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Hurricane tracker prepares for new discoveries


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- August and September are typically the busiest months of any hurricane season. It’s the time hurricane trackers like UNCW graduate and North Carolina native Mark Sudduth prepare for year round.

Sudduth uses technology and a little bit of courage to his advantage as he records important data in the eye of a hurricane.

"The wind speed and the pressure and the video all captured together, it tells a really amazing story," said Sudduth.

The goal is to provide researches with valuable numbers that can be analyzed. Sending tiny remote cameras into the storm helps scientists verify forecasts and improve models, while also providing an incredible piece of hurricane history.

"We can run this remote camera here for up to 30 hours just about anywhere along the coast right in the teeth of the hurricane."

Over the last year, Sudduth developed the HURRB project.

"This will send a GPS beacon from the eye of the hurricane and beyond."

The team will launch a weather balloon equipped with cameras 100,000 feet into the hurricane’s eye before falling back to Earth. HURRB will transmit information to a computer throughout its entire journey. It's a journey Sudduth says would be a pioneer in new discoveries.

Over the past 15 years, Sudduth has tracked over 24 hurricanes. He says he never hopes for a hurricane, but is prepared to gather information when one hits.

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Where wind and sea are one

Where wind and sea are one

Facing out towards the sea,
The spray feels good upon my face.
The salty sting and crashing roar
Of waves sent from another place.

A storm’s great fury can be seen
To come from waters calm and warm.
All it takes is one firm breath,
To stir it into winds that harm.

So someone has to sound the call
And venture out into the fray
To warn those without eyes to see
And make sure that they do not stay.

It’s at these times I know and feel
What God Almighty meant for me
To do and say about His work
And share with you, all that I see.

The aftermath is sad and lonely
Bent and smashed beyond repair
But we shall rise, to build again
Our spirits strong, our faith still there.

All of these things are just a test
Of what we do and what we say
We’ll gather up our kit and kin
Better off, for a new day.