As of Friday, August 27, Hurricane Ida continues to steadily strengthen in the northwest Caribbean, south of Cuba. This system will continue northwest entering the southeastern Gulf late Friday and into early Saturday, with continued strengthening expected. Beyond this time frame, significant impacts are expected along portions of the northern Gulf coast Sunday and Monday. 

A group of 10 students and staff with the Department of Atmospheric & Earth Science (AES) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) will deploy from the Severe Weather Institute for Research & Lightning Laboratories (SWIRLL) on Saturday morning headed south towards the Gulf coast. 

In its first UAH MAPNet deployment, in collaboration with the University of Oklahoma's Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching radar team (SMART-R), they will target inner eye winds and dynamics of the hurricane. UAH will deploy five vehicles equipped with the some of the best mobile technology, such as radar, weather stations, and weather balloons, to gather critical data to analyze and assist future forecasting abilities. 

Vivian Brassfield (B.S. Earth System Science, Spring 2019) is one of the students deploying and is currently working on her Master's thesis. She is particularly interested in gathering and comparing data from squall lines that form out ahead of a tropical system. The data collected could show small, but crucial details between the non-hurricane and hurricane environments, which could ultimately lead to better forecasting pre-hurricane threats, like severe storms and tornadoes.

Follow the College of Science on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter for frequent updates on the team's journey into Hurricane Ida.