NASA Study to Dissect Hurricanes

August 16, 2001

As the country gears up for hurricane season, researchers from the Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX) are getting ready to conduct an in-depth study of the storms by meeting them head-on.

CAMEX is the fourth in a series of field research investigations sponsored by the Earth Science Enterprise at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The team of researchers comes from 10 universities, five NASA centers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and will operate out of the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville, Fla. This year’s mission will run from Aug. 16 through Sept. 24–traditionally the most active part of the hurricane season.

Their equipment includes airplanes, robotic aerial vehicles and a fleet of sophisticated instruments, and their mission is to gather data vital to improve hurricane modeling and prediction. Temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, wind speed, lightning and ice crystal sizes are examples of the kinds of information that will be collected. The mission is unique in that each storm will be monitored simultaneously from near sea level to 65,000 feet, according to NASA.

The hurricane study is part of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research program dedicated to better understanding the total Earth system and the effects of natural and human-induced changes on our global environment.

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