NOAA's 2021 Saildrone Observations of Atlantic Hurricanes for Improvement of Intensity Forecasts
Improving the accuracy and ultimate value of NOAA's operational hurricane forecasts requires more complete real-time knowledge of atmospheric and oceanic conditions and more realistic representation of key physical processes in hurricane forecast models. To meet these needs, a research team from NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) deployed five saildrones (see picture below) to observe conditions near the ocean surface during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
(1) Measure near-surface atmospheric and upper-ocean parameters to calculate energy and momentum fluxes between the atmosphere and ocean outside and within hurricanes.
(2) Synchronize the deployments of saildrone and ocean gliders (see picture below) to measure the coupling between the surface atmosphere and upper ocean.
(3) Transmit data in real-time to operational weather prediction centers to improve atmosphere-ocean initial conditions in forecast models.
(4) Apply the observations to understand how air-sea interaction affects hurricane intensity and to advance hurricane prediction models.
Saildrone observations cover August 1-October 31, 2021 in five areas (highlighted by gray boxes in the map below) where chances of hurricane occurrence are high. Observations are sent to worldwide weather prediction centers in real time to assist their operational forecasts.
Saildrone real-time positions and data can be viewed at any of the following three web pages:
OceanViewer at AOML
Saildrone+Glider Time Series at AOML
Saildrone Data Access at PMEL
Saildrone data visualization dashboard
This project also involves partnerships with NOAA's Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) of the National Weather Service and the CoastWatch of NOAA's National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service (NESDIS).
NOAA Mission Team:
Gregory Foltz, AOML (Co-Lead)
Chidong Zhang, PMEL (Co-Lead)
Andy Chiodi, PMEL/University of Washington
Calvin Mordy, PMEL/University of Washington
Christian Meinig, PMEL
Dongxiao Zhang, PMEL/University of Washington
Edward (Ned) Cokelet, PMEL
Eugene Burger, PMEL
Francis Bringas, AOML
Gostavo Goni, AOML
Kevin O'Brien, PMEL/University of Washington
Noah Lawrence-Slavas, PMEL
Joaquin Trinanes, AOML/University of Santiago, Spain
Jun Zhang, AOML/University of Miami
Catherine Edwards, University of Georgia
Shuyi Chen, Edoardo Mazza and Brandon Kerns, University of Washington
Xingchao Chen, The Penn State University
With support of
Maria Morales Caez, The Penn State University