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UAH students deploy to Louisiana collecting crucial data on Hurricane Ida for future forecasting research

A group of University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) students with the school’s Atmospheric & Earth Science Department have arrived in Louisiana to collect critical data on Hurricane Ida as the Category 4 storm on Sunday made landfall in the Gulf state.

The release says the team is working closely with colleagues from the University of Oklahoma, as well as scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Lab.

According to the college, members of UAH’s team include both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as two staff members.

Hurricane Ida came ashore in Port Fourchon early Sunday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150mph.

UAH said its crew collected crucial data before and during the hurricane’s journey as it put to use the university’s five vehicles equipped with mobile technology, such as radar, weather stations and weather balloons.

The group’s deployment began as the crew set out for Donaldsonville, LA, which is roughly 100 miles north of where the hurricane made landfall. There, they began collecting data as they launched weather balloons and ran radar scans. The school says Vivian Brasfield, a Master’s student at UAH, is specifically researching squall lines, which are lines of severe storms that form out ahead of a tropical system.

The crew continued to take both vertical and horizontal samplings of the atmosphere as the first outer spiral rain band of Ida reached their location and through the hurricane’s eye passing overhead.

According to UAH, the research conducted by the school and its colleagues could lead to better forecasting hurricane threats and timing.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL