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New Satellite Tools Sharpen Hurricane Images
Aug 1999
MADISON, Wis., Aug 31 -- In an attempt to improve current early warning systems, forecasters across the US are using new visualization tools to examine in detail the anatomy of typhoons and hurricanes. What we're doing is fusing together images through the use of multiple satellites, says Chris Velden, a University of Wisconsin-Madison tropical cyclone researcher. Each satellite has its own view of the earth, and we're piecing many of them together for a more complete picture.
This data fusion method is the basis for several new hurricane forecasting techniques developed at UW-Madison and used daily at Miami's National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One recently introduced system called Wavetrak combines data from five different satellites to create a 10-day film loop of atmospheric waves sweeping out of central Africa, often referred to as the birthplace of cyclones. Wavetrak was designed to study these waves, which act as a conveyor belt for conditions that cause cyclones.

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