New Study Offers Insight to Hurricane Behavior

The University of Miami is onto some major findings that offer insight about hurricane behavior involving pollution that consequently results after a storm passes through. In 2012, researchers from the university used Hurricane Isaac as the focal point of their research.

The storm was classified as a category 1 hurricane, which sustained an estimated 80 miles per hour as it made landfall on the Mississippi River. Although the storm was said to be a smaller one, it still largely affected areas like Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Precautions were taken because residents were warned that Isaac could produce intense rain and major flooding as it made contact with the areas.

All the while, the University of Miami was hard at work trying to learn more about storm activity by using instruments that were dropped from above to offer a deeper reading of what really goes on beneath the surface of the storm.

Although there is still a lot left unknown, much advancement has been made to gain a better understanding of hurricane behavior. For example, hurricanes have a major impact on the environment and the wildlife that inhabits it. In some instances, hurricanes can even eradicate vital areas altogether, like beaches or coastal forests. But in the case of Hurricane Isaac, there were documented cases of oil washed ashore on Louisiana beaches, which posed an even bigger problem in terms of the interaction of oceanic pollution and hurricanes.

The published study by UM, titled “Enhanced Wind-Driven Downwelling Flow in Warm Oceanic Eddy Features during the Intensification of Tropical Cyclone Isaac (2012): Observations and Theory,” reveals in great detail that the downwelling of the oceanic warm waters from deeper ocean regions resulted in the intensification that occurred right before Hurricane Isaac achieved adequate hurricane status. In addition, the findings revealed how the currents that are generated by hurricanes in the ocean play a massive role in transporting pollution like oil to coastal regions. In fact, Hurricane Isaac passed over areas that were affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is reported to have subsequently caused the beach pollution that was later found.