Texas Tech Hurricane Research Team Waits for Irene

Texas Tech Hurricane Research Team deploys StickNets on Carolina’s Outer Banks

As the East Coast braces for a weekend of violent weather, Hurricane Irene’s outer bands are already lashing the shoreline, from the Carolinas to Massachusetts. The Texas Tech Hurricane Research Team is there too, braving the storm and deploying StickNet probes on the Outer Banks.

John Schroeder, associate professor of atmospheric science, is a charter member and director of the team. He is an expert on how hurricanes interact with man’s built environment at landfall and has been actively intercepting hurricanes since 1998.

 “Our hurricane research team is dedicated to mitigating the effects of landfalling hurricanes on life and property,” Schroeder said. “To that end, we deploy instrumented towers that gather high-resolution storm data at a time when most conventional observation systems fail.”

Schroeder explained that once the instruments are set, the team members head for safety until the storm passes.

“We try to place everything and get out of the way before the wind gets much above tropical storm force (39 mph). Any later, and things start falling, like tree branches, power lines and other debris, which increases the danger and limits the team’s mobility.”

Follow the team through status updates and pictures on Facebook.

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CONTACT: John Schroeder, associate professor of atmospheric sciences and director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center (WISE), Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3476 or john.schroeder@ttu.edu.