Scientists turning to sea animals to help predict Hurricanes - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Scientists turning to sea animals to help predict Hurricanes

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MIAMI (WHDH) - The start of hurricane season is Sunday, and experts say it will be near or below normal.

But this year, they're working with new predicting tools they hope make forecasts more accurate and some might just surprise you.

The newest weapon in the battle to more accurately predict dangerous hurricanes; sharks.

Scientists at the University of Miami are putting sensors on sharks and other big game fish to transmit data, such as deep water temperatures.

Increasingly, scientists believe those readings could help predict when a tropical storm will turn into a category five hurricane.

The National Weather Service is predicting as many as 13 tropical storms this year, six could become hurricanes, and two could be category three or higher.

Their goal is to be able to sound the alarm when a big storm is coming.

This brand new storm surge simulator at the University of Miami could help. It combines coastline surge and wind models.

"We're on the cusp of really making some exciting developments,” Dr. Brian Haus said.

When it’s fully operational, it will be able to simulate a category five hurricane with winds in excess of 157-miles an hour.

"These will be the highest wind measurements that have ever been made, that will hopefully improve forecast models,” Haus said.

And it will allow scientists to study the effects of storm surge like the one that caused such devastation in Superstorm Sandy.
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