What is NOAA's Role in NAMMA?
As part of its 2006 tropical cyclone Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX), NOAA plans to conduct aircraft experiments to study the impact of dry, dusty Saharan air (the Saharan Air Layer) on tropical cyclone intensity change and tropical cyclogenesis in the North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. These objectives will compliment NASA’s plans to deploy as part of its NAMMA program, an array of aircraft and ground-based instruments to the Cape Verde Islands and western coast of North Africa.
NOAA and NASA have an extensive history of cooperation in conducting successful aircraft field campaigns and will continue this partnership during the summer of 2006. NOAA will deploy its Gulfstream IV high altitude jet and low-flying P-3 Orion aircraft to the West Indies to carry out a portion of its IFEX missions in and around tropical cyclones and will closely coordinate with the NAMMA DC-8 aircraft that will be operating in the eastern North Atlantic. This partnership will provide the most geographically expansive aircraft monitoring of tropical cyclones that has ever been carried out across the North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. The NAMMA and IFEX programs will enable scientists to closely monitor disturbances that originate over Africa and eventually impact the U.S. Since over half of the hurricanes that occur in the North Atlantic can be traced back to Africa, these coordinated research missions will have strong relevance to interests along hurricane-prone regions of the U.S. coastline.
NOAA and NASA scientists will use the data that is collected this summer to help unlock some of the mysteries related to tropical cyclone intensity change in the Atlantic. All data that is collected will be incorporated into NOAA and other operational hurricane forecast models around the world to help improve forecasts of hurricane track and intensity.
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