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For years scientists have known of the strong correlation between sea surface temperature and the intensity of hurricanes. But one of the major stumbling blocks for forecasters has been the precise measurement of those temperatures when a storm begins to form. Traditional techniques for sea surface temperature measurement can not see through clouds. Now researchers using the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite have developed a technique for looking through clouds that is likely to enhance forecasters abilities to predict hurricane intensity before their massive energies fully develop. A hurricane gathers energy from warm waters found in tropical latitudes. As Hurricane Bonnie crosses the Atlantic, it leaves a cooler trail of water in its wake. As Hurricane Danielle crosses Bonnies path, the wind speed of the second storm drops markedly, as available energy to fuel the storms engine drops off. As Danielle crosses Bonnies wake, however, winds speeds increase due to temperature increases in surface water around the storm.
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