Hurricane Hunter P-3 Tail Radar on Google Earth

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

Hurricane Danny P-3 Tail Doppler Radar Scans on Google Earth (Friday 8/21/15)
Hurricane Danny P-3 Tail Doppler Radar Scans on Google Earth (Friday 8/21/15)

A Short Time Later…

#NOAA43 After Passing Through the eye of Hurricane Danny
#NOAA43 After Passing Through the Eye of Hurricane Danny (~1 pm EDT Friday 8/21/15)

Google Earth In Action


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