1 00:00:01,000 --> 00:00:06,920 In 2018, Hurricanes Florence and Michael made catastrophic landfalls over the United States. 2 00:00:06,920 --> 00:00:10,380 They caused extreme flooding, record-breaking winds, 3 00:00:10,380 --> 00:00:13,610 and storm surges that devastated communities. 4 00:00:13,610 --> 00:00:18,040 Understanding how hurricanes behave is critical to saving lives. 5 00:00:18,040 --> 00:00:21,360 How a hurricane forms, develops and dissipates 6 00:00:21,360 --> 00:00:23,400 is a complex problem though; 7 00:00:23,400 --> 00:00:27,280 it involves many different processes that are highly interconnected. 8 00:00:27,280 --> 00:00:31,530 But from space and the air, NASA satellites and aircraft 9 00:00:31,530 --> 00:00:37,380 can break down the underlying physics by monitoring each component of a hurricane. 10 00:00:37,380 --> 00:00:40,750 There are key ingredients for hurricanes to form. 11 00:00:40,750 --> 00:00:44,260 First, we need warm waters that provide fuel for the storms. 12 00:00:44,260 --> 00:00:47,350 Water evaporates from the warm ocean 13 00:00:47,350 --> 00:00:51,860 and creates humid air, which then rises and cools to form clouds and rain. 14 00:00:51,860 --> 00:00:58,180 3D structures to look for inside storms are long rain bands and a near-circular eyewall. 15 00:00:58,180 --> 00:01:01,500 The warmer the ocean, the stronger the storm can be, 16 00:01:01,500 --> 00:01:03,080 which often means heavy rainfall 17 00:01:03,080 --> 00:01:06,000 and extreme winds. 18 00:01:06,000 --> 00:01:09,480 Understanding each component is just part of the puzzle. 19 00:01:09,480 --> 00:01:15,620 The key is to figure out how they fit together and to do this, scientists step into the digital world. 20 00:01:15,620 --> 00:01:18,990 This is a computer-generated model of a hurricane. 21 00:01:18,990 --> 00:01:24,070 Inside this digital environment, the atmosphere is programmed to behave 22 00:01:24,070 --> 00:01:28,440 as much as possible like the real world, governed by the laws of physics. 23 00:01:28,440 --> 00:01:34,200 What makes this a valuable research tool is that scientists can put satellite observations 24 00:01:34,200 --> 00:01:38,040 into this digital world to see how the entire system evolves. 25 00:01:38,040 --> 00:01:43,220 The impact of a hurricane lasts long after the storm has dissipated. 26 00:01:43,220 --> 00:01:47,820 Satellites and aircraft can also be used to monitor damage and recovery. 27 00:01:47,820 --> 00:01:54,120 In 2017, Hurricane Maria caused the longest electric power blackout 28 00:01:54,120 --> 00:01:56,090 in U.S. history in Puerto Rico. 29 00:01:56,090 --> 00:01:59,990 Over the following year, satellite data helped first responders 30 00:01:59,990 --> 00:02:02,780 monitor where and when power was restored. 31 00:02:02,780 --> 00:02:08,300 And after Hurricane Maria, aircraft were used to map the island's recovering forests. 32 00:02:08,300 --> 00:02:16,260 Satellites, aircraft, and computer models help us understand each stage of a hurricane including the aftermath. 33 00:02:16,260 --> 00:02:21,100 As we learn more, not only will other agencies better forecast weather, 34 00:02:21,100 --> 00:02:24,890 but communities will have more time to prepare and evacuate 35 00:02:24,890 --> 00:02:27,580 from potentially dangerous storms. 36 00:02:27,580 --> 00:02:37,269