Weather Wise Kids Question: Ezra Wilkerson “how did you guys detect hurricane matthew?”
Ezra there were a number of “ways” Storm Team 3 meteorologists “tracked” hurricane Matthew last fall.
The first tool was satellite imagery. this is basically a picture of clouds… looking at the storm from space. We can spot a storm from the beginning and then watch it move across the Atlantic as it gets bigger and stronger.
We watched Matthew all the way from the Caribbean and into the Bahamas… and then right up our coast.
Another way to track a hurricane is to use ship observations and buoys… which provide a critical amount of storm information. Here is a look at weather buoy data which tracked Matthew in the Caribbean Sea.
Once we knew Matthew could be a threat to land here in the United States, hurricane hunters were sent out to fly right into the storm.
The crew went in and out of the storm numerous times to get important weather information like wind speed and direction… air pressure… temperature and humidity… a typical flight can last for hours.
This precise data helps determine the storm path.
Once the storm gets close to home… we used doppler radar. this tool provided critical information about rainfall totals and trends. it showed where we had rotation… and where the center of the storm was.
And finally, we used land updates… this can include reports from storm spotters and our own reporters and photographers…. those who risked their lives to bring you the most up to date storm coverage.