Hurricane study to tackle long-standing mystery - Multimedia Gallery


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PREDICT project probes how hurricanes arise

Scientists are launching a major field project next month in the tropical Atlantic Ocean to solve a central mystery of hurricanes: why do certain clusters of tropical thunderstorms grow into the often-deadly storms while many others dissipate? The results should eventually help forecasters provide more advance warning to those in harm’s way. PREDICT, the Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud Systems in the Tropics, runs from August 15 to September 30, 2010, the height of hurricane season.



Woman operates instrument controls inside NSF/NCAR research jet
NCAR scientist Teresa Campos tests an instrument known as a fast ozone analyzer that will used to observe ozone levels in the stratosphere during the PREDICT field experiment. Data from the analyzer and other instruments aboard the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V aircraft will be transmitted to the PREDICT research team in real time. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) *News media terms of use
Woman looking at instruments inside a plane, holding a dropsonde
NCAR technician Laura Tudor tests the dropsonde release system inside the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V aircraft. These instrument packages are essential tools for measuring wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, and air pressure from flight level down to the surface. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) *News media terms of use


Infrared satellite images
These infrared satellite images, captured on August 31, 2007 at (left) 0000 UTC/8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and (right) 0600 UTC/2:00 a.m. EDT, show the thunderstorm clusters that led to Hurricane Felix. Just two days later, Felix became a major hurricane. (Images courtesy Naval Research Laboratory.)


Satellite image
By the time of this satellite image—1810 UTC (2:10 p.m. EDT) on August 2, 2007—Felix was a major hurricane, with winds exceeding 130 mph. (Image courtesy NOAA Satellite and Information Service, via Wikipedia.)


Google Earth image of the Carribean
The location of the PREDICT Operations Center in St. Croix and the approximate boundaries of the PREDICT study area are shown on this map, prepared using Google Earth software. (Image courtesy UCAR.) *News media terms of use


View of plane
The NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V research aircraft, known as HIAPER (High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research). Click here or on the image to enlarge.(©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) *News media terms of use


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The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.