Video: Drone Footage Inside Hurricane Fiona

September 23, 2022

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] and Saildrone used an uncrewed wind-powered vehicle to get a look inside Hurricane Fiona before it reached the island.

The Saildrone website said, “For the second year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] and Saildrone are hurricane chasing with uncrewed wind-powered vehicles. Saildrone Explorer SD 1078 was directed into the midst of Hurricane Fiona, which is currently on a path northward in the Atlantic Ocean and is predicted to impact Bermuda on Thursday night and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on Friday.

“Hurricane Fiona is the first Category 4 storm of the 2022 season. SD 1078 is battling 50-foot waves and winds measured over 100 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, is providing a completely new view of one of Earth’s most destructive forces.

“Inside the storm, SD 1078 is sailing at sustained speeds over 9 mph. At one moment, it reached a peak speed of 39.7 mph before surfing down a massive 55-foot wave.

“SD 1078 is one of seven hurricane saildrones that have been operating in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico during this hurricane season, gathering data around the clock to help understand the physical processes of hurricanes. This knowledge is critical to improving storm forecasting and is expected to reduce the loss of human life by enabling better preparedness in coastal communities.

“Saildrone is once again demonstrating its ability to provide critical ocean data in the most extreme weather conditions. Hurricane Fiona intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane just before hitting Puerto Rico, causing significant damage and loss of life,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. “The data Saildrone vehicles are gathering will help the science community better understand rapid intensification, giving people living in our coastal communities more time to prepare.”

“Saildrone provides data directly to NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory [PMEL] and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory [AOML], Saildrone’s partners in this mission.

“The seven saildrones are a part of a larger NOAA endeavor to understand hurricane intensification. NOAA also has underwater gliders, surface drifters, profiling floats, and aerial assets to collectively gain deeper insight than ever before into the development of hurricanes. NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft and weather buoys gather an array of operational weather observations that are essential to hurricane forecasts.”

For all our coverage of Hurricane Fiona click here, and for ongoing live updates click here.

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