Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Author Archive

Intense storms provide the first test of powerful new hurricane forecast tools — Science News

Sept. 21, 2017 — In December, NASA launched a system of eight suitcase-sized microsatellites called the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, or CYGNSS, into orbit. The satellites measure surface winds near the inner core of a hurricane, such as between the eyewall and the most intense bands of rain, at least a couple of times a day. Those regions have previously been invisible to satellites, measured only by hurricane-hunter airplanes darting through the storm.

“Improving forecasts of rapid intensification, like what occurred with Harvey on August 25, is exactly what CYGNSS is intended to do,” says Christopher Ruf, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the lead scientist for CYGNSS.