NASA Drone Spies on Tropical Storm Nadine
Overnight, tropical depression 14 (TD14) gained enough intensity to earn the name Nadine, the 14th tropical storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Our tropical weather expert, Brian McNoldy says he could only find two others years in 160 years of records in which the 14th storm formed sooner: 1936 and 2011.
Nadine is on a projected path that threatens no land area according to the National Hurricane Center, but a NASA field campaign is taking full advantage of this storm to get deeper insight into how hurricanes develop and intensify.
On Tuesday, NASA sent an unmanned Global Hawk into TD14/Nadine on a 26 hour mission to sample the storm’s environment. It is the longest continuous period a storm has ever been investigated, considerably longer than the capabilities of manned Air Force Hurricane Hunter planes. Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman put it this way: “To put that [26 hour flight] in further perspective, the longest regularly scheduled passenger flight is between Singapore and Newark, N.J., which clocks in at a comparatively paltry 18 hours and 55 minutes.”