Atmospheric Science Ph.D. Student Flies around Sandy

On Saturday, October 27, 2012 Atmospheric Science Ph.D. student Rosimar Rios-Berrios joined a crew from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) on a synoptic surveillance mission around Hurricane Sandy. The purpose of this mission was to collect data from the environment around this tropical system as it was dangerously moving towards the Northeast coast of the United States. During the flight with their Gulfstream IV (G-IV) aircraft, they collected data with the tail Doppler radar and launched a total of 32 dropsondes (expendable weather reconnaissance devices), out of which 30 were successfully processed and sent to the National Hurricane Center. Data from these sondes were assimilated into numerical models to improve their accuracy and provide better forecasts of this historic event.

Rosimar said, "This was a very enriching opportunity that I hope other students interested in tropical cyclones can also enjoy in the future. Being able to participate of this flight gave me some new insights about collecting and processing data that is used both for forecasting guidance, as well as for research purposes. Needless to say, the opportunity of flying around the storm and observing the evolution in its environment, as portrayed in the data collected, was also a unique experience, which I am sure will help me as I advance in my graduate studies.”

Added interest to this flight was the fact that Rosimar’s Ph.D. advisor, Assistant Professor Ryan Torn, was on board a NOAA P3 aircraft at the same time. While the G-IV was carrying out a surveillance mission of the environment around Sandy, the P3 was targeting much more the storm itself. Interestingly, Rosimar and Ryan were in communication about the status of each other’s missions while they were in flight!

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For more information about Professor Torn’s mission, visit:

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