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TROPICS: NASA's new satellites that will improve hurricane forecasts

TROPICS, a constellation of satellites, have been successfully launched ahead of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

NORFOLK, Va. — NASA has launched its newest tool to assist with accurately forecasting during hurricane season. NASA will study tropical cyclones, which will improve the forecasting of hurricanes.

The TROPICS satellites —  short for The Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats — have been introduced into our atmosphere and are in orbit.

FULL COVERAGE: 13News Now's Hurricane Center

The last of the satellites were successfully launched Friday, May 26 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand

These four satellites comprise to make TROPICS. They will orbit Earth and be able to travel low and close to any storm about once an hour. Currently, our weather satellites are only able to travel over storms about once every six hours. 

In these hourly scans, we will be able to collect high-resolution sounds within a hurricane’s eye, precipitation structure and intensity, temperature and moisture soundings, and a storm's structure, size, and intensity.

By having a greater understanding and hourly updates, we will be able to capture rapid changes in storm structure and intensity more effectively. This will be extremely useful when forecasting the path and intensity of a tropical cyclone.

Currently, when we show infrared satellite imagery, we are not able to see the structure and exact formation of a hurricane, which is why this will be a critical tool for this season and the seasons to come.

These satellites will provide a whole new layer to tracking and dissecting hurricanes. 

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