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Researchers develop new hurricane model


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Researchers at Coastal Carolina University introduced a new hurricane outlook model just in time for the peak of storm season.

Scientists say the model HUGO stands out from other models. In addition to predicting the number of named storms during hurricane season, HUGO pairs historical data with more than 20 other factors to better predict how many of these storms may actually hit land along the coast, nearly 5 days out.

“We hope to reduce the cone of uncertainty to a narrower cone by producing a better track and intensity forecast for the hurricane itself,” said Coastal Carolina University’s scientist and professor Len Pietrafesa.

This gives emergency management teams more time to evacuate.

“The more notice we have to prepare and ready ourselves for a storm, obviously the more responsive we will be,” said Brunswick County Emergency Management Director Anthony Marzano.

HUGO will also predict storm surge and the likelihood of flooding in a certain area, as well as the intensity of the storm.

HUGO’s latest prediction for both the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the U.S. for this year is 1 hurricane landfall, with 2 and 0 landfalls next in probability. The HUGO team recalculates its hurricane outlook every two months during the course of the season.

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