January 2013 - South Georgia Hazard Forecasting Project
In early January 2013 Ralph Burton, Barbara Brooks, Alan Gadian and James Groves are heading to the island of South Georgia. They are going there to make measurement of the meteorological conditions including gravity waves and turbulence. This will be the first full deployment of the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) that has been instrumented by Dr Barbara Brooks for this project.
South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean, and it is the largest of the South Sandwich Islands. The island is mountainous and this has important consequences for the meteorology. Turbulence and gravity waves tend to occur when then prevailing westerly wind is perpendicular to the mountain ranges, and these phenomena can be hazardous to both shipping and aircraft.
The South Georgia project aims to aid prediction of turbulent and gravity wave events in the South Georgia local area. The project will be implementing two strands of research, collection of data and the use of a forecast model. The overall aim of the project is to demonstrate that a state-of-the-art forecast model can be implemented and run locally on an inexpensive computer platform in South Georgia, and to provide operationally accurate forecasts of hazardous conditions.
The team are currently in the Falkland Islands and are writing a blog about their journey, and the project - read what the team have been up to so far.