35th Anniversary of first Synoptic Flow mission

On September 14, 1982, NOAA42 flew the first Synoptic Flow Experiment around Hurricane Debby.  The idea behind the experiment was to fly a large-scale pattern around a hurricane while releasing dropwindsondes at regular intervals.  This would create a three-dimensional map of the winds steering the storm.  The data would be entered into hurricane track forecast …

25th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew striking South Florida

In the early morning hours of August 24, 1992, Category-Five Hurricane Andrew roared across southern Florida leaving behind a trail of devastation that stunned the nation.  Andrew was the first hurricane of this ferocity to hit the continental United States since Hurricane Camille in 1969, and repercussions of its landfall were felt in the world …

20th anniversary of the first ever dropwindsonde observation in a hurricane eyewall

For decades, meteorologists used dropwindsondes, weather instrument packages deployed from aircraft, to make atmospheric soundings below flight level.  Starting in the 1970s they used Omega dropwindsondes (ODWs) that employed the very low-frequency Omega navigation signals to estimate the ODW's motion relative to the aircraft, and subsequently calculate the wind.  Because of the limitations of this system, …

20th anniversary of the first operational synoptic surveillance mission with the NOAA G-IV

  On 14 July, 1997, Tropical Storm Claudette was moving northeastward offshore the east coast of the US.  Eager to test the new Gulfstream-IV (G-IV) jet aircraft and the new Global Positioning System dropwindsonde, the National Hurricane Center tasked the first-ever operational synoptic surveillance mission geared toward improving track forecasts. Initial condition differences in the …

25th Anniversary of a ‘hairy hop’ into Hurricane Hugo

NOAA 42 radar display of Hugo's eyewall On September 15, 1989, NOAA 42 "Kermit" flew a research mission into Hurricane Hugo, east of Barbados, that became what old-time Hurricane Hunters called a "hairy hop".  This referred to a hurricane flight where the turbulence was so severe as to put the mission in jeopardy. The day …

Hurricane related anniversaries observed in 2011

2011 Hurricane anniversaries 5th Anniversary (2006) African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) experiment examines the wind regimes over western Africa and their role in generating disturbances over the Atlantic. The NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA) experiment similarly seeks to investigate these disturbances off the African coast using aircraft and the CALIPSO satellite. Richard Anthes, Robert …