OU Research Scientists Prepare To Intercept Hurricane Dorian Along Florida Coast


Monday, September 2nd 2019, 6:26 pm
By: Storme Jones


A team of research scientists from the University of Oklahoma and the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is in position to intercept Hurricane Dorian along the Florida coast. 

“We set up in an area we don’t expect any debris to come flying at us,” OU Meteorology Professor Michael Biggerstaff said. “We are in a high enough spot where we aren’t going to get any storm surge.”

The team has set up their SMART mobile radar near Titusville, Florida preparing for the category four hurricane to pass.

Read Also: Oklahomans Head To Florida To Help With Hurricane Recovery

Biggerstaff said even if their location does not take a direct hit, they will still be able to gather valuable wind data.

“We build these things to withstand a hurricane, to be able to operate in a hurricane environment, to be able to look through the heavy rainfall associated with these land falling hurricanes,” Biggerstaff said. “These were specially designed for this type of experiment.”

The university said the radars are uniquely capable of producing high-resolution wind maps over a 60-by-60-mile area during hurricane landfalls.

Biggerstaff said the purpose of the research is twofold, to provide real-time data to the National Weather Service and local emergency managers and to improve forecasts of damaging winds, deadly storm surge, and flooding.

“We want to help mitigate property damage by working with engineers and using our data to improve the building and construction codes needed to develop a more resilient national infrastructure in the future,” Biggerstaff, said.

OU students Jeffrey Stevenson, Alec Prosser, Jordan Laser, Noah Brauer and Addison Alford are deployed to Hurricane Dorian. This landfall marks the 12th tropical cyclone landfall professor Biggerstaff has launched a radar in.

The researchers said they are closely monitoring Dorian's path and may move further up the peninsula if the winds near Titusville prove to be less than expected.

“I think we are in a good spot and excited to apply the science they learned in the classroom,” Biggerstaff said. “Students go to classes, they take exams, they do homework, but in the end, they all want to apply that knowledge.”

The radar is equipped with live web cameras that can be seen here: https://video.nest.com/live/6J5c8PIWhN and https://video.nest.com/live/g0FgtWh9RJ.

 

 

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