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NASA satellites to predict hurricane paths by studying their cores


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NASA may soon eliminate much of the uncertainty in predicting the paths of hurricanes and other giant storms. The agency is building CYGNSS (Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System), a flock of eight microsatellites that should track hurricanes more effectively than any one full-size craft can manage. They'll be the first satellites to look at the inner core of a storm, giving them a good estimate of the wind speeds and thus the path of those swirling air currents. They'll also get updated images of the tropics within a few hours instead of a few days, so meteorologists shouldn't be caught off-guard if a hurricane quickly gathers momentum or changes direction. When CYGNSS starts helping out during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season (between June and November), it could do a lot to help coastal residents prepare for natural disasters.

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