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Hurricanes: Science and Society
Land-based Observations

Land-based surface observations of hurricanes are invaluable sources of real-time information at both inland and coastal locations. Land-based observations of pressure and wind can show how quickly a tropical cyclone decays as it moves onshore. Rainfall reports show where significant rainfall is occurring and provide the basis for flood alerts. During a hurricane’s landfall, the NOAA Hurricane Research Division (HRD) will also compare and verify data from reconnaissance aircraft to data transmitted in real-time from weather stations erected near or at the coast. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) also uses these data to evaluate conditions at landfall and to verify forecasts.

Photograph of a Doppler radar with a rain shaft behind it.
Rain shaft behind a Doppler Radar at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK. Photo courtesy of Tracy L. McCormick.

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