tracking tropical cyclone by X7WD8Y04


									Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010       1

 Live program about to begin               1     Introduction to SOS: This special
                                           2     projection system was given to the
                                           3     Maryland Science Center by NOAA
                                           4     (the National Oceanic and
                                           5     Atmospheric Administration). The
                                           6     screen is shaped like a sphere, which
                                           7     is an ideal way to present views of the
                                           8     Earth such as this one. NOAA studies
                                           9     and observes the connection between
                                           10    the ocean, atmosphere, and land so
                                           11    that scientists and the public can learn
                                           12    more about their interconnectivity, or
                                           13    in other words, how one can affect the
                                           14    other.
                                           16    Today, we are going to talk about one
                                           17    very special, powerful storm. The
                                           18    ocean, atmosphere, and land all play
                                           19    a part in this storm. It’s a storm that
                                           20    develops over warm, tropic ocean
                                           21    waters and operates very much like
                                           22    an engine. Warm water act as the fuel
                                           23    to power the engine.
       ~ Use laser pointer to trace        25    These storms form in certain regions
 the lines of latitude that form the       26    within the Tropics. The tropics span
 tropics.                                  27    the globe near the equator.
       ~rotate the sphere so that N.       29    The United States is very familiar with
 America comes into view.                  30    these types of storms. They often
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                       3/2010         2

      ~ Use laser pointer to trace         1     make landfall on coastal regions and
the path of hurricane to USA.              2     bring large amounts of rain, damaging
                                           3     winds, and storm surge. Storm surge
                                           4     is when ocean water rises onto the
                                           5     shore due to high winds from a strong
                                           6     storm.
                                           8     Pose the question: Does anyone
                                           9     know the name of this kind of powerful
                                           10    storm?
Blue Marble with clouds and pip            11    …. Pause for Audience responses ….
of Hurricane Katrina                       12    This storm is called a hurricane.
                                           13    But this type of storm actually forms in
                                           14    many areas around the world. So,
                                           15    even though North Americans are
                                           16    most familiar with the term hurricane,
                                           17    meteorologists use the term tropical
                                           18    cyclone.
Hurricane tracks without scale             20    You are looking at an image of
      ~rotate the sphere and point         21    tropical cyclone paths from 1950 to
out all areas as they come into view       22    2005. Each dot on this image
and are referenced.                        23    represents a different time during a
                                           24    storms life and connects to make a
                                           25    line. Each line shows the path of a
                                           26    tropical cyclone from its development
                                           27    to when it is broken apart.
                                           29    Although there are a large number of
                                           30    tropical cyclones that develop in the
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010        3

                                           1     Atlantic, tropical cyclones also
                                           2     develop in the Pacific and Indian
                                           3     Ocean basins. Tropical cyclones to
                                           4     the west of Mexico are still referred to
                                           5     as hurricanes.
                                           7     Now, turn your attention to the
                                           8     Western Pacific. Notice that more
                                           9     storms develop in the Western Pacific
                                           10    than in the Atlantic.
                                           12    Pose the question: “Does anyone
                                           13    know what people commonly call
                                           14    tropical cyclones that develop in the
                                           15    Western Pacific and travel towards
                                           16    Asia?”
                                           17    …. Audience response……
                                           18    (Anticipate tsunami as an answer)
                                           19    Typhoons.
                                           21    These tropical cyclones are often
                                           22    called typhoons.
                                           24    Tropical cyclones also develop off the
                                           25    coasts of India. These are often
                                           26    simply called cyclones. You may have
                                           27    heard of the cyclone that hit Burma in
                                           28    2008, or the cyclone that hit
                                           29    Bangladesh in 2009, and had many
                                           30    devastating effects for both areas.
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010           4

                                           1     Tropical cyclones don’t all form in the
                                           2     Northern Hemisphere. Southern
                                           3     Hemisphere tropical cyclones
                                           4     originate in the warm ocean waters of
                                           5     the Southern Pacific and Southern
                                           6     Indian Ocean basins. These too are
                                           7     called cyclones, although Australians
                                           8     often refer to these as “Willy Willy’s.”
  Ty_cyc_hur.jpg                           10    No matter whether you call a tropical
                                           11    cyclone a hurricane, typhoon, or
                                           12    simply a cyclone, they all work the
                                           13    same and are equally as dangerous.
                                           15    Over half of the world’s population
                                           16    lives in coastal regions. And as more
                                           17    and more people move to the coast
                                           18    every day, it is becoming even more
                                           19    vital to predict and forecast tropical
                                           20    cyclone development and where they
                                           21    might make landfall.
                                           23    Pose the question: “How do scientists
                                           24    observe and collect information about
                                           25    tropical cyclones?”
                                           26    …… Slight Pause…..
                                           27    By using technology.
                                           29    Researchers use satellites in space
                                           30    and radar from ground stations. They
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                       3/2010          5

