Texas Tech University

Hurricane Florence Threatens East Coast, Could Mimic Devastation of Hurricane Harvey

Amanda Bowman

September 10, 2018

Texas Tech University’s Hurricane Research Team is heading toward North Carolina with its 48 StickNets in tow.


Hurricane Florence is intensifying at a dramatic pace and has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm. Florence gained traction on Sunday (Sept. 9) while making its way toward southeast Bermuda and is now headed toward the East Coast.

John Schroeder, Texas Tech University professor of geosciences, team lead of the Texas Tech Hurricane Research Team (TTUHRT) and a National Wind Institute (NWI) affiliate, spoke on the significance of the storm and how the TTUHRT is working to assess wind damage with its StickNets.

John Schroeder
John Schroeder


John Schroeder, professor, team lead of TTUHRT and NWI affiliate.

Talking Points

  • The storm has the potential to mimic the damage Hurricane Harvey caused in Houston in 2017.
  • The StickNets are portable, deployable weather stations that conduct and assess wind measurements.
  • Texas Tech is working with the University of Oklahoma to better understand wind structure.
  • Everyone in the path of the storm needs to take safety precautions.


  • “It [Hurricane Florence] has the potential to be a really significant event, not only from a wind perspective, but there also are some hints that it will stall right around, or just after, landfall.”
  • “It could have sort of a Harvey one-two punch with what it did in Texas. You had a pretty significant wind event down in the Rockport area, and then the storm stalled across Houston and brought tremendous rain. I think we could be looking at a similar situation, not only in terms of how strong the system is, but also how much rainfall it could produce.”
  • “Basically, StickNet is a small weather station that we can deploy very rapidly. It makes measurements of wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, temperature and barometric pressure.”
  • “We're also working with the University of Oklahoma. They're doing some radar work, and we're making measurements underneath that radar work.”
  • “Radars work slightly elevated in the atmosphere, so it's above the ground, and we're providing ground truth underneath that.”
  • “We're trying to bring that information from those different viewpoints together to try to better understand the structure of the wind vertically.”
  • “It's a pretty significant storm system, and we're certainly going to be careful with it and everybody out there should be careful with it, as well.”

CONTACT: Amanda Bowman, media relations specialist, Office of Communications & Marketing, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-5897 or amanda.bowman@ttu.edu