Hurricane Tracking and Preparation with New Forecasting Tools

Hurricane Tracking in the Atlantic

Forecasting Severe Storms in Real Time to Better Prepare for Them

Hurricane activity in the Atlantic is supposed to be near-normal this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA used hurricane tracking to predict 9 to 15 named storms in 2019, 4 to 8 of which could be hurricanes, and 2 to 4 of which could become major hurricanes.


But, can NOAA's hurricane forecasting be improved upon? With the right information, sure it can.

With more up-to-date information, NOAA’s ability to predict storms will improve and, in turn, the public’s ability to prepare for storms will improve as well.  

Preparing for storms well in advance is one of the best ways to survive them. Knowing how to prepare and what hurricane supplies are needed is also important.  With NOAA’s forecasting systems getting new information soon, knowing when to prepare for future storms will be essential.

But, what are these changes to NOAA’s forecasting system and how do they work?
Changes to NOAA’s  Global Forecast System are coming in the form of six new satellites that will orbit the earth’s equator.

This system of six weather satellites is called COSMIC-2, or the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate.

It’s part of a join effort between the U.S. Air Force, NOAA, Taiwan’s National Space Organization, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, built on the success of the COSMIC-1 program, launched in 2006, which established a climate change thermometer and a global weather forecast.

How NOAA Tracks for Hurricanes

This system of satellites will better track hurricanes around the equator where they are first formed. COSMIC-2 will use radio occultation data to improve weather forecasting models.

How does it all work? Radio occultation is the measurement of how radio waves from global positioning systems and constellations bend as they move through the atmosphere.

GPS satellites circle the equator and send signals down to receivers on earth. Because the density of the earth’s atmosphere changes with height, these signals get distorted along the way. COSMIC-2 hurricane tracking satellites measure the bend in those signals before they’re cut off by the horizon.

These measurements that COSMIC-2 satellites take give scientists real-time information on temperature, pressure, density, and water vapor, all of which are valuable data that scientists can use to track hurricanes.

At a glance, COSMIC-2 satellites measure these in the atmosphere:

  •          Temperature
  •          Pressure
  •          Density
  •          Water Vapor
Preparing for Hurricanes Before They Strike
Making sure your business is fully equipped to safely ride through a storm is essential. Once COSMIC-2’s information is up and running, meteorologists will have a better idea of when severe weather will strike, but you can start preparing for hurricanes now. 

Hurricane essentials for businesses are:

  • Potable water
  • Back-up fuel supply
  • Flood protection
  • Durable tarp covering

Potable Water Storage During Hurricanes

Clean drinking water is usually the first thing everyone puts on their hurricane supply list. That’s because having a supply of clean, potable water for everyday needs is essential. When dealing with the after-effects of a storm, having an emergency water storage tank can be a life saver.

Bladder water tanks are built for safe water storage with durable fabric that meets FDA potable water requirements. GEI Works’ Mars Water Bladder Tanks range in size from 25 gallons to 210,000 gallons.

The emergency water storage onion tanks are easy to set up and made with durable fabric. GEI Works’ Hydrostar Onion Tank can be custom-made with fabric suitable for drinking water. Onion tanks are self rising, self supporting, and fold easily for convenient storage. Low side onion water tanks range from 250 to 10,000 gallons, and high side onion water tanks range from 500 to 10,000 gallons.

Frame tanks are also a valuable tool for water storage. GEI Works’ Centaur frame tank can be quickly set up and filled with water for emergency storage. Having a water storage tank with a liner made with FDA approved materials for potable water is essential. Frame tanks like these range in size from 500 to 5,000 gallons.

Tarp Protection from Wind and Rain

Protecting materials during a hurricane means covering equipment like dumpsters, dump trucks, and secondary containment vessels against rain, wind, and flying debris. GEI Works’ tarps are water proof and leak resistant and can be made in customizable sizes to protect valuable equipment.

Flood Barriers for Storm Surge Protection

Hurricane-force winds bring with them rising oceans and flood waters. Using a flood barrier to protect against flash floods and hurricane storm surge offers higher protection as opposed to smaller sandbags.

GEI Works’ flood barriers can be filled with sand, gravel, or even concrete. Using bulk bags for flood protection is a viable choice for flood protection, as bulk bags offer a larger line of defense than sandbags.

Fuel Tank Preparation during a Storm
Having gasoline is essential during times of severe weather, when generators, vehicles, and other machines might require it. Once the storm has passed, gas trailers might not be able to get through to replenish stations if roads are blocked and power lines are down.

Being  able to store fuel safely on your property will save worry in the long run . A collapsible tank for stationary fuel storage solves this problem. Flexible  fuel tanks come in small and large sizes; smaller bladders come in sizes from 25 to 5,000 gallons and larger bladders comes in sizes from 5,000 to 210,000 gallons.

Looking Forward to New Information in Hurricane Tracking
The COSMIC-2 satellites launched last week on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. Once in orbit, the satellites will be tested for seven months before any data are used in weather models. COSMIC-2 will also fly two space weather science payloads: a radio frequency beacon transmitter and an ion velocity meter to gather even more information.

COSMIC-2 information at a glance:

  • Comprised of six hurricane tracking satellites orbiting Earth's equator
  • Measures changes in atmosphere
  • Gives real-time data to scientists for hurricane tracking
The technology for predicting natural disasters won’t stop them from occurring, but it will make it easier to know when they’re coming. However, we already know the best time to prepare for a storm is now.

Bolstering  Hurricane Forecasting

The information provided by these satellites will help meteorologists and scientists better observe and track hurricanes, typhoons, and other destructive weather systems.

In recent years, in the U.S. particularly, hurricanes have wreaked havoc. Costly hurricanes, like Harvey, Maria, and Irma just in 2017 alone, slammed into the coasts, causing damage with wind, storm surge, and flooding further inland.

Knowing what’s coming will help, but being proactive about hurricane preparedness is the best possible plan.

Have questions about how  you can better prepare your business for hurricanes? To learn more about GEI Works, contact us at +1-772-646-0597 to receive one-on-one assistance with all your hurricane season preparedness needs.

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