Prior to the advent of weather satellites and aircraft reconnaissance of tropical cyclones during the mid-20th century, the loss of life due to unexpected, landfalling hurricanes was tremendous. In 2015, hurricane forecasting continues to improve thanks to ongoing upgrades in observational technology (aircraft, dropsondes, tail radar, etc.), computational resources, improved numerical prediction models (model resolution, physics, etc.). Today, I am excited to see the NOAA P-3 Tail Doppler Radar data in Google Earth.
The P-3 aircraft fly into the eye of hurricanes and can tolerate enormous turbulence. Their mission is to gather atmospheric data continuously en route and through the tropical cyclone. These aircraft are equipped with a Doppler radar historically mounted under the belly, but more recently on the tail. Adding radar images to Google Earth in real-time is experimental at this point. This is an amazing step forward and science marches on.
Hurricane Danny on Radar Via P-3 Tail Doppler Friday 8/21 Noon EDT
A Short Time Later…
Google Earth In Action
- Atlantic Basin now Tropical Cyclone Free for the First Time in 49 days
- Ophelia 10th consecutive named system to reach hurricane status in the Atlantic
- Ophelia becomes a rare major hurricane south of the Azores
- Rapid Intensification of Tropical Storms & Hurricanes in the North Atlantic
- How Many Lives Have Been Saved By Improved Hurricane Forecasts?