Meteorologists are scientists who study the troposphere, the lower part of the atmosphere where all hurricanes and other weather takes place. Hurricanes are low-pressure weather systems that are powered by the warm waters of tropical oceans. Meteorologists utilize several tools and techniques to study and forecast these storms.
Meteorology is a specialized field of study and is a subdiscipline of the atmospheric sciences. The study of hurricanes falls within the realm of synoptic scale meteorology. Synoptic-scale phenomena, such as hurricanes, occur within the lower levels of the atmosphere and are typically studied over a time scale greater than 12 hours. Meteorologists make use of weather satellites, sophisticated computer models and even aircraft that are able to provide real-time information from within a storm in their efforts to study and predict hurricanes.
Hurricanes are very intense storms, capable of causing widespread devastation. In the Western Hemisphere, hurricane tracking, forecasts and reports are handled by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla. These reports include warnings and predictions for every tropical storm within the western tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific. Government officials and organizations within the Caribbean, North America and Central America all rely on the hurricane forecasts and data provided by meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center.