SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — Forecasting a hurricane is no easy feat; Subtle changes in the forecast track and intensity can mean the difference between heavy rain, devastating winds, and life-threatening flooding.
This year, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is predicting an above-normal season. They predict six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.
To help with that active forecast, NOAA meteorologists are now using a new combination of satellite data that is worked into computer models to increase the accuracy of hurricane forecasts. The new observing system, named COSMIC-2, is a fleet of six small satellites that were launched last June, according to NOAA. These satellites record data from 4,000 sets of measurements of atmospheric temperature and humidity that are used in forecasting computer models.
Moisture near tropical cyclones is a key ingredient for the development and intensification of storms. The National Hurricane Center says this will enhance their predictive capabilities for tropical storms and hurricanes.
Ultimately, this advancement is to help protect lives properly throughout the hurricane season.
Hurricane season officially began June 1 and continues until November 30.