Friday, May 31, 2013

Random News Generator- Cape Verde

Cape Verde sits about 350 miles off the coast of Africa, due west of Senegal. Normally with a tiny island this would probably be another 'arrrrrggghhhh it's just tourism blather' complaining from me. Not here. NASA takes an interest in Cape Verde, because a lot of Atlantic hurricanes form around that area. They have a thing called the Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel- HS3 for short- which is an unmanned drone plane they've been sending over the Atlantic on a five-year mission to understand how hurricanes form and how their intensity changes relative to that region. Previous like-minded studies have been hampered by small sample size: there are only so many hurricanes that form in any one area in any one year.

Cape Verde is being considered as a target study area this year when HS3 is sent up in August, as it was when one of those previous studies occurred in 2006 and when Hurricane Nadine was examined last year, as well as a number of other studies over the years, as Cape Verde-type hurricanes, which typically form just south of Cape Verde, stemming from air pressure waves in the African savannah, can easily be the most destructive of the season because of how much distance they have to build up strength before hitting land. Among others, Hugo (1989), Janet (1955), Ivan (2004), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992), and the Galveston hurricanes of 1900 and 1915 (yes, there were two; the 1900 one is the one you're more familiar with) all were Cape Verde-types.

Cape Verde itself doesn't get anything more than the odd rainstorm out of them.

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