When the hurricane hunter aircraft collected data for Hurricane Laura in August, most of the meteorologists analyzing it weren’t onboard. That’s something new for 2020. Now, they work thousands of miles away in their own homes interpreting the data thanks new software developed out of necessity in a COVID-19 driven world.
Systems on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s P-3 aircraft communicate with researchers, meteorologists and modelers on the ground in real-time to produce accurate forecast updates. Usually, about three or four researchers from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, keep track of those systems to make sure no errors occur, like a drop in satellite connection.
This year, meteorologists and researchers needed to rely on the technology without being onboard. So, the the research division and NOAA’s Aircraft Operation Center worked together to develop new