OU team assists with Hurricane Florence forecasting

A team from OU is bringing a SMART radar to North Carolina for Hurricane Florence. (University of Oklahoma)

One of the teams helping with forecasting for Hurricane Florence is from right here at the University of Oklahoma.

Michael Biggerstaff, the leader of the team from the OU School of Meteorology, said this is something the school can offer during these types of events.

"It's really a group of us that do these types of landfalls and the University of Oklahoma is kind of an expert in weather radar," Biggerstaff said. "That's kind of our component."

The team is bringing in a special radar called a "SMART" radar. Biggerstaff said this can measure different parts of the storm.

"We're a little ways off from the weather service radar so a better resolution of some of the stuff occurring north of the Wilmington area," Biggerstaff said. "So we're going to fill in the gap a little bit there and we'll also be able to combine our data with the weather service data."

Biggerstaff said he expects it to get busy for his team beginning on Wednesday. They're going to have constant monitoring of the storm as the rainfall begins to hit.

"We'll rotate so there's at least one person always operating the radar to handle anything that may occur," Biggerstaff said. "We'll take turns catching a few naps here and there but we'll probably in the truck for about 48 hours this time."

Along with tracking the storm, they're also looking at making forecasts better.

"We have to be able to collect these types of data sets because they're very unique data sets to be able to validate the improvements in forecast models in the future," Biggerstaff said.

The team is also planning to launch ten weather balloons.

They have spent the last day trying to find the best spot to track the storm around Wilmington, NC.

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