TTU Hurricane Research Teams headed to Irma

TTU Hurricane Research Teams headed to Irma

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Just one week after their return from Harvey, members of the Texas Tech Hurricane Research Team are headed to Florida to track the winds likely to hit the U.S. during Hurricane Irma.

The team has also revealed its findings from Harvey.

The data from 14 StickNet platforms show the strongest wind ever measured in the history of the program, which dates back about a decade.

Brian Hirth, research professor for the National Wind Institute, says several platforms saw wind speeds in excess of 100 to 110 miles per hour.

These strong wind speeds were not what the researchers were expecting to find when they headed out to meet Harvey.

"The thing that shocked us...was how strong Harvey got and how it continued to rapidly strengthen all the way until landfall," Hirth said.

The research team will now take a closer look at the findings.

"From a research perspective, we're trying to understand how does that turbulence in the wind change  as the flow moves offshore to onshore right at that coastal interface where there's not a lot of measurements but a lot of structures exist," said Hirth.

Now, just one week after their return from Harvey, some members are headed to Florida to track some of the damaging winds likely to occur during Hurricane Irma.

Hirth says they rushed to get some of the platforms that were damaged in the field during Harvey ready to go for Irma.

But, Hirth believes the findings and experience from Harvey can help them better prepare for Irma.

"We were able to help beef up the systems so that they'll be more reliable as we go into a potentially more harsh wind environment for Irma."

Over the last decade, hurricanes greatly impacting the U.S. have been slim to none, and Hirth says having Harvey and Irma impacting the U.S. in this time frame is unusual.

"Having two, category 4 hurricanes impact the U.S. back to back is not a normal occurrence at all."

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.