Rain, Rain Go Away

Into the Eye: Hurricanes!

Do you remember Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, the four hurricanes that roared into Florida in 2004? They dumped multiple feet of water into buildings, blowing the roofs off hundreds of stores and homes. The storms also created significant coastal changes and moved sediment, eroded beaches and created new inlets and destroyed others.

Captiva Island was changed, actually split in two pieces, by Charley, a Category 4 hurricane (wind speeds from 131-155 miles per hour) at landfall. Charley was the strongest storm to hit the United States since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew that caused more than $14 billion in damage.

Hurricane hunters fly airplanes directly over hurricanes and directly drop special instruments called dropsondes into the storm structure. The sondes measures pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and radios the data to the plane.

-- sponsored by U.S. Geological Survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration