News

Storm Tracker Waits for Hurricane Dennis

With Hurricane Dennis past Cuba now and headed for the United States Gulf Coast, many residents are preparing by gathering emergency supplies, bording up homes and thinking of their evacuation routes. But one person is collecting cameras and equipment and headed for the coast line. Hurricane Tracker Mark Sudduth is founder of the Hurricane Intercept […]

With Hurricane Dennis past Cuba now and headed for the United States Gulf Coast, many residents are preparing by gathering emergency supplies, bording up homes and thinking of their evacuation routes. But one person is collecting cameras and equipment and headed for the coast line.

Hurricane Tracker Mark Sudduth is founder of the Hurricane Intercept Research Team. Sudduth has been fascinated with hurricanes all his life and used to pester TV weather forecasters with questions.

But that doesn’t mean Sudduth lost respect for the strength of hurricanes. He gathers his research equipment, sets it up in a hurricane’s path and then gets out, unlike some reporters. Several government agencies fly reconnaisance missions to collect hurricane data from the air.

And so Sudduth, equips a truck with a wind tower and cameras and heads for the coastline. Last year’s Hurricane Ivan destroyed one truck, but the four cameras worked and weather data was recorded. With a new vehicle built by a crane company, Sudduth is ready for Hurricane Dennis.

But then again it depends on the timing of land fall. Daylight is needed to record the best information. A few hours a year are actully spent tracking hurricanes, the rest of the time Sudduth focuses his time on hurricane education which includes visiting schools. He spends time talking about the four hazards that come with hurricanes.

And probably the least understood hazard is tornados. The information and pictures recorded during a hurricane are posted, in real time, to Sudduth’s website, www.hurricanetrack.com. While Sudduth as done past work for government agencies, his project now is funded through support from private companies.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Share