TEMPE, Ariz. - Monsoon season is still months away, but researchers are already making sure they're prepared when it arrives.
Professors at Arizona State University who've been studying major weather events for decades are now opening up about their findings, and according to engineers, this research is filling a forecasting void.
With our current capabilities, they say it's hard to predict storms and how bad they might be, but they say if forecasters can also look to the ground, they will have more tools in forecasting.
ASU engineering professor Giuseppe Mascaro and his team developed new research on how to predict weather events using soil. He says by knowing soil moisture, you can support meteorological models.
He says it's simple: If the soil is dry is a geographic area, there are high chances of fire. Or in another area, if there is water in the soil, that can help determine if there will be flooding after rain.
What does this mean for Arizona? Because there are monsoons, he says his research could help forecast this kind of storm.
He and his team have been monitoring satellite data from NASA to study specific areas on earth and their soil content. This information could work in partnership in predicting weather events and how bad they can be.
So far, the engineers just created the methodology and are hoping to get grants for their work and eventually make it so meteorologists can look the research to help with forecasts.