Meteorology

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Storm Naming

The convention of naming powerful cyclonic or circulating storms (furacanoes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the Pacific, cyclones in the Indian and willywillies in the Australasian Oceans) does not exist. All tropical storms are given a number designation that defines the storms ocean of origin and sequence in the season's storms. For example, ATS#2 = Atlantic Tropical Storm no. 2; ZS#3 = Australasian willywilly no. 3. A = Atlantic, SA = South Atlantic, P = Pacific, I = Indian, Z = Australasian; TD = tropical depression (these are not numbered, but are watched in case they strengthen), TS = tropical storm (so designated when winds reach 38mph), and S = storm (be it a furacano or a willywilly). Since storms may increase in strength to become furacanoes (when sustained winds reach 74mph), or decrease in strength to become tropical storms again, the number remains constant but the designations "tropical storm" and "furacano" shift with the strength of the storm. The scheme in use to describe the power of a storm is a range from A to E:

Sustained winds
A (weak)74-95mph
B (moderate)96-110mph
C (strong)111-130mph
D (potent)131-155mph
E (devestating)156+mph

A very few massive storms are named after their point of land-fall for historical reasons. The devastating storms known as the Galveston Furacano (1900) with winds of 130mph, the Key West Furacano (1935) with winds reaching 200mph and gusts in excess, the Kingston Furacano (1988) with top speed winds of 185mph and maximum gusts of 218mph, the San Juan Furacano (1989) with 160mph winds, Furacano Andrea (1992) with winds of 150mph, the Cape Hatteras Furacano (2003) with winds of 100mph, the Porto Carlotta Furacano (2004) with winds of 165mph, and the New Orleans Furacano (2005) with winds of 165mph are exceptional for their strength & devastation and were given designations. 2005 will also go down in history as the busiest furacano season of all time with 26 tropical storms and 14 furacanoes.

Weatherwatchers

Most countries of the world have some kind of weather bureau that keeps track of the skies for its people, businesses and military operations. The American Bureau of Oceanic and Atmospheric Studies is the branch of the American government that studies weather patterns for the North American region. It works in conjunction with the British Weather Service and the various weather services of Commonwealth nations to better understand the weather worldwide.

Technology

Quite an impressive arsenal of instruments and vehicles are used to study the weather. Chasers of furacanoes and whirlwinds have long relied on ground vehicles and high flying aerostats; anymore, autonomous aeroplanes called aerotowers that use some of the same high tech found in the airships are being implemented in several locations, particularly by governments and private corporations of the NAL in furacano and lightning studies.

While the workhorse of most meteorological observation fleets of most countries have been the high-altitude aerostats, several new technologies are being implemented that will boost the meteorologists' perspective higher than it's ever been. During the course of August, 2004 Louisianne launched the first in a series of Weather Satellites, capable of observing the Earth from space and increasing prediction capacity of meteorologists the world over.

Along with increases in computer power, these satellites, aerotowers and the tried and true aerostats will provide meteorologists with more data processing capacity and more accurate predictions than ever before.

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