Transcripts of 12821_HS3_dropsondes_1280

In 2014, NASA sent its Global Hawk aircraft out over the ocean to study Hurricane Edouard. This remotely piloted vehicle collects data like temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed, to better understand how hurricanes intensify. Sometimes clouds block the measurements taken directly below the aircraft, so the scientists drop individual instruments that parachute down to the surface. These dropsondes also measure the windspeed and direction as they fall. Near the surface, especially in the center of the storm, the deep red to orange color indicates there is plenty of moisture for the storm to draw on to intensify. The result is a well-defined circulation of winds, which are strongest near the storm's center. During Hurricane Edouard, dry air near the center slowed intensification. But then, just before a period of rapid intensification, clouds and precipitation moved into the dry region, bringing moisture. Did the movement of moisture cause the rapid intensification, or did the stronger winds at the onset of intensification cause the clouds and precipitation to move? Studies like this one will help us learn that answer. [ beeping ]