Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 12:50 EDT
RAINEX project
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RAINEX project

July 26, 2010
Predicting hurricane direction has improved immensely over the years, but predicting hurricane strength and intensity is still imprecise at best. The National Science Foundation supports the RAINEX program to better understand hurricane intensity, which can drastically change in a stretch of hours. Scientists fly through the storms in airplanes equipped with Doppler radar and parachuting instruments to measure humidity, wind speed, direction, temperature, atmospheric pressure and more. The RAINEX project is unique in its attempt to simultaneously measure the hurricane eye and swirling rainbands to learn how the two interact and impact a hurricane's intensity.