In 2005, NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (HRD), part of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, began a multiyear experiment called the Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX). By emphasizing a partnership among NOAA's HRD, Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), National Hurricane Center (NHC), Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), and National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service (NESDIS), IFEX represents a new approach for conducting hurricane field program operations. IFEX is intended to improve the prediction of tropical cyclone (TC) intensity change by 1) collecting observations that span the TC life cycle in a variety of environments; 2) developing and refining measurement technologies that provide improved real-time monitoring of TC intensity, structure, and environment; and 3) improving the understanding of the physical processes important in intensity change for a TC at all stages of its life cycle.

This paper presents a summary of the accomplishments of IFEX during the 2005 hurricane season. New and refined technologies for measuring such fields as surface and three-dimensional wind fields, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, were achieved in a variety of field experiments that spanned the life cycle of several tropical cyclones, from formation and early organization to peak intensity and subsequent landfall or extratropical transition. Partnerships with other experiments during 2005 also expanded the spatial and temporal coverage of the data collected in 2005. A brief discussion of the plans for IFEX in 2006 is also provided.

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NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division, Miami, Florida

Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Environmental Modeling Center, Washington, D.C.