African Hurricane Mission

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NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 26, to discuss a hurricane research field mission in Africa.

The NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Activities 2006 will run from August through September. Participants will include NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, various research institutions and universities.

Researchers will investigate tropical storms and hurricanes in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and West Africa, including Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. They will use airborne sensors, numerical models and satellite data.

Briefing participants:
- Ramesh Kakar, weather focus area leader, NASA headquarters, Washington
- Jeff Halverson, hurricane scientist, Halverson Scientific Consulting, Olney, Md.
- Gregory Jenkins, associate professor and graduate director, Howard University, Washington
- Jason Dunion, director, NOAA Hurricane Research Division 2006 Hurricane Field Program, Miami

Audio of the event will be streamed live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio
 
The AMMA started off as a project between France and Great Britian and the enhanced operation period started last summer. NASA have joined in for this years special operation period which runs from the spring to the fall of 2006.

My department here at the University of Leeds in England are very involed in the AMMA-UK project from the start. I'm not personally involed but we have about 10 people out there at the moment running all kinds of field exuipment all over the westen africa region especially in Niamey and Dakar.

Apart from looking into hurruricanes the AMMA projects is trying to gain futher understanding about the meteorology occuring over western africa and specifically about the african eastly jet. There are very few observations at the surface and profiles throughout the lower atmosphere so radiosonde stations have been set up and local people trained in the running of these stations. Hopefully some of these stations will continue to exist after the project is finished. Also there is a related part of the project where they are trying to gain understanding of the proccesses forcing dust up into the atmosphere in large dust clouds and the dust depostion out of the atmosphere into the ocean. The iron in the dust is important for the plakton blooms.
 
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