New Hurricane Hunters Similar to Drones that Tracked Bin Laden - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

New Hurricane Hunters Similar to Drones that Tracked Bin Laden

Tropical Storm Frank as seen from the base of a NASA Global Hawk drone in a 2010 flight (Credit: NASA/NOAA) Tropical Storm Frank as seen from the base of a NASA Global Hawk drone in a 2010 flight (Credit: NASA/NOAA)

Good morning! Well just an update on the 2013 hurricane season so far… we had a tropical storm form in the western Gulf of Mexico yesterday… making landfall last night along the Mexican coast. The storm name… Fernand.

So far… we have had 6 named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic hurricane season.

Speaking of the tropics… did you know that NASA drones have been heading straight for massive dust clouds off the coast of Africa… controlled remotely? The reason… success of this mission and others like it could not only help scientists better predict hurricanes… it could also help reset some of the negative public opinion about drone usage… the very same type of aircraft was used to help find and kill Osama bin Laden.

Unmanned aircraft have been used largely for war-fighting and combat purposes, but they've also been used for humanitarian purposes and for research by NASA.

These are part of an ongoing effort… the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3)… in which NASA will be flying two former military Global Hawk drones on repeated… nearly daylong stints during each Atlantic hurricane season through 2014. The drones are each equipped with a different set of instruments and together are able to gather data about cloud structure… temperature… windspeed… vapor and a host of other factors related to tropical storms.

Their goal is to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change… with a specific focus on how storms are impacted by the enormous mass of dry air over the Sahara desert.

All this information gathered will hopefully increase further our tropical prediction in the future!

Have a great Monday!

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