The Hurricane Landfall Project (HLP) began in 2004 for the purpose of collecting data during hurricanes and tropical storms when they make landfall along the U.S. coast. Through the use of specialized meteorological equipment and remotely operated video cameras, the HLP is well positioned to gather data and document even the most severe hurricanes. The crew will travel to any coastal area that we can safely reach in order to perform our mission. Each member of the team has either a geography/meteorology/climatology background or has received training in hurricane planning and forecasting from FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI).|
Gathering data and pioneering live, unmanned camera systems
Hurricanes present a unique and challenging set of circumstances that must be considered at great length. Thanks to the support of our crowdfunding, we have acquired the equipment necessary to safely and accurately observe, record, report and document the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms.
As of early 2021, our equipment consists of 20 live, unmanned camera systems that have a run time of anywhere from 40 to 80 hours, depending upon the situation. We also have developed a brand new method of collecting sensible weather data includiing temperature, pressure, humidity and dewpoint by use of Kestrel Drop 3 sensors that were 100% crowdfunded to the project. Each camera unit also contains a Raspberry Pi mini-computer that is connected to the Kestrel units via Bluetooth. We place the Kestrel units on the outside of the camera case and log/transmit the data using the same LTE hotspot that we use for live video transmission. This ingenious set up affords us the unique opportunity to stream not only live video, but also high-frequency real-time data.
In addition to the "connected Kestrels" as we call them, we also have 3 RM Young anemometers that capture highly accurate wind readings. This data is also sent via the onboard Raspberry Pi computers to our server for display.
And if all of this weren't enough, we utlize several GoPro cameras to provide back-up for up to 28 hours of HD record-time for selected sites that we feel could benefit from a more "guaranteed" form of video capture. It was just such a GoPro unit that captured the incredible video of category five hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida in 2018.
All of our live cameras and weather data are available to monitor via our member-supported HurricaneTrack Insider site. We fund the project through Patreon and connect our patrons to the HurricaneTrack Insider site. This gives our crowdfunding partners a sense of ownership and literal participation in the project. The funding has a direct and visible impact on our ability to function in the field.
Our field missions to date: