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ABC 27 rolls out new tools to track the tropics during hurricane season

Posted at 7:50 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 19:50:05-04

(WTXL) — Here at ABC 27, we have some exciting new tools to help you make it through this hurricane season.

While our graphics look the same, we've got a handful of new products never seen before that we will be using a lot in the coming months.

The Saharan Dust layer is one of those. The tool tracks the dust all the way from the Sahara over the Atlantic to the U.S.

This is important because it can inhibit hurricane development and also can lead to poor air quality and low visibility here in the U.S.

We also have a tool that tracks atmospheric moisture. This is the opposite of the Saharan Dust so instead of showing dry air, it shows available moisture over the Atlantic. More moisture helps fuel and strengthen hurricanes.

Last, but not least, is the Barren Hurricane Index.

This one puts all those factors that influence tropical development together into a very simple way to explain the tropical environment. It then categorizes conditions by unfavorable and favorable.

This hurricane index has been proven successful by multiple case studies after storms.

One that we have used before, and you're familiar with that will also help us this hurricane season, is the hand tracker.

Hurricanes are known to bring some possible severe weather, including inland tornadoes. With the hand tracker, we can bring you down to street level and show you in your community where the highest threats are with any potential severe weather within a hurricane.