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Why Hurricane Predictions Aren’t An Exact Science

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane moving up the coast Hurricanes can be unpredictable even with advances in today’s modern technology

Thanks to evolving technology, including better satellite data and faster computers, as well as an increasing knowledge of what actually goes on inside of a Hurricane.  Computer models that are used to predict hurricanes have gotten much better. Meteorologists have gotten reasonably good at figuring out where a tropical cyclone is headed. What they’re  not so good at is figuring out how strong it's going to be when it gets there.

Hurricane prediction involves a number of different computer generated models. Each model is a little bit different, and has different strengths. "It's not a straight mass equation, where you say solve for x and that's the answer," explains John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at NOAA's National Hurricane Center. "There are a lot of assumptions being made. There is no exact answer."

For example, it was only recently that we learned that the wall around the hurricane's eye can deteriorate, and a new one will form around it. This can affect the intensity of the hurricane, but not always in the same way. Sometimes it makes the hurricane stronger, sometimes weaker. "Those are the things we can't quite model. We can't take into account all the dynamics of the eye wall," Mock says.

That's why hurricane forecasting still relies not just on a computer crunching numbers, but on human intervention--an actual forecaster who looks at the details of the storm and determines whether the model seems to be painting an accurate picture that makes sense based on the conditions. And that's why sometimes, a storm predicted to be a doozy barely seems like a blip in the radar, or vice versa.

We have begun to learn a little bit more about hurricane dynamics by flying planes into the eye of the storm. Sending aircraft straight to the source to drop weather balloons and sensors to collect data on aspects like wind direction, pressure, water vapor can help meteorologists learn more about how storms work. It is however still no exact science which continues to leave many hurricanes and their paths unpredictable.

If you are in a hurricanes predicted path though, while it may change it is best to take all precautions and to evacuate if ordered to do so. There’s always a chance the storm may still come your way and safety for yourself, your family and your pets should be top concern. Staying behind or not heading warnings, or being prepared, can cost you and your family.

If your home or business is damaged during a severe storm like a hurricane, then call us at SERVPRO of Kernersville at 336-379-1772. We are here for you 24/7 and365.

Source: Popular Science

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