West Lafayette IN (SPX) Sep 15, 2010
After heavy rains and winds from Hurricane Earl pummeled their operations base in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, three Purdue University students continue to collect data as part of a team flying over the tropical Atlantic Ocean to take measurements of what might develop into tropical storm Gaston.
Graduate students Alexandria Johnson, Brian Murphy and Paytsar Muradyan are part of a National Science Foundation-funded project to better understand the conditions that promote or hinder hurricane formation and provide earlier warnings to those in harm's way. The project, Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud Systems in the Tropics, will run until Sept. 30.
The students are working with Jennifer Haase, the assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who leads the Purdue experiment, and James Garrison, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics.
"Often hurricanes originate in storm systems that develop off the west coast of Africa, but it is very difficult to predict which storm systems will develop into a hurricane and which will produce thunderstorms and then dissipate," Haase said. "We are flying into these areas to make measurements and try to figure out what conditions lead to the development of a hurricane."
The Purdue researchers are studying the moisture-uptake process to find early characteristics that drive a storm to eventually form a hurricane.
The team developed the GPS Instrument System for Multistatic and Occultation Sensing (GISMOS) to measure satellite signals as they travel through the atmosphere. The signals' speed varies depending on atmospheric conditions, and, through small signal delays, the team can determine the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.
"If the moistening process is understood, then we may be able to identify which storm systems are the most critical to track and improve forecasting," Haase said. "We hope to make it possible to forecast hurricanes further in advance, for example five days rather than the current two or three."
The scientists hope that results from the project will eventually be able to give people more time to prepare or evacuate to save lives and reduce the destruction when a hurricane makes landfall.
The instrument has been installed on a Gulfstream V research aircraft owned by the NSF and run by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The jet can reach an altitude of about 43,000 feet, enabling scientists to take observations near the tops of storms that form thousands of miles off the coast.
If the Purdue experiment is a success, the instrument could be installed on hurricane research planes to feed information to forecasters or eventually on commercial airlines to collect data during routine flights, Haase said.
The results also could be applied to future use of satellites that gather similar information, however, there are not currently enough satellites to be able to provide data in good locations for hurricane forecasts.
In addition to Purdue, collaborators include the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Naval Postgraduate School, University at Albany-SUNY, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Miami, NorthWest Research Associates Inc, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Purdue Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Igor stirs up Caribbean, takes aim at Bermuda
Miami (AFP) Sept 14, 2010
The most powerful Atlantic storm of 2010, Hurricane Igor, whipped up dangerous swells in the Caribbean on Tuesday as it barreled west-northwest in the direction of Bermuda. Igor, packing winds of 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour is a category four hurricane, the second highest notch on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, and forecasters warned it was "getting stronger." As the powerf ... read more
DMCii-Led Project Exploits Satellites To Strengthen UK Disaster Response|
Tiny MAVs May Someday Explore And Detect Environmental Hazards
Europe hesitates to give Pakistan special trade favours
New Zealand extends emergency in quake-hit Christchurch
CEA-Leti Completes Scalar Magnetometer Prototype For ESA
One-fourth of US adults use mobile applications: survey
Google to launch e-book service in Japan in 2011
Does A Molecular Machine Trot Pace Or Glide Across A Surface
Global Fisheries Research Finds Promise And Peril
Human Impacts On The Deep Seafloor
Drought shrinks Amazon River to lowest level in 47 years
BPA Looks Beyond Federal Hydro System To Help Integrate Wind Power
Arctic sea ice shrinks to third lowest area on record
Glaciers Help High-Latitude Mountains Grow Taller
Arctic ice melting quickly, report says
Giant ice island breaks in two
Indian Farmers Adopt Flood-Tolerant Rice At Unprecedented Rates
Global Project Underway To Preserve Yam Biodiversity
China says will pay close attention to BHP bid for Potash
Unusual Feed Supplement Could Ease Greenhouse Gassy Cows
Purdue Students Face Storm To Study Hurricane Development
Rare duo of powerful hurricanes roils Atlantic
Igor stirs up Caribbean, takes aim at Bermuda
Flood-hit Mexicans prepare for wet bicentenary
Termites Foretell Climate Change In Africa's Savannas
Nigeria leader replaces military, security heads: presidency
Congo dispute could hurt Africa investment
Safari Slovaks held in plot claim freed: C.Africa
Scientists Glimpse Dance Of Skeletons Inside Neurons
European Parliament blasts Roma expulsions
New Climate Change Mitigation Schemes Could Benefit Elites More Than Poor
Internet an equalizer for people with disabilities
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights 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|