45th Anniversary of the seeding of Hurricane Ginger

Track of Hurricane Ginger 1971 (UNisys)

Track of Hurricane Ginger 1971
(UNisys)

Beginning on September 16, 1971, Hurricane Ginger was seeded with silver iodide by Project STORMFURY.  This was the fourth and last storm experimented on by the Project.  The seeding experiments were carried out on three separate days in Ginger with inconclusive results.

Ginger was the second-longest lasting Atlantic hurricane on record at 27 days.  It formed from a persistent upper-level cold low east of the Bahamas.  By Sept. 6th, enough convection had generated near the circulation center for it to be classified a tropical depression.  Over the next three days it drifted slowly northeastward.  When it turned eastward, it had become organized enough to be designated a tropical storm and was named Ginger.  It intensified into a hurricane a day later, and three days later reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 km/hr).  Ginger slowed and then began to backtrack westward.  It slowed to a crawl and spent four days making a cyclonic loop at mid-ocean, barely maintaining hurricane-force winds.  Eventually, it resumed its westward motion and began to intensify again.  There was a slight weakening as Ginger interacted with Tropical Storm Janice to its southeast, and absorbed much of the moisture and energy from Janice when it collapsed.

Hurricane Ginger on Sept. 27. 1971 between seeding days (NOAA)

Hurricane Ginger on Sept. 27. 1971 between seeding days
(NOAA)

By Sept. 26th, Ginger had entered the STORMFURY target zone and was within flight range of Miami.  The NOAA aircraft had just returned from research flights into Janice but were able to carry out their seeding patterns along with Navy and Air Force planes with little crew rest.  Instead of seeding the area outside the eyewall as had been done in other experiments, this time the scientists concentrated on dropping the silver iodide canisters in an outer rainband.  Ginger had again slowed down and the Project was able to carry out further rainband experiments on Sept. 28th and 29th.

Ginger was now moving northwestward toward the Carolinas and intensifying, so no more seeding experiments were allowed.  By the evening of Sept. 30th, Ginger made landfall near Morehead City, NC with wind of 75 mph (120 km/hr).  It caused one direct death and US$10 million in damages.

The Ginger experiments were controversial for Project scientists.  By the time it was within range of the aircraft, Ginger no longer had a classic hurricane wind profile.  The eye was large and the the wind field very spread out.  The decision to carry out rainband seeding further muddied the results, since it was uncertain what impact on storm strength or structure would result from this type of experiment.  In retrospect, as this was the last series of tests that the Project would fly, it seemed a wasted opportunity.

Research papers from HRD scientists about Hurricane Ginger

Francis J. Merceret, 1974: On the Size Distribution of Raindrops in Hurricane Ginger. Mon. Wea. Rev., 102, 714–716.

Kenneth H. Bergman and Toby N. Carlson, 1975: Objective Analysis of Aircraft Data in Tropical Cyclones. Mon. Wea. Rev., 103, 431–444.

H. E. Willoughby, D. P. Jorgensen, R. A. Black, and S. L. Rosenthal, 1985: Project STORMFURY: A Scientific Chronicle 1962–1983. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 66, 505–514.

Neal M. Dorst, 2007: The National Hurricane Research Project: 50 Years of Research, Rough Rides, and Name Changes. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, 1566–1588.

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Paper on the intensification of Hurricane Earl (2010) in the HWRF model released online in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

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You can access the paper at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2922/full.

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Paper on the Coyote unmanned aircraft system in Hurricane Edouard released online in Earth and Space Science

This was the first successful launch of an unmanned aircraft system into a mature hurricane from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft. This so-called Coyote is a 13-pound drone with a 5-foot wingspan that measures pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction.

 

Important Conclusions:

  • Data from the Coyote compared very well with other observations from Hurricane Hunter Aircraft.
  • The Coyote can fly in regions that are otherwise difficult to observe, especially near the warm ocean surface where heat, moisture, and energy fuel the hurricane.

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You can access the article at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EA000187/full.

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Paper on rainfall from tropical systems impacting the U. S. corn-belt region published in Weather and Climate Extremes

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You can access the paper at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212094715300499

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One last flight into Karl

The P3 and G-IV are at it again for one last flight into Karl. The G-IV will take off at 1:30PM Eastern (1730 UTC) and the P3 will follow with a 2PM (1800 UTC) take off from St. Croix. Below are the proposed flight tracks. The dots on the flight tracks (shown in green) represent the aircraft turn points. 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.