                                           1     also use ocean buoys, which are
                                           2     weather stations that float in the
                                           3     ocean and collect information as
                                           4     tropical cyclones pass over them.
                                           5     Even airplanes are used to fly through
                                           6     storms and collect information – North
                                           7     Americans call them “Hurricane
                                           8     Hunters.”
                                           10    We have not always had modern
                                           11    technology such as aircraft, and
                                           12    satellites. How did people observe
                                           13    tropical cyclones before these were
                                           14    invented?
                                           16    Let’s talk about one example of an
                                           17    ancient culture which was very
                                           18    familiar with tropical cyclones: the
                                           19    Taíno. [Pronounced Tai-YEE-no] The
                                           20    Taíno were one of the native peoples
                                           21    of the Caribbean Islands who lived
                                           22    centuries ago. Through their legends,
                                           23    we know that the Taino could sense
                                           24    when a tropical cyclone was headed
                                           25    toward shore by observing its
                                           26    common signs: humid air, big, rolling
                                           27    ocean waves, and a red sky.
  Hurucan_transition.mp4                   29    The Taíno thought these storms were
                                           30    the work of an angered spirit. They
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                       3/2010         6

                                           1     even sculpted a symbol of a spirit that
                                           2     some call Huracán [pronounced oo-
                                           3     ra-CAN]. It had a spiral shape just like
                                           4     a tropical cyclone. This name gave us
                                           5     the English word for hurricane. Thus it
                                           6     appears that the Taíno observed have
                                           7     observed the spiral nature of tropical
                                           8     cyclones long before scientists did.
                                           10    As civilization continued, new
                                           11    technologies enabled people to
                                           12    observe tropical cyclones in greater
                                           13    detail. Sailors and explorers like
                                           14    Christopher Columbus noticed these
                                           15    large, intense storms and recorded
                                           16    observations—even temperatures and
                                           17    pressures—on journeys across the
                                           18    vast oceans. Yet observations of
                                           19    tropical cyclones recorded by ships
                                           20    were not plentiful enough to decipher
                                           21    the patterns of tropical cyclones and
                                           22    how they work.
  Instruments.jpg                          24    Eventually, with the development of
                                           25    airplanes, radar, and ocean buoys,
                                           26    modern scientists were able to
                                           27    observe and record more and more
                                           28    data about tropical cyclones.
                                           30    Slowly, scientists began to unravel
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010          7

                                           1     information about where these storms
                                           2     formed. They began to notice the
                                           3     patterns.
                                           5     A major advancement for studying
                                           6     tropical cyclones came as scientists
                                           7     began to use satellites in the 1970’s.
                                           8     Scientists were then able to observe
                                           9     tropical cyclones from space from
                                           10    their development until the storms
                                           11    broke apart.
                                           13    Let’s look at what some of these
                                           14    storms look like using satellite
                                           15    imagery.
 sepstorms.mp4                             17    This image is from an infrared
                                           18    satellite. This type of imagery does
                                           19    not take a picture of the Earth. The
                                           20    satellite reads the temperatures of the
                                           21    clouds. In other words, it is reading
                                           22    temperature not the amount of light.
                                           23    The highest cloud tops will be bright
                                           24    white and lower clouds will be gray.
                                           25    Does anyone know why scientists
                                           26    would use infrared satellite imagery
                                           27    instead of visible imagery? Infrared
                                           28    satellite imagery is really useful to
                                           29    meteorologists because it gives them
                                           30    an aerial view of tropical cyclones no
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                         3/2010         8

                                           1     matter if it is day or night. It also
                                           2     allows them to see where tropical
                                           3     cyclones form and follow their path
                                           4     across the ocean. Sometimes the
                                           5     storms will even hit land.
                                           7     It is easy to observe tropical cyclones
                                           8     forming over tropical ocean water in
                                           9     the Atlantic and moving to the West.
                                           10    The counterclockwise rotation of the
                                           11    storm is also easy to see.
                                           13    Look at the shape of the storm. It is
                                           14    very symmetrical and organized.
                                           15    Almost circular.
        ~ Use laser pointer to point       17    Notice that when the tropical cyclones
  out and trace the movement of the        18    move into the mid-latitudes above the
  westerlies from West to East.            19    tropics they begin to move in a
                                           20    Northeast direction. This is because
                                           21    mid-latitude weather, like our weather
                                           22    in the US, is driven by the westerlies.
                                           23    The westerlies are strong, fast winds
                                           24    at upper levels of the atmosphere that
                                           25    from west to east around the globe.
                                           26    The tropical cyclones change
                                           27    directions because of the influence of
                                           28    westerly winds.
                                           30    When the storms move over land or
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010        9

