North Dakota Company's Jet To Hunt Florida Storms

 - July 25, 2019, 9:02 PM
North Dakota-based Weather Modification International's modified Cessna Citation II research platform will spend several weeks hunting thunderstorms in Central Florida through August.

Fargo Jet Center’s sister company Weather Modification International (WMI) has been contracted by the University of North Dakota (UND) to assist in a research project sponsored by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center.

To begin later this month, the mission known as Cape Experiment 2019 will send the North Dakota-based company’s modified Cessna Citation II into Florida thunderstorms. The twin-engine jet will be outfitted with a variety of probes to measure the tops and centers of the storms on a variety of environmental parameters, including temperature, humidity, wind, and pressure, along with cloud size, cloud imaging, and precipitation imaging. The results, gathered over 20 to 30 hours of flying, will be compared with those from the Navy’s Mid-Course Doppler Radar, one of the most advanced radar systems on the planet, to develop better cloud models.

WMI has experience in the modification and operation of special mission aircraft for use in cloud seeding and atmospheric research. The company has partnered with UND in the past using its faculty and students in other research.

“CapeEx19 is one example of how we can leverage the strengths of UND and the atmospheric sciences department in deploying industry-leading equipment on domestic and international projects, in this case, a fully instrumented Cessna Citation II research aircraft to Cape Canaveral, Florida,” said WMI president Neil Brackin.