Paper on the impact of ocean surface waves in intensity forecasts published in The Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans

Ocean surface waves affect the exchange of momentum and energy between the ocean and the atmosphere.  However, the impact on tropical cyclone intensity and structure in fully coupled numerical models has not been well-understood. This study used a regional atmosphere-ocean-wave coupled model to study the wave impacts.  Simulations of 21 real tropical cyclones were conducted. … Continue reading Paper on the impact of ocean surface waves in intensity forecasts published in The Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans

Recap of Hurricane Ian flights

In September, NOAA conducted 15 missions in and around Hurricane Ian before its historic landfall in Florida. Among these were 8 P-3 missions and 7 synoptic surveillance missions conducted by the G-IV. One hundred forty-three dropwindsondes were released along with 18 Airborne Expendable Bathythermographs to measure profiles in the atmosphere and the ocean underneath Ian. … Continue reading Recap of Hurricane Ian flights

Investigating vertical wind shear influences on tropical cyclone intensity change

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine & Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) examine the challenges of accurately predicting when a tropical cyclone will begin a quick and sudden increase in intensity (called rapid intensification or RI) in a new study published in Monthly Weather Review. The paper analyzes a group (ensemble) of computer model … Continue reading Investigating vertical wind shear influences on tropical cyclone intensity change

Study on how weak, disorganized tropical cyclones become upright allowing for intensification published in the Journal of Geophysical Research

This study shows how weak, disorganized tropical cyclones that have different center locations with height (misalignment) can develop a vertically aligned structure. The ability to predict whether and when a tropical cyclone will become aligned is important for intensity change forecasts, as storms can intensify quickly after achieving it. This study will help improve forecasts … Continue reading Study on how weak, disorganized tropical cyclones become upright allowing for intensification published in the Journal of Geophysical Research

Study relating the structure of the area in a tropical cyclone closest to the surface and intensity released online in Monthly Weather Review

The study analyzes Doppler radar profile analyses to advance our understanding of how and why tropical cyclones intensify or weaken in relation to the shape of the vortex (whether the wind field is narrow or broad) and boundary-layer structure.  Example of a mean composite of only the radial wind velocity from airborne Doppler wind profile … Continue reading Study relating the structure of the area in a tropical cyclone closest to the surface and intensity released online in Monthly Weather Review

Making the Unpredictable Predictable in Hurricane Forecasts

The chaotic, swirling winds just above the ocean as a hurricane develops play a key role in how strong a storm might be when it reaches land. Helping forecasters better account for this seemingly unpredictable wind turbulence that drives a hurricane's intensity is what scientists with the Northern Gulf Institute and NOAA are doing. Their … Continue reading Making the Unpredictable Predictable in Hurricane Forecasts

Study of how accurate forecast models are in the region close to the ocean surface published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

Poor modeling of hurricane boundary layer turbulence in computer models is a key obstacle to improving hurricane intensity forecasts. This study uses a recently developed modeling framework based on a large-eddy simulation, or LES, (where model grids are small enough to resolve turbulence) to evaluate the pros and cons of four different planetary boundary layer … Continue reading Study of how accurate forecast models are in the region close to the ocean surface published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

Study showing how to improve forecasts of rapid intensification released online in Monthly Weather Review

Accurately predicting when a tropical cyclone will begin a quick and sudden increase in intensity (rapid intensification or RI) is a significant challenge. In this study, we analyzed a group (or ensemble) of computer model forecasts of a real RI event to better understand it. To accurately forecast tropical cyclone intensity and when RI will … Continue reading Study showing how to improve forecasts of rapid intensification released online in Monthly Weather Review

Review of aircraft missions into Hurricane Earl

NOAA conducted 20 aircraft missions into Hurricane Earl in late August and early September. The series of flights over 12 days was the longest series of flights into one system that NOAA has conducted. We recently reviewed these flights, and the slides from the review can be found here. Flight tracks of all the NOAA … Continue reading Review of aircraft missions into Hurricane Earl

NOAA deploys new Altius drone into the eye of Hurricane Ian

Altius-600 uncrewed aircraft system being released from the NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft during a test flight in June 2022. Watch the video here. NOAA hurricane researchers have added a new tool to their toolbox. For the first time, an Area-I Altius-600 uncrewed aircraft system was deployed into a hurricane by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic … Continue reading NOAA deploys new Altius drone into the eye of Hurricane Ian