Saildrone observations of Atlantic Hurricanes to Improve Intensity forecasts

Improving the accuracy and ultimate value of  NOAA’s operational hurricane forecasts requires more complete real-time knowledge of atmospheric and oceanic conditions and more realistic representation of key physical processes in forecast models. To meet these needs, a research team from NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) deployed five saildrones to observe conditions near the ocean surface during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Saildrones are uncrewed surface vehicles powered by wind and solar energy and remotely piloted via satellite telecommunication. They measure solar irradiance, barometric pressure, air temperature, humidity, wind, waves, water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen and ocean currents. They can also measure surface short- and long-wave radiation. The five saildrones of this deployment are specially designed for hurricane observations.

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