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Texas Tech wind researchers return from Hurricane Ida

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech Wind Institute researchers have returned from Louisiana after collecting wind data on hurricane Ida.

Brian Hirth with the Texas Tech Wind Institute said it was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall in US history, but the wind speeds dropped drastically as it hit land.

Hirth said they’re using the data collected and comparing it to previous hurricanes to understand why Ida’s wind dropped.

The results will help meteorologists better predict and understand future hurricanes and help us build structures that can resist wind damage.

“We can hand that information off to the engineers who are designing the structures and designing the building codes, and they can use that information to better produce better products and produce better standards for hurricane impacts,” Hirth said.

Researchers use “sticknets” to track wind speeds and pressure, collecting measurements for their database.

Institutions around the country collect this information, but no other institution deploys more equipment than Texas Tech.

Hirth said they work to fill in gaps and be more accurate.

“You may only have a point here, a point here, a point here spread out by 50 miles, 100 miles. A lot can happen in between those measurement points,” Hirth said.

Hirth said they deploy every time there’s a category 3 or stronger hurricane.

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