Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Forecasting the Path of a Hurricane

PostedSeptember 30, 2005

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The key weather data used in hurricane prediction models is gathered only every six hours by instruments dropped from planes piloted into the storm's eye.  But Sandy MacDonald, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecasting lab, says conditions might be monitored continuously using unmanned planes flying above the hurricane.  Even higher up, satellites are already detecting tiny rises in sea surface height that indicate warmer water.  Such bumps ramped both Katrina and Rita up to Category 5.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.