NASA hurricane researchers are deploying to Costa Rica next month to investigate the birthplace of eastern Pacific tropical cyclones They will be searching for clues that could lead to a greater understanding and better predictability of one of the world’s most significant weather events – the hurricane. As scientists and coastal residents brace for another potentially challenging hurricane season, NASA is launching the Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) mission. TCSP is a month-long research effort primarily intended to document “cyclogenesis,” the birth of tropical storms, hurricanes and related phenomena.
Researchers will monitor oceanic thunderstorms to study why some systems develop into tropical cyclones and some do not. Researchers feel the data is vital to understand how such weather systems evolve and travel. The data also could support development of a more accurate and timely warning system to help safeguard property and lives. A team of atmospheric scientists, engineers and aircraft personnel will take up residence in San Jose, Costa Rica during July. The NASA team will work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Costa Rican Centro Nacional de Alta Tecnologia (CENAT). The team will conduct ground-based and airborne studies to measure the buildup and behavior of tropical storm systems on Costa Rica’s east and west coasts. The field operations will take advantage of several NASA and NOAA satellites.