NASA Hurricane Resources Available for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Inundations caused by Hurricane Alex in 2010 in Mexico. Image courtesy of Flickr website

The Atlantic hurricane season takes place every year from the 1st of June to the 30th of November . This year, activity in the Atlantic basin began unusually early with the development of Hurricane Alex in the eastern Atlantic in January. The National Hurricane Center said it was the earliest hurricane to form in the Atlantic since 1938.

The NASA satellites provide information on cloud extent, sea-surface temperatures, geographic locations and rates of rainfall within each storm, and even surface winds. All of that information is used to create daily hurricane updates and its very useful in early warning systems and in disaster preparedness efforts.

NASA has many resources covering 2016’s Atlantic Ocean and Central Pacific hurricane seasons which are now available.

The agency will also start a mission, in October 2016, designed to comprehend the impact of hurricanes. The mission is called the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) and will be of great help in the disaster management cycle. The CYGNSS mission will use eight micro-satellites to measure wind speeds over Earth’s ocean. Each satellite will take information based on the signals from four GPS satellites. Those satellites will also increase the area on Earth that can be measured. Moreover, the CYGNSS is designed to measure only in the tropics unlike the polar-orbiting weather satellites which try to capture all types of data. The tropics appear to be where hurricanes are most often found. The focus on these areas means that the CYGNSS instruments will gather more useful data related to this type of disaster.

More information on this mission is available in this video:

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