Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Shih-Ang Hsu


Hurricanes are one of nature's most destructive forces. Hurricane intensity, track, and speed of motion are possibly the most important features to forecast in order to reduce the risk to life and property. This research uses the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) water vapor channel to investigate the relationship between water vapor and hurricane track. GOES 8 satellite data was collected at the Louisiana State University Earth Scan Laboratory for 30 Atlantic Basin tropical cyclones for the 1998, 1999, and 2000 hurricane seasons. GOES 8 water vapor channel radiance temperatures were smoothed and contoured at 1°Celsius intervals to display a contoured radiance temperature field. Radiance temperature field features identified through the analysis included dry areas, dry cores, vapor fronts, moist areas, and moist tongues. The hypothesis that a tropical cyclone will not move toward the nearest dry core was tested. Statistical results suggest that a storm center will not move toward the nearest dry core is viable through a 72 hour period for dry cores within 620 km +/- 289 km of the storm center. It has been found that a dry core can only affect the hurricane track but not the hurricane's intensity. A Hurricane Water Vapor Radiance Temperature Field Analysis Technique is proposed based on relationships identified between water vapor features distinguished in the contoured radiance temperature fields and storm track. The technique utilizing water vapor imagery is proposed as an additional aid for forecasting storm track.