By Jennifer Gray, CNN meteorologist
Hurricane hunters have been flying inside hurricanes for more than 50 years, collecting data. Theyve been tossed around and risked their lives for the sake of hurricane research and keeping communities safe.
Now they have a new partner, which will be on the water with eyes inside the storm from sea level. Yes, riding the waves beneath major hurricanes, experiencing conditions on the sea no human could endure.
Watching the video even makes my stomach turn, and I dont even get seasick.
Its called a Saildrone, and its technology has reinvented the way we see the inside of hurricanes.
Saildrone, Inc. has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to better study hurricanes and the environment around them.
What drives the intensity of the hurricanes is the transfer of heat and moisture from the ocean to atmosphere and the dynamics of how that occurs isnt well-understood, said Richard Jenkins, founder and CEO of Saildrone, Inc. So if we can measure how much is in the ocean and understand the physical principles of how that heat is transferred, thats the piece the models are missing.
By better understanding the surface data around the storm as well as within it, they hope they will be able to provide crucial data to help better understand the environment in which hurricanes form, as well as how they rapidly intensify.
Their hope is the data they collect will help hurricane forecasts in the future.
A 23-foot Saildrone can stay out to sea for up to a year. The vehicle is wind-powered and its instruments are solar-powered, giving it the ability to enter some of Earths most hostile environments.
They have already been used for mapping the ocean floor in Florida to help with storm surge forecasts, climate change missions and now they are navigating the high seas for hurricane research.
This hurricane season, five Saildrones were placed in the Atlantic in locations predetermined by NOAA, where they would have the best shot at sampling a hurricane.
When Hurricane Sam became Saildrones first hurricane mission, NOAA released the first-ever video from an uncrewed surface vehicle from inside a major hurricane.
It was larger than we expected and hoped for but it was a great success. We emerged unscathed from that storm, which was a huge achievement from an engineering standpoint, said Jenkins.
Sam was a Category 4 hurricane at the time of the mission, which left the Saildrone battling 50-foot waves and winds of more than 120 mph.
The Saildrones hurricane wing enables the vessel to navigate extreme winds and waves.
Sam has since moved north and is in the higher latitudes, bringing giant swells to places as far away as the Bahamas and eastern US. The storm is expected to impact Greenland by the end of the week.
And the Saildrone mission will continue. They hope to expand the program and eventually have Saildrones in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to sample storms and provide critical data from the surface of the storm, to supplement information gathered by the hurricane hunters who will continue to fly through them.
Many times the Saildrones will be sailing just beneath the hurricane planes.
Both are vital, said Jenkins. The planes are trying to get an accurate pressure reading from the center of the storm, which they do very well. We are trying to get surface dynamics. We get about 20 additional measurements that include the air and sea integration principles that are crucial to the future understanding of hurricanes. So we are getting different kinds of variables.
Hopefully the data will help improve forecasts in the future, ultimately saving lives from monster hurricanes and catastrophic flooding.
While the South has avoided tropical systems for the past couple of weeks, a deluge of tropical rains will soak the region this week, bringing the potential for flooding.
An abundance of Gulf moisture will feed into the Southeast region, ahead of a very, very slow-moving cold front, bringing scattered showers and storms to much of Alabama, Georgia, the Florida Panhandle and the Carolinas.
Showers will also reach as far north as the Ohio Valley. The highest amounts will primarily be across Alabama and Georgia through Friday.
Due to the nature of the todays convection, today will be more of the primer day that saturates any dry spots, said the National Weather Service in Atlanta.
However, as the week progresses and the ground becomes more saturated, the flood threat will increase.
With little progression and storms continuing to train through the terrain, the risk for excessive rainfall and localized flash flooding will remain elevated, said the Weather Prediction Center.
Places like Atlanta, Birmingham and Montgomery could see more than a months worth of rain in just a few days.
Atlanta typically averages 3.28 inches of rain in the month of October and could see as much as four to six inches by Friday.
