129th to the Irene Rescue

Members of the 129th head to East Coast to help with aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Lower Manhattan is seen amidst dark clouds in New York, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.

    UPDATE:  As the C-17 was on the tarmac and ready to take off, the crew was called back and told to stand down. Their efforts were not going to be needed in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The storm passed over the East Coast and caused extensive damage (in the millions) but rescue efforts were not necessary. Members of the 129th will be sleeping at home with their families Sunday night.

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    The California Air National Guard is heading to the East Coast to help provide its rescue expertise to communities affected by Hurricane Irene.

    In all 90 members of the 129th rescue unit will be making the trip along with two MC-130P Combat Shadow refueling aircraft.  

    Hurricane High Tech: Tracking Irene

    [BAY] Hurricane High Tech: Tracking Irene
    Tropical systems (warm-core lows) like Irene thrive in warm water environments like we're seeing off the Carolina coastline. We know that regions with warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and weak upper level winds can lead to rapid strengthening of tropical system into hurricanes. In recent years satellite technology like TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) allows us to track and analyze these systems in ways not thought possible before. In the 'old days' we'd look at satellite imagery from space and see beautiful cloud textures, but otherwise very little of what was happening 'beneath the clouds.' This now has changed with TRMM being able to scan through the upper cloud layers to yield a "CAT-scan" like view inside the storm. Unique to this technology is being able to identify "hot towers" or overshooting cloud top features associated with strong cumulonimbus thunderstorm towers -- these features have been identified to increase shortly before the hurricane's wind speeds increase hours later and central pressure drops accordingly. Another great feature is the 'space-based' radar scans that allow us to get rainfall estimates while the storm is still well out over the ocean. Land-based radar systems really have only helped as storms near landfall. TRMM's space-based radar lets us anticipate regions of heaviest rainfall and prepare better forecasting for potential flooding down the road. Much of the technology now being employed in tropical meteorology has been designed and developed here in the Silicon Valley. This will hopefully go a long way to helping create more accurate rainfall, and wind field strength forecasts down the road. (Published Saturday, Aug 27, 2011)

    The team left in two shift.

    The 129th ent a C-17 filled with both personnel and 2 H60 Pave Hawk helicopters early Sunday morning.

    Bad Weather Back East Affects Air Travelers Here

    [BAY] Bad Weather Back East Affects Air Travelers Here
    Hurricane Irene causes many cancellations and strands passengers at San Francisco International Airport. (Published Saturday, Aug 27, 2011)

    The specialty of the unit is its pararescuemen who can rescue people stranded by the hurricane.

    They are headed to McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey.

    Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday morning.

    She gave a powerful but glancing blow to the five boroughs of New York.

    In all more than 4 million homes and businesses were without power as of Sunday morning. Airlines across the country canceled more than 9,000 flights this weekend from North Carolina to Boston. All flights to New  York and New England were cancelled Sunday at SFO.

    A total of 41 flights from SFO to the East Coast have been cancelled just Sunday, an airport duty manager said

    Here are the airports that are closed Sunday:

    • Atlantic City (ACY)
    • Caldwell Wright (CDW)
    • Newark-Liberty International (EWR)
    • Long Island-MacArthur (ISP)
    • New York-Kennedy (JFK)
    • New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
    • Morristown Municipal (MMU)
    • Philadelphia Int’l (PHL)
    • Stewart Airport (SWF)
    • Teterboro Airport (TEB)

    As for Irene, she continued to roar up to New England Sunday.

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