National Hurricane Center Trip 2004


What an awesome feeling it is to be able to take a photo of the Tahoe in front of the National Hurricane Center. Everyone there came out to see the vehicle and all had positive feedback about the setup. And as you can see, Mark hamming it up at the wheel.

Another shot of the Hurricane Center.

 After leaving the hurricane center, we drove over to Virginia Key to visit with the research scientists at the NOAA Hurricane Research Division. After a brief presentation inside, everyone that attended came out to see the Chevy Tahoe.

Here Mark is talking about how we are able to raise the anemometer to get it to 15 feet so we do not get a blast of wind off the windshield and get a false reading.

Looking over the entire vehicle, everyone seemed to be impressed with the effort and time Mark put into making the Tahoe a reliable reporting station.

Here is a shot with some of the research staff with Mark and myself.

Saturday morning we arrived back at the NHC for the Amateur Radio Conference. It was a beautiful morning and at 7:30 am the temperature was about 75 degrees. Hard to beleive that back home the temperatures were in the upper 30's to mid 40's. Brr!

 Near the end of the conference, National Hurricane Center Tropical Specialist Stacy Stewart gave a great presentation on the "Life Cycle Of A Hurricane". This image is a "quick-scat photo" of the surface winds in pre-Hurricane Lili in 2002.

 And in this photo you can see a satellite photo of what would become Hurricane Isabel. As Mark said in his write up, Stacy Stewart is one of our favorites at the hurricane center. We always look forward to reading his tropical cyclone discussions because they always seem to be so indepth. There is always some tidbit of info in there that we seem to come away with that helps us understand the inner workings of the cyclone a little better.

 Afterward, there were a few awards handed out. Here Mark receives an award for the entire team for his and our efforts in relaying important info back during a landfalling tropical cyclone. On the left is Julio Ripoll, one of the original operators of the radio center at the NHC. On the right is John McHugh the main coordinator of the Amateur radio station.

 Here is Tony Siese from Bermuda receiving an award for his efforts during Hurricane Fabian. His radio tower was damaged at some point during the storm and was unable to send data to the NHC. Here Julio and John give him an old form of communication, "Weather In A Bottle" Award .

 Here Stacy Stewart receives an award for his time and effort at the radio confrence as well as his work for the NHC.

 Here is a shot of the Tahoe out front during the Ham Radio Conference.

After the awards were handed out, Julio and Kevin Anderson from Nacogdoches, Tx checked out the Tahoe and a quick photo opportunity with Mark.

And here we have myself on the left, Mark and Julio in a parting shot.

What a great trip it was. We had an opportunity to meet with some of the brightest people in the hurricane business and made some new friends in the process. Mark was invited to speak at the conference by John McHugh the leading coordinator. Julio and John have come to know of the Hurricane Intercept Research Team since 2001 when Mark and I sent in reports using the email report form from the center of Tropical Storm Barry. Since that time we have sent reports using Ham radio as well by team member in 2002, Chuck Rippel on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during Tropical Storm Gustav and from current team member, John Van Pelt during Lili and Isabel.

While at the Hurricane Center on Friday, it was busier than I expected with many of the forecasters pouring over data from this past season and looking at coming conditions that would affect this years hurricane season. Same goes for the folks at the HRD. All working on improvements for track and strength forecasts. We, H.I.R.T., all look forward to working with these great groups of people in the future on the next hurricane landfall. A big thanks goes out to John and Julio for the invite to the conference and to Max and the folks at the HRD for their time and great hospitality.

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All Images Copyright Jesse V. Bass III and

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