Hurricane and Monsoon Tracking with Driftsondes

  • Philippe Drobinski
  • Philippe Cocquerez
  • A. Doerenbecher
  • Terrence Hock
  • C. Lavaysse
  • D. Parsons
  • J. L. Redelsperger


Tropical cyclones (TCs) are a typical weather threat. The threat can apply to humans, their properties, and activities. Their prediction, particularly their trajectory and intensity, remains difficult. In addition, TCs develop above the tropical oceans where the coverage by in situ observations is poor and within cloud clusters (mesoscale convective systems MCS) that limit the ability of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to assimilate satellite data [18]. Improved forecast of TCs trajectories is a huge benefit in terms of material costs of evacuations and damage, not being able to quantify saved life.


Tropical Cyclone Planetary Boundary Layer Numerical Weather Prediction Tropical Storm Mesoscale Convective System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


African easterly jet (AEJ)

Wind jet developing at about 600-hPa pressure level (about 4,200 m) and 5°N latitude over the African continent.

African easterly waves (AEWs)

Synoptic scale, westward propagating waves embedded in the AEJ.


African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) program, initiated in 2002 with an intensive field campaign in 2006, and focusing on the physical changes in the environment of the West African monsoon and their impacts on society.

Boundary layer pressurized balloon (BLPB)

Balloon drifting in the atmospheric boundary layer and carrying an instrumented gondola which collects measurements of the typical meteorological variables.


International project of the THORPEX-International Polar Year aiming at a better understanding of the climate of Antarctica.


Stratospheric drifting balloon launching dropsondes over high-impact weather, providing vertical profiles of meteorological data.


A hurricane is a tropical cyclone, occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean or the Northeast Pacific Ocean. A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain.


Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean experiment (HyMeX) program aiming at improving the understanding of running-water cycle in the Mediterranean region with a particular focus on the evolution and predictability of hydro-meteorological extreme events in the perspective of climate change.

Mesoscale convective system (MCS)

Complex of thunderstorms normally persisting for several hours or more.

Saharan air layer (SAL)

Surges of hot, dry air that cascade into the Atlantic from the Sahel region of Africa.


Global program of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) aiming at accelerating improvements in the prediction of high-impact weather.


THORPEX-North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream impact Experiment.


THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign.

West African monsoon

Rainy phase of a seasonal change in atmospheric circulation over West Africa. The other major monsoon systems are the Asia-Australian monsoons in the sampled environment.



We are thankful to J. Fox, K. Romberg, J. VanAndel, H. Cole, C. Martin, G. Granger, D. Flanigan, and D. Lauritsen (NCAR) for assistance in operation of the driftsonde system. Based on French initiative, AMMA was built by an international scientific group and is currently funded by a large number of agencies, especially from France, UK, Germany, USA, and Africa. It has been the beneficiary of a major financial contribution from the European Community’s Sixth Framework Research Program. Detailed information on scientific coordination and funding is available on the AMMA International website


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Drobinski
    • 1
  • Philippe Cocquerez
    • 2
  • A. Doerenbecher
    • 3
  • Terrence Hock
    • 4
  • C. Lavaysse
    • 1
  • D. Parsons
    • 4
  • J. L. Redelsperger
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut Pierre Simon Laplace/Laboratoire de Météorologie DynamiqueÉcole Polytechnique/UPMC/ENS/CNRSPalaiseauFrance
  2. 2.Sous-direction BallonCentre National d’Études SpatialesToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Météo-France/CNRSToulouseFrance
  4. 4.Atmospheric Technology DivisionNational Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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