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Weather Talk: Hurricane Center to use drones to collect data

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news Fargo, 58102

Fargo ND 101 5th Street North 58102

The National Hurricane Center has plans for using drones to measure pressure and wind during this year’s hurricane season. 

The automatic flying machines, called Coyotes, will be dropped out of hurricane hunter WP-3 aircraft from 10,000 to 12,000 feet. The drone’s spring-loaded wings will lock into place, and its small electric motor will allow speeds up to 70 mph. 

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These drones will then be able to spend up to two hours flying around inside the eye of a hurricane, collecting data in a way no piloted aircraft can do safely. 

The drones cost around $70,000 each, but the Hurricane Center plans on using several of them on any storm that looks big or threatens to make a landfall.

This new cost to hurricane forecasting is expected to easily be made up in money and lives saved from better forecasts.   

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://www.stormtrack.areavoices.com

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