LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team conducted a test today, the day before hurricane season officially hits, on versatile, rapidly deployable meteorological observing stations. These stations, called StickNets, collect high-resolution meteorological data.
The team is part of the National Wind Institute.
Dubbed StickNet for its resemblance to a stick figure, the platforms are designed to be deployed in large numbers in a short period of time (three minutes or less) and by a small number of people.
Fourteen StickNets were put to the test last year when the platforms were deployed during Hurricane Harvey. The winds during Harvey's terror were the strongest ever measured with StickNet since the platforms were launched in 2006. The NWI received a grant in 2017 to expand its mobile StickNet platforms from 24 to 48. All 48 StickNets were tested during this time.
"That information we gather is used for research, but it's also used by the weather service for forecasting. It's used to understand what actually happened after the storm. and sometimes that factors in on how we determine the damage that occurs. and so it's really important to make sure that we collect is accurate," said John Schroeder, professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Geosciences.
Schroeder and Brian Hirth, NWI research professor, both say the testing is crucial to its success.