DISCUSSION: When it comes to studying hurricanes, there are several methods by which atmospheric scientists and researchers evaluate and determine the evolving intensity of hurricanes. In going all the way from geostationary orbiting satellite platform observations to observing stations located both on land and across parts of the ocean, there sometimes is a need for an even more in-depth understanding of what is happening within given storms.
One of the more precise ways in which we determine the intensity of tropical cyclones is by launching instruments known as dropsondes into various parts of given tropical cyclones. Dropsondes are devices which are strategically launched from reconnaissance aircraft into various parts of tropical cyclones to study things such as moisture profiles, wind profiles and pressure fields within said storms. Dropsondes are so important since dropsondes help scientists and forecasters to verify what they may or may not think they are seeing and interpreting via various satellite imaging platforms. Moreover, dropsondes allow scientists to get a more exact understanding of how strong a tropical cyclone is at different points in the storm. This can be and often is accomplished by launching upwards of 10 to 20 dropsondes within a given mission in order to gain a more complete understanding of what is physically happening in different parts and at different heights in a storm at a given point.
So, even after the all of the debate as to what is exactly the best possible method by which atmospheric scientists can and should attempt to study tropical cyclones in the future, it is hard to debate whether there is a better option than using dropsondes. However, the one legitimate argument which can be made for the further advancement of science is to integrate a newer technology such that there would be a bit less in the way of additional littering to the global ocean systems (even as minimal as it is from these dropsondes). Despite this issue, they still play an incredibly important role in the global atmospheric science research community in being able to learn an increasingly greater amount about how these storms operate from a dynamical standpoint.
To learn more about other weather research topics from around the world, be sure to click here!
©2019 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz