Houston, Texas (September 19, 2008) – Yellow Cab’s 300-foot tall on site communications tower is the site for several instruments that measure air quality and weather conditions, used in a study led by Dr. Gunnar W. Schade, Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences. On September 13, the equipment recorded conditions as Hurricane Ike moved through the downtown area. Schade says the equipment never stopped working thanks to continuous power supplied by the generators Yellow Cab uses in the event of an electrical power outage.
Sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, with gusts up to 90, were reported at about 5 a.m. Saturday as the edge of the eye passed 7.5 miles east of the tower, Schade says. “Due to a trough moving in from the west, Ike took a slightly more easterly path than expected,” Schade explains, “Its eye, therefore, did not pass directly over us. We recorded the gusts on the northwest side of the eyewall.”
“The data we recorded clearly show that Ike was capable of producing a lot of damage, which it did,” says the professor. Cameras mounted on the tower aimed near the JP Morgan Chase Tower recorded images of extensive damage to that building and the others around it.
“We installed this equipment about two years ago and it’s been a great learning tool for our students,” adds Dr. Schade. Weather and air quality conditions measured at the tower can be viewed at this webpage, which is updated every 20 minutes: http://www.met.tamu.edu/yellowcabweather
About Yellow Cab
Yellow Cab is Houston’s only computer dispatched taxi fleet. With more than 1,200 independent contractor-operated cabs in the Houston area, Yellow Cab’s taxi service is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. All cabs are equipped with digital cameras as well as Global Positioning Systems. For more information, visit www.yellowcabhouston.com.