Birmingham usually receives 3.34 inches of rain in October and could be looking at three to five inches by Friday.
Theres also an area the National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on, which could end up bringing more rain to the Southeast.
Its currently over the Bahamas, but will journey to the northwest during the next few days.
Theres only a 10% chance of development during the next five days, but it could bring some additional showers to the Georgia and Carolina coast by the end of the week.
Over the weekend, 3,000 barrels worth of oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean about 5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, CA.
The spill now covers 8,300 acres, an area larger than Santa Monica.
Oil is now settling on the beaches nearby, and dead birds and fish are already washing on shore.
The oil has infiltrated the entirety of the (Talbert) Wetlands. Theres significant impacts to wildlife there, said Orange County Supervisory Katrina Foley. These are wetlands that weve been working with the Army Corps of Engineers, with (a local) land trust, with all the community wildlife partners to make sure to create this beautiful, natural habitat for decades. And now in just a day, its completely destroyed.
The waters just off the coast of Southern California are among the most fertile fish habitats found anywhere on earth. In an ironic twist, they are directly related to the oil rigs offshore, in place since the late 1960s.
A 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed the 23 oil rigs located off the coastline and found the mean annual total fish production on this seafloor was as much as 27 times higher per square meter than similar depths around the world.
Ironically, they estimated the complex hardscape habitat created by oil platforms, structures and pipelines throughout the water column has supported an incredible influx of fish biodiversity.
A 2007 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay released 58,000 gallons of oil, (half of the current spill) and killed more than 7,000 birds.
Record drought, wildfires, and water shortages have beleaguered the western US, and the forecast is not much brighter.
A new water year began on October 1, with many in the west hoping for a better year to come.
Downtown Sacramento has officially gone 196 days without measurable rain, which breaks the record for the longest dry streak, set in 1880.
Bakersfields 2020-2021 water year was the fifth-driest on record. Precipitation records there date back to 1892.
Downtown San Franciscos most recent water year ended as the second-driest on record, and record keeping goes back more than 170 years.
What is needed for California and other western states is multiple years of surplus rains, but also snow. Snow can often have a greater impact than rain when it comes to building up the water supply.
Read more here
From a crippling drought and wildfires in the west, to back-to-back hurricanes and flooding in the east, this summer was slammed with weather disasters fueled even more by climate change.
And the disasters werent just in the United States.
Read where the 7 most devastating climate disasters took place
The Earth is dimming due to climate change
We wanted to end this week on a fun note, and theres nothing better than fat bears gorging on salmon in Alaska.
Fat Bear Week has grown increasingly popular during the last several years.
Click here to see why.
The-CNN-Wire & 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
CNN meteorologists Pedram Javaheri and Allison Chinchar contributed to this weather column
Read the rest here:
- Sailing the High Seas with Dejeros Cloud-Based Production Tools - TV Technology - October 9th, 2021
- Input wanted on changes to high seas fishing rules - The Bay's News First - SunLive - October 9th, 2021
- 9 crew of Indian vessel stranded on high seas rescued - The Statesman - October 9th, 2021
- Coast Guard rescues 9 crew members of mechanised vessal stranded in high seas - News Today - October 9th, 2021
