By Dan Shapley
Minute-by-Minute Data Will Predict Intensity Of Storms At Landfall
When it comes to forecasting the most destructive storms -- those that unleash unpredicted fury just as they hit land -- it used to be that hurricane watchers had access to a key piece of data only once every several hours. Now, every six minutes, those meteorologists get a reading of atmospheric pressure from the eye of every six minutes, thanks to a new and powerful computer simulation called VORTRAC -- Vortex Objective Radar Tracking and Circulation. The program was developed by two government agencies to aid in the forecasting of intense storms -- an important and timely improvement, as this season's hurricanes are predicted to be numerous. Though the hurricane season officially started June 1, August and September are typically the biggest months for Atlantic and Gulf Coast hurricanes.