ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A pair of New Mexico Tech physics researchers and professors recently landed $2.8 million from the National Science Foundation for a new field project to study the atmospheric phenomena that create hurricanes.
Drs. Zeljka Fuchs and David J. Raymond have created the Climate and Water Center at New Mexico Tech to oversee the project, the school said in a news release.
With the objective of improving weather prediction around the planet, the Tech researchers will study atmospheric convection, a process that creates the cumulonimbus clouds responsible for violent storms, heavy rain and lightning.
The research will include getting up close and personal with hurricane breeding grounds by flying in a high-altitude aircraft owned by NSF over the tropical East Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
“This research will provide us with models to help us do better forecasting,” said the school’s Vice President of Research Dr. Van Romero, who added that the work will also provide practical applications for New Mexico agriculture producers.
“With this funding, we will be able to establish a Center that studies weather in New Mexico in a way that we can provide farmers and ranchers with information to help decide when to plant, when to water and when to harvest to maximize their productivity,” he said.