June 16, 2015
Tropical Storm Bill made landfall Tuesday approximately 90 miles southwest of Houston. The National Hurricane Center said sustained winds were recorded at 60 mph. Heavy rain is expected to bring widespread flooding to a state already experiencing its wettest Spring in recorded history.
The Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team (TTUHRT) is dedicated to mitigating the effects of landfalling hurricanes on life and property. Three members of the team, led by doctoral student Rich Krupar, traveled to the area ahead of the storm, arriving after dark. Together, they worked through the night to successfully deploy twelve StickNet probes to gather storm data.
“Given the time constraint we were working under, with no sunlight to guide our way, we did an incredible job deploying along barrier islands and points inland,” Krupar said. “Every StickNet transmitted data in real-time leading up to and during landfall, demonstrating the capabilities of StickNet to collect meaningful near-surface observations.”
Read more about the team's deployment at the TTUHRT blog:
Tropical Storm Bill StickNet Deployment Summary.
Twelve probes were deployed. This one shows Corpus Christi WSR-88D base reflectivity
from just after landfall.
Texas Tech’s National Wind Institute (NWI) also has a number of researchers with extensive experience studying hurricanes such as Rita, Katrina and Ike, and can speak as experts about various aspects of these devastating storms.
John Schroeder, professor of atmospheric sciences, visited affected areas after both hurricanes
Rita and Katrina to deploy instrumented towers that gather high-resolution storm data
at a time when most conventional observation systems fail. Schroeder can offer insight
into how hurricanes develop, move and react to various meteorological elements. He
is an expert on hurricane winds and has been actively intercepting hurricanes since
Schroeder can be reached at (806) 834-5678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daan Liang, assistant professor of construction engineering technology and interim director
of NWI, used satellite images and aerial photos along with ground survey results to
investigate building damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Liang used various probability
models to study how the construction of buildings affects their vulnerability against
severe windstorms. Recently, his research is focused on the advancement of remote
sensing technology in documenting and assessing wind damage to residential structures.
Liang can be reached at (806) 834-0383 or email@example.com.
Ernst Kiesling, research professor at NWI and executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association
(NSSA), recommends homeowners who live above the flood plane in hurricane-prone areas
buy a storm shelter for their home. As was seen in Houston preceding Hurricane Rita,
evacuations are stressful and expensive. They often put immense strain on traffic
corridors, leading to traffic jams and – in the case of Houston – fatalities. By using
in-home shelters, some families who are not required to evacuate can remain where
they are and ease the traffic flow. However, Kiesling urges buyers to look for a NSSA
seal when they buy a safe room for their home, because not all shelters are verified
to be fully compliant with current standards for storm shelters and provide full protection
from extreme winds. Kiesling has more than 35 years of experience in the design, standards-writing
and quality control of storm shelters.
Kiesling can be reached at (806) 834-1931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Tanner, research associate in civil engineering, completed a six-month investigation working
with the Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation assessment team on the wind
damage to residential structures from Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana. He also
was a member of the FEMA mitigation assessment team that studied Hurricane Katrina.
He led a team that recorded wind and water damage along the coastline in Louisiana
and Mississippi. Much of the damage done by Katrina, he said, resulted from structures
being built below the base flood elevation, or the elevation flood waters will rise
to during a 100-year storm event (meaning the storm only has a 1 percent chance of
happening in a year).
Tanner can be reached at (806) 834-2320 or email@example.com.
Bradley Ewing, professor of operations management in the Rawls College of Business, has studied the economic impact of hurricanes and tornadoes. He can speak to the
impact of hurricanes and tornadoes in cities like Oklahoma City; Corpus Christi; Wilmington,
North Carolina; Miami, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Ewing can be reached at (806) 834-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Wind Institute (NWI) is world-renowned for conducting innovative research in the areas of wind energy, wind hazard mitigation, wind-induced damage, severe storms and wind-related economics.
NWI is also home to world-class researchers with expertise in numerous academic fields such as atmospheric science, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, mathematics and economics, and NWI was the first in the nation to offer a doctorate in Wind Science and Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy.