Scientists are continually exploring different aspects of hurricanes to increase the understanding of how they behave. Recently, two NASA-funded scientists from Florida State University analyzed ozone levels surrounding hurricanes. Their work could lead to better methods of forecasting the paths of the deadly storms.
In their study, FSU meteorologists Xiaolei Zou and Yonghui Wu found that variations of ozone levels from the surface of the ocean to the upper atmosphere are closely related to the formation, intensification and movement of a hurricane. In studying meteorological data from 12 such storms, Zou and Wu noticed that over an area of 100 miles, the area surrounding each hurricane typically had low levels of ozone from the surface to the top of the storm. Whenever the hurricane intensified, the ozone levels throughout the storm decreased even more.
In addition, when Zou and Wu examined hurricanes using the ozone data, the eye of the storms became very clear. Because forecasters always try to pinpoint the eye of the hurricane, this knowledge will help with locating a storms exact position and possibly lead to better tracking.
Xiaolei Zou | EurekAlert!
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