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Hurricane Forecast
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Hurricane Forecast

June 29, 2010
Hurricane Forecast The forecast of surface rainfall intensity in Hurricane Rita. Researchers flew through Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and other storms in 2005, trying to understand how these storms are able to gain or lose intensity with startling quickness. Now, data from Rita is providing the first documented evidence that such changes in intensity can be caused by clouds outside the wall of a hurricane's eye, coming together to form a new eyewall. Robert Houze Jr., a University of Washington atmospheric science professor and lead author of a paper detailing the work that appeared in the March 2, 2007, edition of the journal Science, says the implication of these findings is that some new approaches to hurricane forecasting may be possible. Houze and Shuyi Chen, associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, lead a scientific collaboration called the Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment. The project is designed to reveal how the outer rainbands interact with a hurricane's eye to influence the storm's intensity. Chen is a co-author of the journal Science paper, as are Bradley Smull of the University of Washington, and Wen-Chau Lee and Michael Bell of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. The research was supported by National Science Foundation grants ATM 04-32623 and ATM 04-32717. The research results were published in the journal Science, 2 March 2007. [Technical Information: Forecast of surface rainfall intensity in Hurricane Rita. (A) 0715 UTC Sept. 21, (B) 1115 UTC Sept. 22, (C) 1715 UTC Sept. 22. Colors show the rainfall rate (mm h1) at the sea surface generated by the University of Miami's high-resolution, vortex-following, coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean version of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University/NCAR nonhydrostatic mesoscale model (MM5) (34) operating at a horizontal resolution of 1.67 km. Initial fields at 0000 UTC 20 September 2005 and lateral boundary conditions are from the NOGAPS global numerical forecast model (35).] (Date of Image: 2006)