5.4 Development of Real-Time Visualizations and Research Tools through Integration of NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Data

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 11:15 AM
203 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Nicholas E. Johnson, University of Alabama in Huntsville – NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center, Huntsville, AL; and J. Zawislak

The NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division conducts the annual Hurricane Field Program experiment by flying the NOAA WP-3D and G-IV aircraft into tropical cyclones for operational and research purposes. This project focused on developing visualization methods for the data collected by various instruments on the aircraft in real-time, as well as during post analysis. A single dataset was generated by integrating the data from each instrument on the P-3, facilitating rapid, real-time examination and research. The visualizations use the integrated dataset to incorporate measurements from multiple instruments into single graphics, providing comprehensive observations of storm structure, intensity, and other attributes. The integrated datasets and visualization tools can help scientists better understand the storm structure and characteristics, and for forecasters to more readily analyze storm conditions with supporting visuals.

One of the visualization methods was used to examine the relationship between the flight level wind speed and surface wind speed and quantify measurement adjustment factors to retrieve surface wind speed measurements from each instrument on the aircraft. The study revealed that the adjustment factor varies throughout the storm (is not constant as the National Hurricane Center specialists apply) and likely varies based on the storm’s intensity. Using the tail Doppler Radar (TDR), Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR), dropsondes, and flight-level measurements, a more accurate wind speed adjustment factor that varies based on storm properties can be developed for each instrument. With more accurate surface wind speed estimates, the storm intensity can be better determined and improved preparation guidance can be delivered to the public.

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