Joe Cione earns Department of Commerce Silver Medal

josephjcioneCongratulations to Joe Cione, part of the team to earn a Department of Commerce Silver Medal “for successfully executing the first-ever launch of an Unmanned Aircraft System from a manned aircraft into a major hurricane, Hurricane Edouard.”  The entire team includes AOML’s Erica Rule, as well as crew members from NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations CDR Nancy Hann, CDR Kristie Twining, LCDR Justin Kibbey, James Roles, Jeff Smith, Steven Paul, Andrew Hornbeck, Joseph Bosko.  Congratulations to everyone!

NOAA Hollings Scholars present their work with AOML scientists

AOML’s three 2015 NOAA Hollings Undergraduate Scholars gave oral presentations of their work conducted with their scientist mentors during their 9-week stay internships.

  1. Kurt Hansen (University at Albany, State University of New York) – Downdrafts in Tropical Cyclones
  2. Allyson Rugg (University of Colorado)- Causes of Upper-ocean Temperature Anomalies in the tTopical North Atlantic.
  3. Joshua Wadler (University of Oklahoma) – Radial and Azimuthal Variations in Convective Burst Structure in Tropical Cyclones from Airborne Doppler Observations

Slides from their presentations can be downloaded from the ftp site at:

HRD seminar – Dr. Benjamin Jaimes, University of Miami, RSMAS, Department of Ocean Sciences – 16 July 2015

Dr. Jaimes presented a seminar “Enhanced Wind-Driven Downwelling Flow in Warm Oceanic Eddy Features during the Intensification of Tropical Cyclone Isaac (2012): Observations and Theory”


Tropical cyclones (TCs) typically produce intense oceanic upwelling underneath the storm’s center, and weaker and broader downwelling outside upwelled regions. However, several cases of predominantly downwelling responses over warm, anticyclonic mesoscale oceanic features were recently reported, where the ensuing upper-ocean warming prevented significant cooling of the sea surface, and TCs rapidly attained and maintained major status. Elucidating downwelling responses is critical to better understanding TC intensification over warm mesoscale oceanic features. As part of the NOAA Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX), a new case of predominant downwelling responses to TC forcing was observed over Gulf of Mexico’s mesoscale eddy features during the intensification of tropical storm Isaac (2012) into a hurricane. In this seminar, these observed downwelling responses are analyzed in the context of upwelling theories that ignore or consider the contribution from background geostrophic oceanic flow. Rather than with just Ekman pumping (We), these observed upwelling-downwelling responses are consistent with the vertical velocity Ws=We-RoD(U+u’); Ws is the TC-driven pumping velocity derived from the dominant vorticity balance that considers geostrophic flow strength (measured by the eddy Rossby number Ro=Vg/f), geostrophic vorticity (Vg), Coriolis frequency (f), aspect ratio (D=h/RMW), oceanic mixed layer thickness (h), storm’s radius of maximum winds (RMW), and total surface stresses from storm motion (U) and Ekman drift (u’). These results underscore the need for initializing coupled numerical models with realistic ocean states to correctly resolve the three-dimensional upwelling-downwelling responses and improve TC intensity forecasting. (This seminar will be based on a paper with the same title that was recently published in Journal of Physical Oceanography A copy of the paper can be found at:

The presentation is available on the anonymous ftp site:

Jaimes presentation

Jaimes presentation

HRD mourns the passing of José Colón

José Ángel Pérez Colón, a researcher with the National Hurricane Research Project (NHRP) in the 1950s and 1960s, passed away this week.   He was born in Caomo, Puerto Rico, in 1921.  He got his start in research while at the University of Puerto Rico during World War II, receiving his bachelor degree in mathematics and chemistry.  He was hired to study the ionosphere’s effects on long-range communications for the US Navy, and later began graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he earned a Professional Certificate in Atmospheric Sciences in 1945, Master’s degree in 1950 and doctorate in 1960 when he became the first Puerto Rican to obtain a PhD in the field.  His professional career began at the Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Rio Piedras (1945-1946).  He was an instructor in mathematics at the University of Puerto Rico (1946-1949).  He eventually got a job as a forecaster with the Weather Bureau in San Juan (1954-1959).  In late 1958, he met Bob Simpson who invited him to join the NHRP, then in West Palm Beach, FL, and he moved with NHRP to Miami the next year.


José Colón with his wife and Richard Anthes at the celebration of NHRP’s 50th anniversary in 2006.

In 1962, he volunteered for the International Indian Ocean Expeditions (IIOE), where he helped analyze and forecast monsoonal weather over the Indian Ocean basin. He remained in India until 1964.  Upon his return, he became the Meteorologist in Charge (Director) of the San Juan Weather Forecast Office from 1964-1986, when he retired from federal service.  After retirement, he had a special interest in climatology and genealogy.

