Recent efforts to improve hurricane tracking and intensity predictions have focused on the effect the ocean has on the movement of hurricanes. University of Rhode Island oceanographers have demonstrated how the roughness of the ocean surface affects the speed and intensity of these powerful storms.
"Hurricanes are very complex weather systems that are affected by any number of parameters in the atmosphere, the ocean, and on land," said URI Oceanography Professor Isaac Ginis. "The more parameters we can incorporate into the computer models, the more accurate the prediction system is."
Ginis and URI colleagues Il Ju Moon and Tetsu Hara have just received a three-year $412,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to incorporate into current computer models the impact of surface waves on the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere, and, consequently, how this interaction affects hurricane intensity, track, wind waves, and ocean prediction.
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