Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scientists Get In the Middle of Things - (Literally) - Receive an Award !!

Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the eastern coast of the United States.  Ever wonder how scientists are able to measure and predict hurricanes?  “Hurricane Hunters” are specially equipped aircraft that ACTUALLY FLY INTO TROPICAL CYCLONES in the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeastern Pacific Ocean for the specific purpose of directly measuring weather data in and around those storms.  Although satellite data has revolutionized weather forecasters' ability to detect early signs of tropical cyclones before they form, there are still many important tasks they are not suited for. Satellites cannot determine the interior barometric pressure of a hurricane, nor provide accurate wind speed information.  These data are needed to accurately predict hurricane development and movement.
53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the "Hurricane Hunters", is a United States Air Force squadron of aircraft, based in Biloxi, Mississippi, that flies missions into hurricanes and weather systems for research purposes and observation. The term "hurricane hunters" was first applied to its missions in 1946.

To learn more – checkout this link:  Hurricane Hunters Video

To receive an award, bring in the following on Monday !

  •  List any five of the major hurricanes that have struck the United States in the past 50 years.
  • Bring in a map showing the path of hurricane Irene over the past few days – be prepared to show the location of the storm as of Monday morning.
  • Be a scientist and do some research – what’s unusual about the eye of a hurricane?
  • Does a hurricane rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise?
  • What do the following abbreviations stand for?  NOAA and NWS
  • Is the air pressure in a hurricane higher or lower than normal?