FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University play an important role during a big storm, such as Hurricane Isaac.

Isaac made his presence known in parts of the south as it caused some of the worst damage there since Hurricane Katrina. But more than 1,000 miles away from the storm-battered south researchers at CSU’s Atmospheric Sciences were on a high-power conference call with other researchers from across America.

“These briefings allow them to plan their operations,” Dr. Kate Musgrave at CSU said.

CSU researchers used the information they’ve uncovered to help a team plan the route for an airplane to fly into the storm to gather even more data about Isaac.

“They want to know what’s going on right now. They also want to know what they should be looking for in a week’s time, or even longer,” Musgrave said.

CSU researchers share their satellite imaging as well as the other information.

“We take all of that channel information and turn it into products that can be useful both for different research groups and the forecasters,” Musgrave said.

CSU researchers say, unlike other Gulf Coast hurricanes and tropical storms, Isaac is different.

“Isaac is moving maybe six to seven, maybe eight miles per hour in the northern Gulf of Mexico, which is not common,” Dr. Mark Demaria at CSU said. “There’s just an unusual weather pattern that’s making it move so slowly in the northern gulf.”

The teleconferences with other researchers will be lasting through the rest of the week.


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