Florida Scientists Issued Patent on Hurricane Intensity Scale
August 8th, 2011
The following article was published by Bloomberg.com on August 8, 2011:
A scientists from a federal research lab in Florida is one of two inventors issued a patent on a new hurricane-intensity scale.
Patent 7,970,543, issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office June 28, covers a method of predicting the destructive potential of hurricanes based on the total amount of kinetic energy, rather than on wind speed alone.
The new scale looks at the effects of a hurricane on coastal communities through wind, storm surges and wave damage.
According to the patent, after Hurricane Katrina’s damage to Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, scientists began looking at tropical cyclone intensity and its relevance to destructive potential. The U.S. avoided damage from major hurricanes last year. Katrina caused about $45 billion in insured losses after striking the Gulf Coast.
Michael Powell of Coconut Grove, Florida, one of two inventors listed on the patent, told the Florida Keys Reporter that there were hopes “these new scales would do a better job of showing the risk of a hurricane before it makes landfall.” He’s with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Atlantic and Meteorological Laboratory.
His co-inventor, Timothy A. Reinhold of Tampa, Florida, is senior vice president of research and chief engineer with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, a non-profit organization, according to the Florida newspaper.
The patent is assigned to the U.S. government. The application for the patent was filed in March 2008 with the assistance of Washington’s Novak Druce & Quigg LLP.