WAMU 88.5 : News

Montgomery County Company Tracking Hurricane Irene With New Technology

Play associated audio
As Hurricane Irene approaches the D.C. area, a Montgomery County company is using lightning to track the storm in a new way.
NASA
As Hurricane Irene approaches the D.C. area, a Montgomery County company is using lightning to track the storm in a new way.

As Hurricane Irene approaches the D.C. area, a Montgomery County company is using lightning to track the storm in a new way.

Mark Hoekzema, chief meteorologist for Earth Networks in Germantown, says his company's update sensor system will allow them to look at lightning in a way that has never been done.

Lightning may not seem like a major part of a hurricane, but Hoekzema explains that it is a major indicator of how strong a storm is. The new sensors give their Weatherbug service a better view of lightning than they have ever had.

"It can see lightning in the cloud, as well as lightning on the ground," Hoekzema says.

Hoekzema believes this will allow them to improve their weather forecasts and provide valuable information on the strength of the storms.

"Intensity is one of the toughest things to forecast," he says. "It changes over time. There have been major impacts from storms that have intensified rapidly as they approached the coast. Coming in as a Category 2, Opal changed into a Category 5 just overnight."

Hurricane Opal made landfall on the Gulf Coast in 1995 as a Category 4 storm, killing at least 13 people in the U.S and causing almost $4 billion in damages.

NPR

Mislabeled As A Memoirist, Author Asks: Whose Work Gets To Be Journalism?

Suki Kim wrote Without You, There Is No Us after working undercover as a teacher in North Korea. She says the response to her book is also a response to her identity as Korean and a woman.
NPR

In Prison, The Passion That Drove A Yogurt-Maker To Arson Still Burns

The yogurt entrepreneur who set fire to his factory remains in prison, but he's in better spirits now. "He's dreaming again," says his wife.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - July 1, 2016

Kojo and Tom Sherwood chat with D.C. Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo and Virginia Del. Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax).

NPR

After Deadly Crash, Safety Officials Will Examine Tesla's Autopilot Mode

The fatal crash of a Model S that was in autopilot when it collided with a truck in Florida is prompting a preliminary evaluation of the feature by the National Highway Transportation Safety Board.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.