                                           1     too far north into colder ocean waters,
                                           2     they begin to die and lose their
                                           3     organization and symmetry.
                                           5     Satellites also provide vital information
                                           6     about the temperature of the ocean
                                           7     and its connection to tropical cyclone
                                           8     development.
  Hurricane Season 2005: Water             10    Our next image will help show the
  Vapor with SST                           11    connection between warm ocean
                                           12    surface temperatures and hurricane
  ~ Change the rotation as needed          13    development. This image is from the
  or have people walk to the               14    2005 hurricane season which is the
  appropriate location to view the         15    most active season on record to date.
  Atlantic and United States               16
                                           17    The orange and red coloring
        ~Use laser pointer to              18    represents warmer ocean surface
  highlight colors                         19    temperatures. The blue coloring seen
                                           20    at the North and South Poles
                                           21    indicates cold ocean surface
                                           22    temperatures and the yellow and
                                           23    green represent mid-range
                                           24    temperatures.
                                           26    Tropical cyclones can develop in the
                                           27    tropics over warm water of at least
                                           28    80°F is present when the right
                                           29    atmospheric conditions are present.
                                           30    Scientists use satellites as a tool to
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010         10

                                           1     locate areas that have these favorable
                                           2     conditions.
        ~Try to highlight a few            4     Above the ocean surface, you can see
  examples with laser pointer              5     storms developing over warm water in
                                           6     the tropical regions. Some will
                                           7     organize and strengthen.
                                           9     Some tropical cyclones begin and end
                                           10    their life in the ocean while others will
                                           11    make landfall. Also, some storms can
                                           12    remain fairly weak while others will
                                           13    become very strong storms like
                                           14    Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Ike in
                                           15    2008.
                                           17    Tropical cyclone intensity, or strength,
                                           18    is referred to by wind speed. But
                                           19    intensity scales vary depending on
                                           20    where the storm forms.
                                           22    The satellite age brought a wealth of
                                           23    knowledge and considerable
                                           24    advancement to the field of tropical
                                           25    cyclone study. We now have a good
                                           26    idea of how they work. Let’s take a
                                           27    closer look.
  Schematic.mp4 - animation of             29    This is an animation of a typical
  storm cross section                      30    tropical cyclone.
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010        11

        ~Pause on the aerial view          2     A center of low pressure develops
  of the storm                             3     from a system of rotating
                                           4     thunderstorms that form over warm
                                           5     ocean waters. This means that the
                                           6     atmospheric pressure at the center of
                                           7     the rotating cluster of thunderstorms is
                                           8     lower relative to that of the
                                           9     atmospheric pressure surrounding it.
                                           10    Air will flow from high pressure
        ~ Demonstrate rotation with        11    regions toward the center of low
  laser pointer                            12    pressure and begin to rotate
                                           13    counterclockwise around the center.
        ~Resume animation and              15    Wind, or air, converges at the center
  use laser pointer to point out           16    of low pressure, meaning it collides
  features                                 17    with air rushing in from the other side
        ~Pause the animation when          18    of the storm, which causes it to rise.
  needed                                   19    This will create storm development.
                                           20    This region is referred to as the eye
                                           21    wall. It is the most intense part of the
                                           22    tropical cyclone.
                                           24    As the air rotates inward, it flows over
                                           25    the warm ocean surface and gains
                                           26    heat and moisture. This heat and
                                           27    moisture is the fuel needed for the
                                           28    tropical cyclone to develop and
                                           29    strengthen. Warm, moist air is less
                                           30    dense, than the dry air above. So the
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010          12

