Researchers from the University of Oklahoma are in North Carolina to study Hurricane Florence.
OU doctoral student Addison Alford and Professor of Meteorology Michael Biggerstaff are part of a group setting up weather instruments in the field before the storm arrives.
They'll gather data about the torrential rainfall, rotation in the storm and extreme wind gusts, helping local authorities during landfall. Once it's all over, their work will also help speed up the recovery process.
“It’ll really help with the timing of when the winds occurred relative to the surge and things like that for people who had losses,” said Biggerstaff. “It’ll help them understand was it wind- or water-driven type losses. It’s a sad thing to think about – the destruction that’s going to occur. But also, afterwards, you’re dealing with a lot of litigation with the insurance and all that and hopefully by these data sets being available, it’ll help mitigate some of that as well.”
The event also serves an opportunity for the students to strengthen their skills and apply what they've learned in the classroom.