- In Mumbai rave party bust, NCB carries out first-ever drugs search on cruise liner in high seas - Deccan Herald - October 9th, 2021
- Easy Halloween costume ideas for the continued collapse of society - Tampa Bay Times - October 9th, 2021
- What We Do In The Shadows Recap: The Siren - The Workprint - October 9th, 2021
- Trinidad and Tobago chaos over who actually owns the House of Football - Inside World Football - October 9th, 2021
- Deep seabed mining is risky. If something goes wrong, who will pay for it? - Mongabay.com - October 9th, 2021
- Students win new UH awards to protect oceans | University of Hawaii System News - UH System Current News - October 9th, 2021
- Seabed Mining: The Coast Guard's Deep Future - CIMSEC - October 9th, 2021
- SBI launches NAV-eCash Card. Check features and benefits here - Mint - October 9th, 2021
- Navigating Miocene Ocean Temperatures for Insights into the Future - Eos - October 9th, 2021
- Planning a Cruise? Here's What You Need to Know - NBC San Diego - October 9th, 2021
- National Grid in talks over plan for energy island in North Sea - The Guardian - October 9th, 2021
- Listen closely: How sound could help improve the way we manage fisheries and conservation - Dal News - October 9th, 2021
- To solve space traffic woes, look to the high seas - MIT Technology Review - August 24th, 2021
- Who Is Going to Map the High Seas? - Hydro International - August 24th, 2021
- War on the High Seas - The Maritime Executive - August 24th, 2021
- Almost there: One more month until calmer seas, better weather - spacecityweather.com - August 24th, 2021
- Meet Rex, a Regal 417-Foot Expedition Yacht Concept With an Underwater Lounge and Helicopter Parking - Yahoo Lifestyle - August 24th, 2021
- Our first vacation fish, and other standout moments of summer 2021 | Pamelas Food Service Diary - SILive.com - August 24th, 2021
- HAWAII Hawaii County Weather Forecast for August 22, 2021 BIG ISLAND NOW - Big Island Now - August 24th, 2021
- NOAA Just Named 31 Nations That Engage in Illegal or Unregulated Fishing. Here's Why That's a Step in the Right Direction. - Earthjustice - August 24th, 2021
- Henri likely to bring rough seas to the south, possibly heavy rainfall in northern Delaware - delawarebusinessnow.com - August 24th, 2021
- Gather Round Mateys, These Arrrrre The Best Pirate Movies To Watch Right Now - Yahoo Lifestyle - August 24th, 2021
- You have what you voted for - Santa Barbara News-Press - August 24th, 2021
- Annette and a truly weird summer at the movies - Vox.com - August 24th, 2021
- As Henri Nears US Coast, Threat to Long Island Increases - East Hampton Star - August 24th, 2021
- Indias Highway Construction Is in the Fast Lane - Fair Observer - August 24th, 2021
- The Fiji Times Skipper's legacy A lover of the sea - Fiji Times - August 24th, 2021
- Chubut imposes strict measures on shrimp landings to protect the fishery - MercoPress - August 24th, 2021
- Jellyfish Found in Greece are the Least Dangerous of All - Greek Reporter - August 24th, 2021
- Indian Ocean: The maritime links of India-Malaysia - Hindustan Times - August 24th, 2021
- Shark Experts Agree, These Are The 5 Best Dive Sites In The World - Forbes - August 24th, 2021
- North Vancouver RCMP remind boaters of rules on the water during education blitz - North Shore News - August 24th, 2021
- Salinity Measurements of the Adriatic Sea Record an Unprecedented Increase - Total Croatia News - August 24th, 2021
- China and the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean - The Diplomat - June 10th, 2021
- Africa must protect the high seas before its too late - Mail and Guardian - June 10th, 2021
- Bringing the High Seas Biodiversity Treaty Into Port - Council on Foreign Relations - June 10th, 2021
- SEACOR Power survivor begged God to 'calm the seas' after being swept overboard - WWLTV.com - June 10th, 2021
- Why the Ocean Needs the Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act - Earthjustice - June 10th, 2021
- Ambitious treaty offers a once in a lifetime chance to protect the high seas - Euronews - June 10th, 2021
