Hurricane season is still a bit more than two months away, but the entire fleet of hurricane hunting planes already has a new tool
It's called the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer, or SFMR for short. Only a few planes had access to the instrument in year's past, but now all hurricane hunters have it.
The instrument, which is attached to the wing of the plane, detects radiation emitted from sea foam. A computer then calculates the wind based on that information. Prior to the usage of this instrument, forecasters often just estimated surface winds.
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