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

Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found 'Mad' Magazine, Dies

Money from a job illustrating a Coca-Cola training manual became a springboard for Jack Davis to move from Georgia to New York.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour – LIVE from Slim's Diner!

This special edition of the Politics Hour is coming to you live from Slim's Diner from Petworth in Northwest D.C.

NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

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