Joseph Cione, a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division, specializes in studies of atmospheric and oceanic boundary layer thermodynamic processes in hurricanes and extra-tropical winter storms. Through out his career, Cione has shown an interest in exploring difficult to observe regions and has helped transition basic research from such studies into improved forecast operations. Some of his previous work illustrates a previously undocumented 'direct link' between storm-induced, ocean cooling and subsequent hurricane intensity change. These promising research findings were successfully incorporated into the operational version of the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS) used by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in 2005. As a result of this integration, significantly improvements to SHIPS operational forecasts were experienced during the 2005-07 Atlantic hurricane seasons. In 2005, Dr. Cione, in conjunction with NASA and Aerosonde Corporation partners, conducted the first successful unmanned aerial system (UAS) flight into the core of a mature tropical cyclone (Ophelia). In November of 2007, this same team conducted a record duration (17.5h), minimum altitude (82m) UAS mission directly into the center of Hurricane Noel. While both missions were primarily research-oriented, critical real-time, near-surface wind measurements were reported to NOAA's NHC in real time, enabling the data to be used in subsequent public forecasts and warnings. Related to these achievements, Cione received the Unites States Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for Superior Federal Service in April of 2010.
Cione received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in Meterology from North Carolina State University.
At the 2011 URI Honors Colloquium, Cione will discuss the current state of boundary layer measurements from UASs and the future of such measurements in a panel with James Bellingham of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Chris Roman of the University of Rhode Island. The focus of the panel will be the physics of the air-sea interface.
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URI Presentation - Video
The video for the URI presentation on 10/25/11