Can Animals Help Us Better Forecast the Weather?
It is thought that they can. Part of our work is to understand how animals sense severe weather changes before they occur. At this point in time, scientists and meteorologists are not sure how to utilize our observations of animal activity before a storm to predict dangerous weather or when it will arrive.
OKI WILDLIFE SERVICES
BOB AND NORMA COGAR DOMESTIC ANIMAL CENTER
DOMESTIC CENTER: (513) 926-9316
Storm Prediction Center Severe Forecast for March 2, 2012. This day was the latest tornado outbreak to hit the area. Henryville and Maryville, Indiana were virtually destroyed by an EF4 tornado that day, which killed 11 people. Over 70 tornadoes touched down, killing an estimated total of 40 people. A lot of information was gathered about animal activity in relation to weather on this day. While forecasts like this can be helpful to safety, they still can not predict the time or location of tornadoes or deadly storms at 100% accuracy rates. Image owned by Local 12 News Cincinnati.
Why Is This Research Important?
Meteorologists use electronic equipment to figure out the weather situation currently happening, as well as future possibilities. This equipment, while useful, is not always completely accurate.
Many weather researchers have expressed that additional methods for determining and predicting weather are needed to minimize and possibly eliminate loss of life. It is thought that wildlife and some domestic animals can sense severe weather changes before they happen. Any information obtained through animal observation may be able to help develop better forecasts and extend the ability of forecasters to alert the public of dangerous weather, faster.
What Is Cincinnati Exotics Doing?
Some of our funding is being used to help observe wildlife before, during, and even after severe weather events. The information obtained from this research will be studied by our staff as well as sent to other agencies and authoritative groups to help develop a new understanding of how we can predict weather a lot better.
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Why Are We Doing This Kind Of Research?
Because of tornadoes and storms that cause carnage and loss of life. Damage like the photo to the left, which was from the EF5 that hit Greensburg, Kansas in 2007. The town was virtually destroyed. Photo courtesy of www.accuweather.com