessment of NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft remote sensing observationsHui Christophersen; J. Dunion, A. Aksoy, and B. Dahl
  11. Impact of Global Hawk Observing Strategies on Vortex-Scale Tropical Cyclone Forecasts in an OSSE Framework – Brittany Dahl; H. Christophersen, A. Aksoy, and J. Dunion
  12. Evaluation of Uniformly High-Resolution Hurricane Forecasts Using NMM-B – Javier Delgado; Gopalakrishnan, R. Atlas, T. Quirino, and S. W. Diaz
  13. HNMMB: Weaving the Proven Successes of HWRF into the NEMS FrameworkSteven W. Diaz; T. Quirino, S. Gopalakrishnan, V. Tallapragada, W. Wang, NOAA/NWS/EMC, College Park, MD, Q. Liu, L. Zhu, T. Black, M. Pyle, X. Zhang, J. Delgado, B. Liu, and S. Trahan
  14. Further Evidence of the Tropical Cyclone Diurnal CycleJason Dunion; C. Thorncroft, S. Velden, D. Nolan, B. W. Klotz, and B. A. Dahl
  15. The Influence of Saharan Air Layers on Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone Intensity (1987-2008)Evan B. Forde; and G. J. Alaka Jr.
  16. Estimates of Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Inflow from Satellite Scatterometers – Ralph C. Foster, APL, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; J. Zhang and P. Black
  17. Automated Quality Control and Analysis Methods for Real-Time and Research Processing of NOAA Airborne Doppler Radar Data – John F. Gamache; P. Reasor, P. P. Dodge, S. Otero, J. W. Hill, and F. Marks
  18. Underwater Glider Observations in the Caribbean Sea and tropical North Atlantic Ocean in Support of Tropical Cyclone Studies – Gustavo Goni; R. Domingues, F. Bringas, J. Morell, G. R. Halliwell Jr., S. K. Lee, S. Kim, L. Pomales, and J. Dong
  19. A Multi-Scale Modeling System for Improved Hurricane PredictionSundararaman Gopalakrishnan; V. Tallapragada, X. Zhang, T. Quirino, F. Marks, and R. Atlas
  20. Examining Trends in Satellite-Detected Overshooting Tops as a Potential Predictor of Tropical Cyclone Genesis – Sarah M. Griffin, CIMSS/University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; C. S. Velden, J. P. Dunion, and A. B. Schumacher
  21. The Importance of Accurately Representing the Surface Momentum Flux Driving Upper Ocean Currents for Coupled Hurricane Prediction – R. Halliwell Jr; L. K. Shay, J. Dong, and H. S. Kim
  22. Wave and Wind Direction Effects on Ocean Surface Emissivity MeasurementsHeather M. Holbach, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; E. W. Uhlhorn and M. A. Bourassa
  23. The fall speeds and ice water paths of small and large ice species in Hurricane Arthur (2014)Evan A. Kalina; S. Y. Matrosov, F. D. Marks Jr., J. J. Cione, D. E. Kingsmill, M. M. Bell, R. A. Black, J. C. Hubbert, W. C. Lee, J. Vivekanandan, P. P. Dodge, and R. F. Rogers
  24. Investigating the Variability in Skill of Statistical RI Prediction Models – John Kaplan; DeMaria and C. M. Peirano
  25. Ocean Model Impact Study for Coupled Hurricane Forecasting: An HFIP InitiativeHyun-Sook Kim, EMC, College Park, MD; and G. R. Halliwell Jr., V. Tallapragada, P. G. Black, S. Chen, J. J. Cione, I. Ginis, B. Liu, L. Miller, S. Jayne, E. R. Sanabia, L. K. Shay, E. W. Uhlhorn, and L. Zhu
  26. Evaluation Of The HWRF Radius Of Maximum Wind Using Doppler Radar Analyses – Frank Marks; J. Sellwood and S. Abarca
  27. Evaluation of the Impact of CYGNSS Wind Speed Data on Tropical Cyclone Structure Analyses and Forecasts in a Regional OSSEBrian McNoldy , Univ. of Miami/RSMAS, Miami, FL; B. Annane, J. Delgado, L. Bucci, R. Atlas, and S. Majumdar
  28. Simulation of the Downshear Reformation of a Tropical Cyclone – Leon Nguyen; and E. Molinari
  29. Evaluation of the NOAA Gulfstream-IV Tail Doppler Radar in Tropical Cyclones – Paul Reasor; F. Gamache, P. P. Dodge, and A. S. Goldstein
  30. Observations of the structure and evolution of Hurricane Edouard (2014) during intensity change: Kinematic structure and the distribution of deep convection – Robert F. Rogers; J. A. Zhang, J. Zawislak, G. R. Alvey III, E. J. Zipser, and H. Jiang
  31. OSSE Evaluation of Potential Aircraft Reconnaissance Flight Patterns and their Impact on Hurricane Forecasts – Kelly Ryan
  32. The Impact of NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft Observations on HEDAS Surface Wind AnalysesKathryn Sellwood; W. Klotz, B. Annane, A. Aksoy, J. Dunion, H. Christopherson, and B. Dahl
  33. SHOUT – Assessing the Utility of Unmanned Aircraft for Improving Operational Forecasts of Hurricanes and Tropical Cyclones – Gary A. Wick, NOAA/ESRL/PSD, Boulder, CO; R. E. Hood, J. P. Dunion, M. L. Black, P. M. Kenul, and J. J. Coffey
  34. Observations of the structure and evolution of Hurricane Edouard (2014) during intensity change: Relationship between the thermodynamic structure and precipitationJonathan Zawislak, Florida International University, Miami, FL; R. Alvey III, R. F. Rogers, J. A. Zhang, E. J. Zipser, and H. Jiang
  35. Effects of boundary layer vertical diffusion on forecasts of tropical cyclone rapid intensification – Jun A. Zhang; R. F. Rogers, V. Tallapragada, and W. Wang
  36. The Importance of Storm-storm Interactions in the Real-time Tropical Cyclone Forecast System – Xuejin Zhang; J. Alaka Jr. and S. G. Gopalakrishnan
  37. Impact of Sub-Grid Scale Processes on Eyewall Replacement Cycle of Tropical Cyclones in HWRF System – Ping Zhu, Florida International University, Miami, FL; Z. Zhu, S. Gopalakrishnan, R. A. Black, F. Marks, V. Tallapragada, J. A. Zhang, X. Zhang, and C. Gao


