Sharks To Help Predict Hurricane Intensity

June 1 2014 is the official start of hurricane season on the gulf coast and the eastern seaboard of the USA.  There have been hurricanes in May just recently as a few years ago.  But, the real hurricane season starts in either late July or early August.  August and September are the months we fear most.  Why?  Because that is when the gulf and atlantic waters are at their warmest of the year.  Warm water is like gasoline for a hurricane.  It feeds the intensity of the hurricane.  Now, scientists have tagged fifty sharks, tuna and tarpon in an effort to gauge the temperature of the waters more accurately.  Researchers at Miami University tagged animals to gauge water temperatures and salinity at differing depths.  Quite simply, the idea is that the data from sharks could help weather forecasters plot more accurately just how big a storm may get by telling them how hot the water is.  Now some researchers are saying that living mammals acting as meteorologists is dubious at best.  But, thus far, Miami researchers say that the data they have received thus far has been encouraging enough for them to continue on with the tagging of sharks at the very least. Researchers do admit they need many more tagged shark, tuna et al to get an accurate reading of storm intensity.  With cutbacks in funding, that is going to be difficult to do.

Speaking of hurricanes, I encourage everyone to be preparing for hurricane season.  It is never too early to get started. The problem is that the further away we get from Hurricane Katrina, the more relaxed people become during hurricane season.  That is a deadly mistake.  People in New York did not know what to expect with Cat III Hurricane Sandy.  They have an excuse for not preparing for Sandy.  People from North Carolina to the gulf coast of Texas have no excuses.  We know what hurricane season brings.  And, if I were you, I would not depend on forecasts from sharks.


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