Interplay between wind and rain observed in Hurricane Floyd



In situ observations over the ocean are extremely sparse during a hurricane and conventional satellite data only provide cloud imagery at the top of the storm. Hurricanes are devastating when they are accompanied by strong winds and heavy rain. Two new satellite missions, QuikSCAT and the Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM), provide the opportunity to observe both wind and rain in hurricanes prior to landfall. The coincident measurements of surface wind and rain reveal the interplay between the dynamics and the hydrologic balances of the storms. When applied to Hurricane Floyd, the high spatial resolution of ocean surface winds measured by QuikSCAT improves computation of the moisture transport, the vertical profiles of moisture sink and diabatic heating, and the difference between evaporation and rain-rate at the surface.