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NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) Investigation

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Abstract

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) investigation was a multiyear field campaign designed to improve understanding of the physical processes that control hurricane formation and intensity change, specifically the relative roles of environmental and inner-core processes. Funded as part of NASA’s Earth Venture program, HS3 conducted 5-week campaigns during the hurricane seasons of 2012–14 using the NASA Global Hawk aircraft, along with a second Global Hawk in 2013 and a WB-57f aircraft in 2014. Flying from a base at Wallops Island, Virginia, the Global Hawk could be on station over storms for up to 18 h off the East Coast of the United States and up to about 6 h off the western coast of Africa. Over the 3 years, HS3 flew 21 missions over nine named storms, along with flights over two nondeveloping systems and several Saharan air layer (SAL) outbreaks. This article summarizes the HS3 experiment, the missions flown, and some preliminary findings related to the rapid intensification and outflow structure of Hurricane Edouard (2014) and the interaction of Hurricane Nadine (2012) with the SAL.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Scott A. Braun, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 612, Greenbelt, MD 20771, E-mail: scott.a.braun@nasa.gov

This article is included in the NASA Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) special collection.

Abstract

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) investigation was a multiyear field campaign designed to improve understanding of the physical processes that control hurricane formation and intensity change, specifically the relative roles of environmental and inner-core processes. Funded as part of NASA’s Earth Venture program, HS3 conducted 5-week campaigns during the hurricane seasons of 2012–14 using the NASA Global Hawk aircraft, along with a second Global Hawk in 2013 and a WB-57f aircraft in 2014. Flying from a base at Wallops Island, Virginia, the Global Hawk could be on station over storms for up to 18 h off the East Coast of the United States and up to about 6 h off the western coast of Africa. Over the 3 years, HS3 flew 21 missions over nine named storms, along with flights over two nondeveloping systems and several Saharan air layer (SAL) outbreaks. This article summarizes the HS3 experiment, the missions flown, and some preliminary findings related to the rapid intensification and outflow structure of Hurricane Edouard (2014) and the interaction of Hurricane Nadine (2012) with the SAL.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Scott A. Braun, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 612, Greenbelt, MD 20771, E-mail: scott.a.braun@nasa.gov

This article is included in the NASA Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) special collection.

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