  1. Secondary eyewall dynamics as captured by an unprecedented array of GPS dropsondes deployed into Edouard 2014 – Sergio Abarca, EMC/NCEP/NOAA, College Park, MD; and M. T. Montgomery, S. A. Braun, and J. P. Dunion
  2. Influence of Simulated Space-based Doppler Wind Lidar on TC Analyses and Forecasts – Lisa Bucci; S. J. Majumdar, R. Atlas, G. D. Emmitt, H. Greco, and S. A. Wood
  3. Sensitivity of hurricane intensity and structure to planetary boundary layer height in HWRF ensemble forecasts – Hua Chen; J. A. Zhang, S. G. Gopalakrishnan, and Z. Zhang
  4. The Tropical Cyclone Genesis Index (TCGI)Jason Dunion; J. Kaplan, A. B. Schumacher, J. Cossuth, D. Musgrave, and P. Leighton
  5. Saharan Air Layer Dust Loading: Effects on Convective Strength in Tropical Cloud Clusters – Randall J. Hergert, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; and J. M. Collins, J. P. Dunion, and C. H. Paxton
  6. Performance of the Revised SFMR Algorithm: 2015 Season in ReviewBradley W. Klotz; W. Uhlhorn, A. S. Goldstein, and I. PopStefanija
  7. Further Studies of Observational Undersampling in Flight-level and SFMR ObservationsBradley W. Klotz, NOAA/HRD, Univ. of Miami/CIMAS, Miami, FL; and D. S. Nolan and E. W. Uhlhorn
  8. The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project Awards – An Integral Step Toward Research-to-Operations at the National Weather ServiceDaniel Melendez, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; F. Toepfer, V. Tallapragada, F. Marks, R. Gall, S. Gopalakrishnan, N. Lett, C. Hedge, and M. DeMaria
  9. Typhoon Kinematic and Thermodynamic Boundary Layer Structure from Dropsonde Composites – Jie Ming, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; J. A. Zhang and R. F. Rogers
  10. Airborne Observation of Vertically-Sheared Hurricane Danny (2015) – Paul Reasor
  11. Novel measurements of Sea Surface Temperature in Tropical Cyclones obtained from GPS dropsonde – Jun A. Zhang; J. Cione, E. A. Kalina, E. Uhlhorn, T. Hock, and J. A. Smith
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HRD Seminar – Dr. Pat Fitzpatrick, MSU/NGI and Ryan Carlon, Liquid Robotics, Inc. – 12 May 2016

Dr. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Carlon presented a combined  seminar on “An overview of recent Wave Glider® field programs”.


Wave Gliders® (WGs) use wave energy for propulsion through the synergistic alternating thrust of wave action on the floating vehicle and mechanical wings 6 m below the vehicle. They provide dynamic environmental monitoring in the maritime environment with long-duration deployments of continuous real-time measurements using solar panels to power sensors, and satellite and cell communication channels for data delivery. The WG platforms evolved from a privately funded research initiative to monitor Humpback Whale songs.  This led to Liquid Robotics, Inc. (LRI) being officially incorporated in 2007, and the WG platform evolving towards a more generalized environmental monitoring capability. There are two types of WG designs – the SV2 and the larger SV3, which includes a thruster in addition to the mechanical wings. All transits are monitored 24 h by an operations center including vessel detection by AIS for rerouting. LRI provides an operational website interface (the Wave Glider Management System) to assist users in the monitoring. Some data is transmitted real-time (for example, surface meteorology, wave, and water temperature), while other data is archived on-board and transmitted in bulk at more infrequent intervals, or can be extracted after mission completion (such as ocean current profiles or high bandwidth acoustic data).

WG mission deliverables are diverse but commonly include travel over the open ocean for weeks to months at a time. Example field programs include: wave, ocean, and PBL measurements in tropical cyclones; monitoring algal blooms, environmental satellite ground truthing; active and passive acoustics; marine mammal monitoring; carbon cycle studies; geodesy marine magnetics; hydrocarbon seep mapping; coordinated vehicle operations; and marine surveillance. Instrumentation to support these missions are different combinations of the following: anemometer; towfish; fluorometer; ADCP; acoustic modems; acoustic recorders; directional ocean wave sensor; CTD-DO; magnetometer; and camera.

 The seminar will give an overview of the WGs, recent field programs, and validation results from buoy loitering exercises of the surface meteorology, SST, and wave instruments.

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

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