Photograpnh from the IIOE, April, 1964. Seated left to right: J. R. Nicholson, C. R. V. Raman, D. R. Jones, Colin S. Ramage, José A. Colón, Lt. Col. F. R. Miller, C. M. Dixit, R. A. Smith. Standing 1st row: N. R. S. Iyer, V. C. Ved, S. L. Kavle, N. Simoes, S. Fernandes, R. Alimchandani, E. M. Raja. L. Samuel. Standing 2nd row: K. S. Venkiteswaran, B. Sethna, E. Chandrasekaran, S. Chidamaaram, A. D. Balang, J. Pinto

Among his 35 publications is the book Climatología de Puerto Rico.
His publications while with NHRP are:
Colón, J. A., and E. J. ZIPSER, 1962:  Mean-layer wind charts in tropical analysis. Mon. Wea. Rev.90, 465–470.
Colón, J. A.  and Lt. Cdr. W. R. NIGHTINGALE, 1963:  Development of tropical cyclones in relation to circulation patterns at the 200-millibar level.  Mon. Wea. Rev.91, 329–336.
Colon, J. A., 1964:  On Interactions Between the Southwest Monsoon Current and the Sea Surface over the Arabian Sea.  Indian Journal of Meteorology and Geophysics, 15, 183-200.
Colon, J. A., C. R. V. Raman, and V. Srialvasan, 1970:  On some aspects of the Tropical Cyclone of 20-29 May, 1963 over the Arabian Sea.  Indian Journal of Meteorology and Geophysics, 21, 1-22.

HRD Monthly Science Meeting of July 2015

July’s science meeting consisted of 7 presentations:

  1. Hugh Willoughby (FIU) – Synthesis of Vortex Rossby Waves
  2. Lisa Bucci – Aircraft Simulation Study
  3. Jon Zawislak (FIU) – Evolution of the Thermodynamic Structure During Intensification of Hurricane Edouard (2014)
  4. Evan Kalina – Sensitivity of dropsonde temperature and moisture analyses to the averaging time scale
  5. Joshua Wadler (Hollings scholar from U. Oklahoma) – Radial Variations in Convective Burst Structure in Tropical Cyclones from Airborne Doppler Observations
  6. John D’Alessandro (summer intern) – Simulating SFMR flight data from an HWRF model simulation of Hurricane Earl
  7. Kurt Hansen (Hollings scholar from SUNY Albany) – Downdrafts in Tropical Cyclones

All the presentations are available on the anonymous ftp site at:

HRD mourns retired hurricane hunter pilot Dave Turner

David Lindsay Turner, 91, passed away 26 June in Jacksonville, FL.  Dave flew into hurricanes with the U. S. Navy’s VW-4 Hurricane Hunter Squadron.  After leaving the Navy in 1969, Dave joined NOAA in Miami as a civilian hurricane pilot , and flew until his retirement in 1993.  He holds the record for the most flights into hurricanes by any pilot in the world. Notable missions which Dave piloted include a a rough flight into rapidly intensifying Category-5 Hurricane Edith off the coast of Nicaragua in 1971 and the record-breaking flight into Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 that measured a central pressure of 888 mb.  He piloted the first NOAA P3 flight in 1975 for its delivery to Miami.  Dave discussed some of these flights in an episode of PBS’s Nova, which you can see here.

Dave posing in front of one of the NOAA P3 aircraft.

Dave posing in front of one of the NOAA P3 aircraft. (NOAA)

He was born in Oakland, California in 1923 to Scottish immigrant parents, and he and his brother Ian G. Turner spent their early school years in Edinburgh, Scotland but eventually graduated from Piedmont High, California.  He enlisted as a Naval Aviator during World War II, interrupting his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, until after the war.  While finishing at Cal, he and his brother Ian both went on to win Olympic Gold Medals for Rowing as part of the Cal Crew 8 at the 1948 London Games. He was a dedicated athlete all his life.

Dave, flying in Hurricane Gilbert

Dave, flying in Hurricane Gilbert (NOVA)

Dave returned to the Navy in 1952 and served in Korea and Vietnam. As a Naval officer, he and his family were stationed throughout the US until he retired from the Navy in 1969 as a Lt Commander.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Dorothy Easson Turner of Oakland, CA, and his second wife, Ethel Inez Brown Turner of Ocala, FL, and his brother Ian G. Turner. He is survived by his daughters Eleanore (Wayne) Hewitt of Encinitas, CA, and Polly (Mike) Casey from Orange Park, FL, and grandsons David and Robert Hewitt, and Stephen and Matthew Casey.  He is also survived by his step-children Dianne Brown Watson of Ocala, FL, Charles Brown (CA), Alton Brown (AL) and Allen Brown (FL)
David Turner will receive a Navy burial at sea with full Military honors at a later date. He will be dearly missed.