- Two Members of the Jamaica Defence Force Are First-Ever Appointed to United States Coast Guard Academy - US Embassy in Jamaica - June 10th, 2021
- Oh. My. Gawd! A Friends-themed cruise is setting sail and heres what you need to know - Woman & Home - June 10th, 2021
- Why its time we woke up and listened to the ocean - The Citizen - June 10th, 2021
- Taking Lighthouse to the Top - The SandPaper - June 10th, 2021
- 1823: WHEN A FEW BAD APPLES SPOILED THE WRECKING TRADE - Florida Keys Weekly - June 10th, 2021
- Food for sailing: Our guide to the best options - Yachting World - June 10th, 2021
- On the International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing, Pew Advocates Discuss Their Work - The Pew Charitable... - June 10th, 2021
- These non-profits are determined to conserve the vast oceans of the Earth - YourStory - June 10th, 2021
- Beverly High graduates encouraged to enjoy the little things, do some deep introspection - Wicked Local - June 10th, 2021
- Didn't get enough of a 'Friends' fix from the reunion? How about a 'Friends'-themed cruise? - USA TODAY - June 10th, 2021
- Protecting the ocean from 5 big threats (photo gallery) | US Embassy & Consulates in Italy - US Embassy Rome - June 10th, 2021
- Tracking down mystery boats on the high seas - The Verge - February 20th, 2021
- This 262-Foot Superyacht Concept Comes With Its Own Stage for Concerts on the High Seas - Robb Report - February 20th, 2021
- Will NPFC Protect Pacific Saury by Cutting Fish Catch? China and Taiwan Might Disagree - JAPAN Forward - February 20th, 2021
- 2018 covert op that is embarrassing India - The Tribune India - February 20th, 2021
- Opinion: The other environmental treaties the US must confront - Ensia - February 20th, 2021
- China's New Coast Guard Law and Implications for Maritime Security in the East and South China Seas - Lawfare - February 20th, 2021
- AI can help reduce the risk of HIV in high-risk communities - Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - February 20th, 2021
- 'Wicked Tuna' rivalry gives way to cooperation | Local News | newburyportnews.com - The Daily News of Newburyport - February 20th, 2021
- Croatia claims that BiH's Right to the High Seas Access has not been endangered - Sarajevo Times - February 20th, 2021
- This Sea Dragon Skyrim mod brings a dash of Sea of Thieves to Tamriel - PCGamesN - February 20th, 2021
- Sea Of Thieves: 10 Tips And Tricks To Know Before Playing - TheGamer - February 20th, 2021
- A TikToker Captured Australias Own Black Hawk Down Moment On The High Seas Of Sydney Harbour - Pedestrian TV - February 20th, 2021
- WCU professor emeritus explores the adventures of early women explorers in new book - Western Carolina University News - February 20th, 2021
- NEWPORT AREA WEATHER REPORT: Feb. 20-21 - newportri.com - February 20th, 2021
- The Staggering Decline of Oceanic Sharks and Rays The Revelator - The Revelator - February 20th, 2021
- The Future Of The Aircraft Carrier - CNBCAfrica.com - February 20th, 2021
- Hillicon Valley: Congress prepares to hold hearing on SolarWinds breach, Big Tech content moderation | Tensions rise between Capitol Hill and... - February 20th, 2021
- PES University will launch satellite to monitor ships - The New Indian Express - February 20th, 2021
- Sea of Thieves is now cross-platform compatible thanks to steam network. - Joplin Business Journal - February 20th, 2021
- What's the secret to BTS' Jimin's shoulder reveal? Seven highlights from V Live for 'BE Essential Edition' - MEAWW - February 20th, 2021
- Life and death on the Mediterranean Sea - Morning Star Online - February 20th, 2021
- This 262-Foot Superyacht Concept Comes With Its Own Stage for Concerts on the High Seas - Yahoo Lifestyle - February 17th, 2021
- Uppena movie review: Romance on the high seas - The Hindu - February 17th, 2021
- Amid rising seas, 'dry' resort is wetter than it likes - Minneapolis Star Tribune - February 17th, 2021
- Review: All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace - The Nerd Daily - February 17th, 2021
- A Deep Dive Into the Sea Shanty Craze, And Why Chicago Was Ahead of the TikTok Trend - WTTW News - February 17th, 2021