For our project, we needed to find an expert that was familiar with the threat of hurricanes on Texas and their impact on our communities. Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon responded to our email and offered our team help with our project. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon is a Professor of Meteorology at Texas A&M and the current Texas State Climatologist. We were lucky to have Dr. Nielsen-Gammon come to one of our team meetings to talk with us. He said that the biggest unsolved problems with hurricanes are :
- The rapid formation of storms
- The strength of hurricane winds
- storm surge on barrier islands, like Galveston.
- people not evacuating. Over 140,000 Galveston residents did not follow mandatory evacuation orders before Hurricane IKE made landfall, despite dire warnings of storm surge and certain death from forecasters.
He also talked a lot about traffic and its impact on hurricane evacuations.