NOAA deploys new hurricane technology to improve forecasts

TECHNOLOGY
featured image

newYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tracks Hurricane Fiona with planes and drones. Through NOAA’s new research program, sail drones are closer than ever to one of the most devastating forces on Earth.

Saildrone Inc., in partnership with NOAA, is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting.

“We are very excited about this new technology that will allow drones to fly for up to two to three hours at a time and collect all the data that they could or could not get before in very small pieces. Because it was in another part of the storm that we didn’t want to go to,” said Adam Abitbol, ​​NOAA’s lead test pilot.

The sail drone recorded video of 50-foot waves inside Hurricane Sam and winds in excess of 120 MPH during NOAA’s first test last year. Previously, NOAA recorded this data in an airplane from an altitude of 10,000 feet. New technologies are bringing us closer than ever.

Hurricane Fiona: Puerto Rico faces another day without power, flash floods and ‘catastrophic’ damage

NOAA's two Lockheed WP-3D Orions

NOAA’s two Lockheed WP-3D Orion “Hurricane Hunters” play an important role in collecting data during the hurricane season.
(Fox News)

“Obviously due to the violent dynamic nature of hurricanes, dropping a manned aircraft to the first 3,000 feet can be a bit dangerous, so we designed these drones to do that job.” said Abitbol. He said.

Above-Average Hurricane Season Forecast by NOAA

The short-term goal is to improve forecasts and give early warning to leaders to evacuate coastal cities and islands if necessary. The long-term goal is to anticipate what scientists call a rapid intensification, he said, to tackle one of the biggest challenges of hurricanes. A rapid intensification is when wind speeds increase by 35 MPH within 24 hours, making the hurricane much more dangerous in a very short period of time.

Saildrone Inc., in partnership with NOAA, is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting.

Saildrone Inc., in partnership with NOAA, is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting.
(NOAA)

“I believe over time we’ll be able to represent stronger winds. It helped us and the forecaster said, ‘Wow, I thought it was 100 mph, but that drone is going 120 mph.’ We probably didn’t. We’re not going to evacuate, but we are now,” said Dr. Joseph Cione, chief meteorologist for NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division. “It works the other way around, where the hurricane center or model suggested 150 mph winds, but the winds were only 90 mph. Then you could say:” Maybe we won’t have to evacuate and save millions of dollars.

Hurricanes are getting stronger as climate warns, new NOAA study shows

Saildrone is equipped with special ‘hurricane wings’ that look like stiff sails to withstand the extreme wind conditions encountered in storms and collect real-time data from the ocean and atmosphere near the surface. Five sail drones operate in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, and another two of hers are based in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Fiona flooded homes in Cayei, Puerto Rico on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Authorities said three people were inside the house and were reportedly rescued.

Hurricane Fiona flooded homes in Cayei, Puerto Rico on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Authorities said three people were inside the house and were reportedly rescued.
(AP Photo/Stephanie Rojas)

This is just the beginning of the program, and NOAA plans to eventually add video to all drones.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“What we’re doing specifically is thinking about the panorama view of the eye and maybe going into the eye wall so you can decide how and what to do, but yeah, next year, this year. No, next year we will have some with video and image capabilities,” said Dr. Cione.

Tags