                                           1     warm, moist air rises. This contributes
                                           2     to the development of the eye wall but
                                           3     also causes strong thunderstorm
                                           4     development in bands, called rain
                                           5     bands, extending around the center of
                                           6     the tropical cyclone.
                                           8     As the warm moist air rises to higher,
                                           9     the water in the air condenses into
                                           10    droplets of rain. Rain can be thought
                                           11    of as the exhaust from the tropical
                                           12    cyclone engine.
                                           14    The air continues to rise and, in
                                           15    essence, the air hits a ceiling. The air,
                                           16    which has lost most of its heat and
                                           17    moisture to the production of rain,
                                           18    then becomes denser than the air
  `~Use laser pointer to highlight         19    below it. Some air will sink quickly,
  path of the air                          20    leading to the spaces between rain
                                           21    bands where no cloud development is
                                           22    seen. Air also sinks in the center of
                                           23    the cyclone, which is referred to as
                                           24    the eye of the storm. That is why it is
                                           25    calm in the eye of the storm.
                                           27    Not all of the air will immediately sink
        ~Use laser pointer to              28    though. The remaining air will flow out
  highlight path of the air                29    from the top of the cyclone and
                                           30    radiate the remaining heat into space
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010          13

                                           1     and then sink at the outside edge of
                                           2     the cyclone.
                                           4     The tropical cyclone will continue to
                                           5     pull air in from its surroundings to
                                           6     replace the air that has already risen
                                           7     and produced rain. This replacement
                                           8     air will gain heat and moisture, rise,
                                           9     and continue fueling the storm.
                                           11    So, the tropical cyclone is reforming
                                           12    itself over and over again as it moves
                                           13    across the ocean.
                                           15    If the tropical cyclone loses its source
                                           16    of warm water by moving too far north
                                           17    over cooler ocean waters or by
                                           18    moving over land the cyclone will no
                                           19    longer be able to sustain itself. It no
                                           20    longer has the fuel needed to run the
                                           21    engine.
  ***** Can be left out to save time       23    Also, the tropical cyclone might travel
  or if it is not appropriate for your     24    to an area where strong winds hit the
  audience                                 25    top layer of the storm. These strong
                                           26    winds can shear off the top of the
                                           27    cyclone basically slicing off the top
                                           28    layer of the storm. The strong winds at
                                           29    the top of the storm make it
                                           30    impossible for the cyclone to continue
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                       3/2010          14

                                           1     the rising and sinking motion of air
                                           2     that the cyclone needs to stay
                                           3     organized and maintain itself.
                                           5     Once scientists had enough
                                           6     observations to understand the laws
                                           7     of nature that drive tropical cyclones,
                                           8     it became possible to model tropical
                                           9     cyclones using supercomputers.
                                           10    Computer models help meteorologists
                                           11    make most of the weather predictions
                                           12    you see on TV or the Internet.
  computermodel.mp4                        14    Models are complex computer
                                           15    programs that meteorologists use to
                                           16    try to simulate or imitate weather
                                           17    events. Meteorologists can use
                                           18    computer models to make predictions
                                           19    about future tropical cyclone
                                           20    development and if and where they
                                           21    might make landfall.
                                           23    First, meteorologists divide the globe
                                           24    into a grid system breaking the
                                           25    surface of the globe into small
  AMNH land, ocean, and                    26    sections, essentially making small
  atmosphere images                        27    boxes. Then, scientists break the grid
        ~Use your hand to                  28    system into several vertical layers to
  demonstrate stacking of the              29    include the land, ocean, and
  vertical layers.                         30    atmosphere. Basically stacking one
Tracking a Tropical Cyclone Script, Run time: 15 - 20 minutes
Amy Wood, Maryland Science Center                                        3/2010         15

                                           1     layer on top of the other from the deep
                                           2     ocean to the top of the atmosphere
                                           3     where weather occurs.
                                           5     By using both a horizontal grid system
                                           6     and vertical layers, they are able to
                                           7     model tropical cyclones more
                                           8     accurately.
  Grid.mp4 - AMNH computer grid            10    The computer model then runs the
  with equations animation                 11    grid and vertical layer system through
                                           12    a series of mathematical equations
                                           13    using a super computer. The final
                                           14    output will be a depiction of a tropical
                                           15    cyclone – where it will move to and
                                           16    even how strong or intense it might
                                           17    become.
  Modelcomparison.mp4 - AMNH               19    Current computer models are already
  computer model data compared             20    accurate and are able to simulate
  to satellite data animation              21    weather events; as seen by this
                                           22    comparison on the sphere.
                                           24    Even as technology and scientific
                                           25    knowledge increases, no computer
                                           26    model will ever be 100% accurate but
                                           27    they are helping scientists predict the
                                           28    path tropical cyclones will take and
                                           29    their intensity more quickly and with
                                           30    better precision.
                                                 More timely and accurate forecasts
                                                 will help save lives.

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