• Scientists develop better way to predict hurricanes during season

    By: John Ahrens

    Updated:

    RALEIGH, N.C. - Forecasting hurricanes over a six-month span can be a complicated.

    Scientists in Raleigh think they have found a better way to predict what this hurricane season will be like.

    North Carolina State researchers are forecasting up to 17 storms in the Atlantic Ocean, almost twice as much as what you would find during a typical hurricane season.

    Director Lian Xie showed Channel 9 where they crunch the numbers. He says by taking certain weather aspects exclusive to the Carolinas, they can better predict what could happen here.

    When you take into account the mountains, the kind of cold fronts that come through here, even the cooler waters of the Atlantic near Hatteras, you can come up with a more specific forecast.

    "We are in a unique area," Xie said. "A lot of the cyclone systems develop in the region because of the temperature contrasts."

    The method is not without faults. Xie said last year, the forecast came up short.

    "That was considered a bad forecast," Xie said.

    He said the rest of the well-known forecasts did as well and since they started almost 10 years ago, they are getting a better handle every year.

    "Sometimes, the worst forecast is the best one to help," Xie said.

    While researchers try to better iron out their model, they said all it takes is just one for it to be considered a bad year.


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