Pat Shingleton for Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Microbaroms are infrasound signals created by certain kinds of ocean waves, captured thousands of miles away. A study in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans reveals these signals, delivered during tropical cyclones, can be distinguished from other wave activity. Microbaroms may be helpful in monitoring and predicting wave hazards during hurricanes. In 2009, researchers monitored two Pacific tropical cyclones, Niki and Felicia, that moved over an infrasound sensor in Hawaii. They determined the microbaroms from the hurricane activity overwhelmed weaker signals from similar ocean activity. This represents a first step in using infrasound measurements to determine storm strength. The next phase will be examining storms for comparative large-scale weather patterns. Fastcast: Hazy, hot, humid.