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New Method to Aid in Forecasting Hurricane Intensity
New research from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggests that physical conditions at the air-sea interface, where the ocean and atmosphere meet, is a key component to improve forecast models. The study offers a new method to aid in storm intensity prediction of hurricanes. Experiments conducted at the Air-Sea Interaction Salt Water Tank simulated the wind speed and ocean surface conditions of a tropical storm. The researchers used a guided laser to measure the physical properties of the ocean"s surface during extreme winds, equivalent to a category-3 hurricane. The researchers then developed numerical simulations to show that changes in the physical stress at the ocean surface at hurricane force wind speeds may explain the rapid intensification of some tropical storms. The team"s experimental simulations show that the type of instability could explain this intensification. The researchers will conduct further studies in a new, one-of-a-kind facility (shown in this video) capable of creating category-5 level hurricanes in a controlled, seawater laboratory.
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