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Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press
In this Tuesday, April 28, 2015 photo, Mike Rebozo, left, senior marine technician of the Surge-Structure-Atmosphere Interaction, or SUSTAIN, lab, and Ming Shao, a PhD student from China, prepare to place a model of a house inside the storm simulation tank during a demonstration at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Miami. The lab features a clear acrylic tank 20 meters long and 6 meters high. Inside, 38,000 gallons of seawater can be whipped into white-capped waves by a 1400-horsepower fan that can create conditions as frenzied as a Category 5 hurricane. By observing up close how hurricane-force winds interact with spray coming off seawater, researchers aim to improve real tropical storm observations made by satellites, ocean buoys and drones and other sensors launched from “hurricane hunter” aircraft.

MIAMI — Researchers at the University of Miami have a new lab where they can whip up hurricane conditions at any time.

The lab at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science features a clear acrylic tank 75 feet (23 meters) long and 6.5 feet (2 meters) high. Inside, 38,000 gallons of seawater can be blown into white-capped waves by a 1,400-horsepower fan that can create conditions as frenzied as a Category 5 hurricane.

Researchers will use the lab to improve real-time tropical storm observations made by satellites, ocean buoys and drones and other sensors launched from "hurricane hunter" aircraft. The lab is known the Surge-Structure-Atmosphere Interaction, or SUSTAIN.

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1.