Monday, January 14, 2013

Gulfstream IV-SP (G-IV) N49RF: NOAA deploys high-tech plane to improve winter storm forecasts

NOAA's Gulfstream IV jet will collect data over the Pacific Ocean to improve winter storm forecasts. 
Credit:  NOAA

Data collected over the north Pacific Ocean the next two months by a highly specialized NOAA jet aircraft will improve North American winter storm forecasts. 

Scientists aboard NOAA’s  Gulfstream IV-SP aircraft, typically used to study hurricanes, will measure wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature and humidity in areas of the Pacific where North American storms breed and where taking measurements is difficult and data is sparse. NOAA will fly out of Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, where the aircraft will be based through February. The aircraft will reposition to Anchorage, Alaska in March before returning to its home base in Tampa, Fla. 

Data from the flights will be monitored by meteorologists aboard the aircraft and relayed as it is collected to NOAA National Weather Service forecasters on the ground, who will use the data in real time to improve forecasts of potentially extreme winter weather events across the entire country and extend those forecasts into the three- to seven-day ranges. 

“Data from this special plane will enable forecasters to see whether or not all the ingredients necessary for a strong winter storm are present,” said Jack R. Parrish, flight director and meteorologist with NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

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