20-NGI3-113 (191001-363513-1I)
2023-9-30 0:0:0
Improvements to Surface Wind Speed Estimates in Tropical Cyclones
Coastal Hazards CH
Wind speed at the ocean’s surface influences hurricane forecasts by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Researchers are improving estimates of surface wind speed by evaluating the Stepped-Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) flown on hurricane hunter aircraft that is used in gathering data that factors into wind speed calculations. The need for improvement was realized after they found a greater variability between the SFMR wind estimates and those from other sources, such as dropsondes and surface-adjusted flight-level winds. The researchers are improving the detection of radio frequency interference (RFI) that the SFMR uses to estimate surface wind speed by updating it with a more robust technique using reflectivity data from the tail-Doppler radars (TDR) on hurricane hunter aircraft to correct for rain impacts. Data collected during the 2021 and beginning of the 2022 hurricane seasons will serve as an independent dataset to test the updated SFMR algorithm, which will be provided to NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunters for consideration to implement operationally.