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NOAA43 proposed flight track

 

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G-IV proposed flight track.

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Hurricane Field Program Update – Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 11AM Eastern

OPERATIONS

Saturday, 24 Sept. 2016

NOAA43:  Flew a research mission into Karl. They took off around 0600 UTC (2AM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Two HRD scientists were on this flight.

G-IV:  Is scheduled to fly a research mission over and around Karl. Take off is scheduled for 1730 UTC (1:30PM Eastern) from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.  This flight will recover in Bermuda. No HRD scientists will be on this flight.

NOAA43:  Is scheduled to fly a research mission into Karl. Take off is scheduled for 1800 UTC (2PM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Three HRD scientists will be on this flight.

Global Hawk: Is scheduled for a flight over Karl with a take off time 1900 UTC (3PM Eastern) from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA.

Sunday, 25 Sept. 2016

NOAA43:  No flights scheduled.

G-IV:  No flight is scheduled.

Global Hawk: Is scheduled to land around 1900 UTC (3PM Eastern) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA.

…………………………………………………………………….

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

To access updates on IFEX and other HRD activities via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feed, check out the HRD home page at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd

To directly access updates on IFEX HFP Operations via our WordPress blog on the web, check the site: https://noaahrd.wordpress.com/category/ifex-hurricane-field-program/

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.

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Another flight into Karl early this morning

We are still tracking Karl. It’s a stretch to fly from St. Croix but we can still gather data inside Karl. NOAA43 will take of at 2AM Eastern (0600 UTC) for an eight hour mission. Below is the proposed flight track. The dots on the flight track (shown in green) represent the aircraft turn points. 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.

ftk.png

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NOAA flight crews are ready to fly into Karl this afternoon

The G-IV jet and the P3 aircraft are gearing up to fly and collect data in and around Karl. These flights provide us with insight to the evolution of Karl. The various instruments onboard the aircraft measure different atmospheric parameters that together give us a better picture of Karl. The G-IV will take off at 1:30PM (1730 UTC) followed by NOAA43 taking off at 2:00PM (1800 UTC). Below are the proposed flight tracks. The dots on the flight track (shown in green) represent the aircraft turn points. 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.

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G-IV proposed flight track.

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NOAA43 proposed flight track.

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Hurricane Field Program Update – Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 11AM Eastern

OPERATIONS

Friday, 23 Sept. 2016

NOAA43:  Flew a research mission into Karl. They took off around 0600 UTC (2AM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Three HRD scientists were on this flight.

G-IV:  Is scheduled to fly a research mission over and around Karl. Take off is scheduled for 1730 UTC (1:30PM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. No HRD scientists will be on this flight.

NOAA43:  Is scheduled to fly a research mission into Karl. Take off is scheduled for 1800 UTC (2PM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Three HRD scientists will be on this flight.

Global Hawk: Is scheduled to land around 2200 UTC (6PM Eastern) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA.

Saturday, 24 Sept. 2016

NOAA43:  Is scheduled to fly a research mission into Karl. Take off is scheduled for 0600 UTC (2AM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Three HRD scientists will be on this flight.

G-IV:  Is tentatively scheduled to fly a research mission over and around Karl. Take off is TBD. No HRD scientists will be on this flight.

NOAA43:  Is tentatively scheduled to fly a research mission into Karl. Take off is scheduled for 1800 UTC (2PM Eastern) to and from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Three HRD scientists 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:http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

To access updates on IFEX and other HRD activities via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feed, check out the HRD home page at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd

To directly access updates on IFEX HFP Operations via our WordPress blog on the web, check the site: https://noaahrd.wordpress.com/category/ifex-hurricane-field-program/

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.

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The P3 aircraft is on its way to fly into Karl

NOAA43 took off around 2AM this morning to fly into Karl. The P3 continues to gather weather data in Karl. The data collected is used by the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. It also goes into the computer weather models to better predict the track and intensity of Karl. The P3 flies missions back to back to gather data continuously. Below is the proposed flight tracks. The dots on the flight track (shown in green) represent the aircraft turn points. 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.

ftk.png

Posted in Data Assimilation, HFIP-Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project, IFEX - Hurricane Field Program, Modeling and Prediction, Observations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment