Given the hazardous conditions, it is very difficult to make accurate measurements of the air-sea transfer of momentum, heat, moisture, and gases in the extremely high winds within tropical cyclones. Quantifying these air-sea fluxes are very important if accurate predictions of hurricane development and intensity are to be made. This project aims at using the data from dropsondes -- an expendable device launched from aircraft in tropical storms that measures wind speed, temperature, and humidity as it falls to the ocean surface -- to estimate surface fluxes in situations otherwise unamenable to direct measurement. Data from dropsondes provided by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division is processed and compared to laboratory measurements. In addition, simulations of hurricanes using NCAR's CM1 model are used to test the ability of surface flux retrieval via dropsondes.
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