Behold, A Whirlwind Came: The Science of Tracking Hurricanes

  • Released Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This documentary-style video shows how NASA computer modeling research is contributing to an improved understanding and forecasts of hurricanes. It weaves interviews of three Goddard Space Flight Center scientists with scientific visualizations and live-action footage of hurricanes and the scientists studying them. The video focuses on application of the NASA finite-volume General Circulation Model (fvGCM) to the 2004 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season. Over the last 20 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service have produced enormous improvements in hurricane forecasting. However, by running at ~25-kilometer resolution (twice that of current operational forecasts), the NASA fvGCM has shown in some cases an accuracy of landfall prediction on the order of 100 kilometers up to 5 days in advance. Initial evaluation suggests that the potential exists for dramatic improvements in warning time and intensity forecasts for tropical cyclones around the globe. NASA has begun collaborating with the National Weather Service and other agencies worldwide to improve forecasts so that, among other advantages, local authorities can narrow areas for evacuation. The video was produced for the TerraLink exhibit at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.

Winner of the 2005 Video Competition Crystal Award of Excellence.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

This video includes footage licensed from The Weather Channel and cannot be reused without permission.

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, August 31, 2005.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:56 PM EDT.


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