August 28: The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season has been relatively quiet to date, but the tropics have been heating up recently, including Tropical Storm Danny last week and now Tropical Storm Erika currently approaching Puerto Rico. WeatherFlow’s observational networks are poised to capture Erika early next week if it makes landfall on the U.S. mainland, potentially as a Category 1 Hurricane along the east coast of Florida. Earlier this evening, WeatherFlow’s Buck Island station in the U.S. Virgin Islands confirmed sustained tropical storm force winds of 44 mph as Erika made its approach.
WeatherFlow’s full network of over 400 stations, with almost 90 in the hardened Hurricane Network, is online and ready to record conditions should Erika impact the East Coast. WeatherFlow partners are also gearing up, preparing to deploy 4 towers from the Florida Coastal Monitoring Program, 24 deployable surface “StickNet” stations from Texas Tech University, and a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) mobile weather radar system from the Center for Severe Weather Research.
WeatherFlow’s StormPrint product suite combines this proprietary data set with other high quality observations from NOAA and selected third party networks to assemble the most comprehensive ground-truth surface wind data set available. This data set is then used to generate the industry’s most accurate footprint of the storm’s maximum sustained winds. StormPrint products are provided to NWS Weather Forecast Offices, the National Hurricane Center, and emergency responders, and are vital to WeatherFlow’s insurance clients.
As a result of their geographic coverage, careful siting, high quality, and exceptional reliability, stations from WeatherFlow and its partner networks recorded over 75% of the highest wind speeds for both SuperStorm Sandy (October 2013) and Hurricane Arthur (July 2014). With a higher station density, they also recorded the single highest reported wind speeds for both storms, in both cases a full 8 mph greater than those recorded by other networks in the area.
For real-time access to the observations described above, weather radar, and NHC/NWS forecast information, stay tuned to WeatherFlow’s Erika Storm Coverage page.