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The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind

A British team claims a breakthrough in predicting hurricane strikes

3 min read

A British team claims a breakthrough in predicting hurricane strikes

Hurricanes are the most expensive natural disasters to hit the United States every year, yet there is no reliable way to forecast how many will strike land each season. The best predictive techniques tested against the historical record from 1950 to 2000 have turned out to be less than 40 percent accurate. But a team of British scientists, citing those estimates in a recent Nature article, claims to have come up with a method that almost doubles the forecast accuracy, to a reliability level of 65 to 70 percent.

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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