NOAA SHOUT Program Flies 2nd Mission Above Hurricane Hermine’s Rapid Intensification AUG 31- SEP 2
87 dropsones launched during 22.8 hour flight with 100% success rate to nearly match 90-sonde deployment record set during first flight on AUG 29-30
The NOAA SHOUT program launched its second NASA Global Hawk mission into Hermine during the Rapid Intensification from tropical storm to hurricane status. This flight followed SHOUT’s first Global Hawk flight on 29-30 August, providing real time data to the National Hurricane Center that played a role in upgrading then Tropical Depression #9 to named Tropical Storm Hermine. Nearly matching the record of 90 dropsondes deployed on the first flight, 87 dropsondes were deployed into Hermine during the second flight, including sonde deployments off the U.S. East Coast during return to base to aid in uncertain forecast track up the East Coast on Labor Day weekend.
Sonde deployments from the NCAR- EOL minisonde Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS) demonstrated extreme robustness with a 100% success rate over 48 flight hours with no failures. The Global Hawk dropsondes augmented the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) surface wind and Tail Doppler Radar (TDR) observations obtained by the accompanying NOAA WP-3D flight mapping the three dimensional structure of the storm over the entire Eastern Gulf and from 60,000 ft to the surface. Similarly, the SHOUT Global Hawk Hurricane Imaging Wind and Rain Atmospheric Profiler (HIWRAP) downward looking Doppler radar provided many profiles of precipitation structure (and Doppler wind profiles) as shown which complements the WP-3D TDR wind and rain mapping capability by extending the TDR range of coverage to a larger area and greater depth in the atmosphere. TDR data is ingested by NOAA NCEP prediction models in real time, while HIWRAP is still in a post-flight demonstration mode.
These observations proved crucial for wind, rain and surge warnings along the Gulf Coast and inland over the southeast U.S. as Hermine rapidly intensified and made landfall as the Global Hawk and WP-3D returned to their respective bases at NASA Wallops Flight Center, Virginia and MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL.
New England Cable News meteorologist, Michael Page, covers NOAA and NASA’s Global Hawk flights over Hurricanes GASTON and HERMINE including an interview from NOAA UAS Program Director, Robbie Hood.
The full story can be found at: http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Drones-Fly-Into-Hurricane-Hermine-to-Improve-Forecast-392082511.html.