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Hurricanes Typhoons and Cyclones
Natural Disasters

How do scientists predict where hurricanes will strike?


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November 18, 2011 9:05AM

A hurricane is basically a heat-transfer mechanism for the Earth, absorbing heat in the tropics and carrying it to higher latitudes. As it takes energy from warm water, it interacts with the other weather systems it encounters. And while every hurricane is different, they all share common structures and influences. By creating mathematical models including temperatures, atmospheric pressure, and prevailing winds, scientists can forecast how these factors will affect the development and movement of a storm. Much of the programming of these models is based on the study of previous hurricanes. And because the factors are so complex and interactive, there is always a margin of uncertainty in any hurricane prediction.