Scientists to drop research drones into hurricanes

May 27, 2014 by Jennifer Kay
In this April 29, 2014 photo, Joe Cione, who studies how storms interact with the ocean at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division in Miami, displays a drone he hopes to use this hurricane season for research. NOAA researchers plan to test five or six drones in the peak of hurricane season that will be transmitting data that could help forecasters understand what makes some storms fizzle while others strengthen into monsters. ( AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

The point where the roiling ocean meets the fury of a hurricane's winds may hold the key to improving storm intensity forecasts—but it's nearly impossible for scientists to see.

That may change this summer, thanks to post-Hurricane Sandy federal funding and a handful of winged drones that can spend hours spiraling in a hurricane's dark places. The drones will be transmitting data that could help forecasters understand what makes some storms fizzle while others strengthen into monsters.

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plan to test five or six in the peak of . The $1.25 million project is among a slew of other NOAA hurricane research funded by last year's Sandy supplemental bill that authorized $60 billion for disaster relief agencies.

Explore further: NOAA predicts 'average' Atlantic hurricane season

Related Stories

NOAA predicts 'average' Atlantic hurricane season

May 22, 2014

Forecasters predict the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will be "near or below average," thanks to an expected El Nino phenomenon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

Report: Sandy was USA's 2nd-costliest hurricane

February 12, 2013

(AP)—The National Hurricane Center says Superstorm Sandy was the deadliest hurricane to hit the northeastern U.S. in 40 years and the second-costliest in the nation's history.

NOAA trims forecast for busy hurricane season

August 8, 2013

This Atlantic hurricane season may not be quite as busy as U.S. forecasters once thought, but they still warn of an unusually active and potentially dangerous few months to come.

Recommended for you

Scientists solve mystery of unexplained 'bright nights'

June 21, 2017

Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of "bright nights," when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper ...

New research leverages big data to predict severe weather

June 21, 2017

Every year, severe weather endangers millions of people and causes billions of dollars in damage worldwide. But new research from Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and AccuWeather has found ...

Measuring biological dust in the wind

June 21, 2017

In the popular children's story "Horton Hears a Who!" author Dr. Seuss tells of a gentle and protective elephant who stumbles upon a speck of dust that harbors a community of microscopic creatures called the Whos living the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.