Projects and Programs

Airborne Field Mill (ABFM)

The Airborne Field Mill Project was conducted near Kennedy Space Center during June 2000, February 2001 and May/June 2001. It is a cooperative project between the NASA Kennedy Space Center, National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, University of North Dakota, University of Arizona, NOAA National Hurricane Lab., and in Feb. 2001, the NOAA Environmental Technology Lab.

The goal of the project is to investigate the microphysical and radar conditions present when strong electric fields exist in anvils or debris clouds from thunderstorms or layer clouds and to also investigate how the electric fields and microphysical content and radar reflectivity decay in time and space.

Airborne measurements of the 3-D electric fields and associated cloud and precipitation particle content were made in anvils, debris clouds and weak storms near Kennedy Space Center using the Univ. of North Dakota (UND) Citation II jet aircraft. These airborne measurements were coordinated with measurements from the WSR74-C radar at Patrick Air Force Base and the National Weather Service NEXRAD WSR88D radar in Melbourne, Florida.

Many of the airborne measurements were made within range of the KSC Lightning Ranging and Detection (LDAR) system, the KSC Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Sensing System (CGLSS), and the KSC surface electric field mill network so that we know when and where lightning was occurring and when electric fields were enhanced at the ground near KSC.

This web site contains plots and images of radar, airborne electric field, microphysics and lightning data recorded during the flights of the UND Citation and additionally, ongoing analysis of the different cases.

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Hurricane Frances

Hurricane Frances was the sixth named storm, the fourth hurricane, and the third major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The system crossed the open Atlantic during mid-to-late August, moving to the north of the Lesser Antilles while strengthening. The storm's maximum sustained wind speeds peaked at 145 miles per hour (233 km/h), achieving Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. As the system slowed down its forward motion, the eye passed over San Salvador Island and very close to Cat Island in the Bahamas. Frances was the first hurricane to impact the entire Bahamian archipelago since 1866, and led to the nearly complete destruction of their agricultural economy.

Frances then passed over the central sections of the state of Florida in the U.S. only three weeks after Hurricane Charley, causing significant damage to the state's citrus crop, and closing schools. The storm then moved briefly offshore Florida into the northeast Gulf of Mexico and made a second U.S. landfall at the Florida Panhandle before accelerating northeast through the eastern United States. Very heavy rains fell in association with this slow moving and relatively large hurricane, which led to floods in Florida and North Carolina. Damages totaled US$12 billion (2004 dollars).

Data from the storm event from weather instruments at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station have been pulled and dropped into a separate data repository on the KSC Weather data archive site.

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Hurricane Jeanne

Hurricane Jeanne came ashore just north of Palm Beach County with winds of 115 to 120mph. On the evening of Sept 26, 2004 Hurricane Jeanne made landfall approaching the Florida coastline from the East. The highest wind gusts may have occurred near Melbourne. Lowest pressure observed 950mb Florida, winds 120mph.

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It is the responsibility of the user of this data to validate the data contents as to accuracy and as to its application for the intended use.