Home Science and Tech NASA CPEX-CV Mission Finding Clues How Hurricane Forms in the African North-West...

NASA CPEX-CV Mission Finding Clues How Hurricane Forms in the African North-West Coast

NASA CPEX-CV mission is finding clues about the storm in the Atlantic eastern coast.When the dust that spread off to the Sahel and Sahara regions of Africa mixes with the tropical clouds creates what is known as a rainy disturbance in the Atlantic eastern coasts. These disturbances are hurricanes in their youngest form and as they travel across the ocean, either they can dissipate or grow into powerful storms.

For the study of these baby storms on the northwestern coast of Africa NASA’s scientists in September 2022 aboard a DC-8 research plane. They board the plane from Cabo Verde an island nation off the west coast of Africa to gather data on the early stages of hurricane formation.

DC-8 plane

This mission is known as Convective Process Experiment – Cabo Verde (CPEX-CV).

Convective Process Experiment-Cabo Verde Studied About the Storm Formation in Atlantic North Coasts

NASA CPEX-CV Mission finding clues of storm in Atlantic north-eastern region

The CPEX-CV team operated from September 1-30 2022. They flew into the DC-8 research plane. They have used state-of-the-art techniques like remote-sensing lidars, radars, radiometers, and drop sondes-11, lightweight tubes equipped with a parachute that is dropped from the plane to measure wind, temperature, and humidity.

The plane flew sensors on the wingtips to measure the properties of the dust and clouds. Once the plane is above the clouds onboard remote sensing instruments captured a detailed profile of Saharan dust, wind speed, direction, temperature, moisture, and the structure of convection and rain within clouds. 

The CPEX-CV submitted their data to the NASA archive centers the NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center and the Global Hydrometeorology Resource Center.

These observations provide that how dust, clouds, and the ocean interact to cause rainy disturbances. The wind that flew from the coast of Africa and the ocean causes disturbances in the sky and causes rain storms.

Will McCarty from CPEX program scientist based at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. said “Combined with the global picture that satellites provide, this data offers finer details that only an airplane outfitted with instrumentation can measure”

Amin Nehri a research scientist based at NASA Langley Research Centre in Virginia Said “ Multiple times in the campaign the DC-8 soared through the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the region where the northeast and southeast trade winds come together. The ITCZ is known by sailors as “the calms” because of its windless weather. Some of the most remote oceans of the world make up the ITCZ.

CPEX encountered the largest dust event in that area. You could see how the African northwestern dust, clouds, and the ocean are the factors behind the Atlantic storm.