Tracking Sandy: NOAA's Life-Saving Science on a Sphere

Science on a Sphere is a cutting-edge technology developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that allows scientists to better predict the path and strength of major storms.

The nation’s top weather predictors, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is offering members of the public a unique perspective on how storms like Sandy are tracked.

"Sandy first started as a tropical storm in the Caribbean," NOAA Meteorologist Mark Jackson said.

NOAA developed technology that uses a suspended spherical screen, a device dubbed Science on a Sphere. The Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific’s Ocean Science Center is showing off the live-saving technology.

When Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast, NOAA satellites captured every minute from above. The device pulls all of the images together and then beams them, in real time, onto the screen that is shaped like a moving model of the earth.

On the screen, scientists were given a clearer look at the enormity of the storm as it cut a swath of destruction about 1,000 miles wide. NOAA scientists studying the images so they can predict where the next major weather event may develop.

The satellite observation that captured the images is at the center of cutting edge weather prediction that is literally a life saver. The technology is the reason why so many people were able to evacuate before Sandy hit the east coast.

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