USM forms partnership to help better forecast hurricanes

USM, Sea-Trec partnering on hurricane forecasting
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 11:16 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi and Sea-Trec, a renewal energy company, are working together to improve hurricane forecasting.

The two signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for the deployment of two floats in the Gulf of Mexico that will help gather electrical readings.

These instruments will take measurements three times a day to track water temperature, which scientists believe factors into the strengthening of a hurricane.

“Hopefully, this is going to be the first of many,” said Hailey Bathurst of the Gulf Blue Navigator, “and we’ll see a lot more technology come to fruition, moving forward.”

Experts said they believe that the new technology will alter the dynamic of science here in the state.

“I tell people that I truly believe that in three to five years, you won’t recognize this part of the Coast,” said Bob Coniglione, USM’s Marine Research Center. “It will be such a hub for science, research and new technology. I think it’s going to explode.”

Officials say understanding the intensification of hurricanes is key as annual economic losses from serious storms are estimated at $54 billion.

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