Gulf of Mexico
Wind readings from Hurricane Laura. via Texas Tech University

Gulf of Mexico - Data Collected During Hurricane Laura Presents Major Benefits in Engineering, Atmospheric Science Fields

Hurricane Laura was the most documented hurricane to ever make landfall in the U.S.

In late August, Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in Louisiana. It was one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the U.S., as measured by maximum sustained winds.

Researchers from Texas Tech University's Hurricane Research Team (TTUHRT), which consists of faculty and graduate students from Texas Tech's Atmospheric Science Group and the National Wind Institute (NWI), were on the ground, tracking Hurricane Laura as it swept across the Gulf Coast.

The team deployed 48 StickNet platforms and two Ka-band Mobile Doppler Radar Trucks to take measurements and collect data from Hurricane Laura. The results? Hurricane Laura is now the most well-documented major hurricane that has made landfall in the U.S.

John Schroeder, senior director of the NWI and a professor of atmospheric science, expressed how proud he was of the TTUHRT and how perfect the deployment of their instruments was.

"We went with the limited crew due to COVID-19 restrictions, and we just absolutely nailed this event," he said. "We were able to make a wonderful deployment that's basically centered on the landfall point. We had 16 different monitoring systems that experienced the eyewall, the eye or some combination of the eye and the eyewall in the system. So, from a perspective of documenting the event, not only the core of it but also the extremities of it, too, we have a really good record of the wind field and the pressure field through this system. No one else has the capability to do what we do at the moment."

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