The primary goal of NOAA/OAR/AOML’s Hurricane Research Division (HRD) is to improve the understanding and prediction of tropical cyclones (TCs). While this improvement can be accomplished from a variety of approaches, a unique capability of HRD is the routine collection and analysis of airborne observations within the tropical cyclone inner core and its atmospheric and oceanic environments. This data collection and analysis has formed the core of HRD’s mission for many decades. This talk summarized the recent (past 15 years) accomplishments of HRD’s annual Hurricane Field Program, including a discussion of advances in NOAA’s airborne observing technologies and how these observations have been used to better characterize, understand, and predict physical processes important for TC intensity change. Finally, a look toward the future will be provided, including a discussion of new foci meant to broaden HRD’s goals to include a more comprehensive improvement of forecasting TC hazards.
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