CSU team helps predict hurricanes for NOAA

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado might be more than 1,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, but the state is home to one of the top hurricane forecast centers in the country.

The Tropical Meteorology Project is based ion Fort Collins and the team is closely monitoring Hurricane Florence.

The team holds a daily weather briefing at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere where storms are discussed.

The room of scientists helps the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration predict hurricane activity.

Satellite imagery obtained in Colorado helps NOAA better forecast the path of storms.

"Satellites are wonderful for use over the oceans. They're sometimes the only thing we have," said Kate Musgrave with the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere.

The team says there are benefits to having a landlocked research center during a storm.

"What we always say is, well, we're not going to be hit by a hurricane and we're not going to be taken down," Musgrave said.

The scientists say Florence in many ways resembles Hurricane Harvey. Both are slow-moving storms, which means the potential for enormous amounts of rain.

Models in Colorado predict more than 20 inches will fall in North Carolina.

"Harvey had in excess of 50 inches of rain in some places. It's forecast to move faster than Harvey did at this point, so as long as it gets ahead of the area you shouldn't see those types of totals," said Musgrave.

Only time will tell how much rain will actually fall, but the scientists at CSU will be watching, helping create forecasts that could save lives.

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