Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Lampson Concerned About Survival Of Vital Hurricane Tracking Satellite

QuikSCAT image of Hurricane Katrina.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 14, 2007
Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson (D-TX) has asked the Administrators of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for answers regarding a research satellite which now has a second job helping hurricane forecasters sharpen their predictions about the paths these massive storms will follow.

The QuikSCAT satellite, which tracks wind data at the ocean surface, is a NASA research mission which is producing data that NOAA finds valuable for improving predictions on the movement of hurricanes and the point of landfall. The Director of the Hurricane Center recently stated that loss of this data, should QuikSCAT fail without a replacement mechanism in place, will reduce the accuracy of their two-day predictions by 10 percent and 16 percent for three-day forecasts.

QuikSCAT is currently two years beyond its five-year design lifetime and there is no near-term plan to replace the satellite's severe weather prediction capabilities.

A reduction in the accuracy of such forecasts could "require the National Hurricane Center to expand the coastal areas receiving hurricanes watches and warnings and increase the number of persons affected by evacuation orders," wrote Chairman Lampson.

Chairman Lampson has asked to see NOAA's contingency planning to deal with possible shutdown of QuikSCAT satellite - particularly if the satellite fails during hurricane season.

When evacuations are ordered in an effort to save lives, they should be done with the best available data, continued Lampson. "We can only accomplish that with accurate forecasting. Please provide us with information about the short-term options for continuing to obtain the information provided by the QuikSCAT satellite should the loss of this satellite occur during hurricane season," added Lampson in his letter to the Administrators.

Lampson wrote President Bush in 2004 about a similar situation regarding the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). NASA intended to decommission that mission, as it had met all of their goals. But, it was discovered that NOAA had been using the TRMM data, again to improve hurricane forecasts thus steps were taken to keep TRMM operational.

The Science and Technology Committee then directed NOAA and NASA to establish an interagency group to improve the process for making NASA research satellite data available for NOAA operations. That group is supposed to report annually; but Congress has yet to receive a report for this year, as is also noted and requested in Chairman Lampson's letter.

Email This Article

Related Links
Chairman Lampson's letter to NOAA Administrator
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

New Efforts To Plug Indonesian Mud Volcano
Jakarta (AFP) May 12, 2007
The Indonesian government is to use new measures to plug a 'mud volcano' that has left thousands homeless and unemployed, reports said Saturday. The steaming crater, located near Indonesia's second-largest city of Surabaya in East Java, first began spewing mud in May last year after exploratory gas drilling went wrong.

  • Lampson Concerned About Survival Of Vital Hurricane Tracking Satellite
  • New Efforts To Plug Indonesian Mud Volcano
  • Bridges Will Rock Safely During Quakes With New Design
  • Faster And Better Emergency Response Through Satellite Telecoms

  • Urban Poor Part Of Climate Change Equation
  • UN Calls Climate Debate Over
  • New NASA Study Points To Extreme Summer Warming In The Future
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions In EU-15 Slip

  • Transcontinental Wildfire Emissions Monitored From Space
  • Volcanic Eruptions In Kamchatka
  • NASA Satellite Captures Image Of Georgia Wildfires
  • US Earth-Observing Satellites In Jeopardy

  • Analysts Question Concerns Over China-Africa Relations
  • New Petroleum-Degrading Bacteria Found At Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles
  • Shaw AFB To Begin One-Year Hybrid Refueler Test
  • India Wakes Up To E-Waste As Economy Booms

  • Advances In HIV And TB Vaccines
  • Churning Sea Spurs Rethink Over Global-Warming Models
  • Experts Warn On Gambia AIDS Cure
  • HIV Treatment Goal Elusive

  • Scientists Equip Bacteria With Custom Chemo-Navigational System
  • Pretoria Development Forces Out Vervet Monkeys
  • An Ancient Bathtub Ring Of Mammoth Fossils
  • Climate Change Impacts Stream Life

  • Carbon Monoxide Pollution Over Australia Came From South America
  • With Dump Full, Thousands Of Tonnes Of Trash Fill Naples Streets
  • Indonesia Prosecutors Challenge Newmont Verdict
  • Tree Rings Show Elevated Tungsten Coincides With Nevada Leukemia Cluster

  • Beyond Paris
  • Gene Mutation Linked To Cognition Is Found Only In Humans
  • Climate Changes Caused Neanderthal Extinction On The Iberian Peninsula
  • Sleep And Exercise Critical To A Smarter And Longer Life

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement