GREENSBORO, N.C. – A group of researchers at North Carolina A&T are working to develop software to better predict the path and intensity of hurricanes.

The software will equip the drones the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sends into the eye of hurricanes. The research will improve drone flight patterns to maximize the useful data they collect.

"There's the temperature, pressure, and the wind, and other environmental variables interacting with each other, so there are a lot of uncertainties that we don't know. So by observing this particular information, we can greatly improve the predictions of the hurricane," said Dr. John Park, a Computational Science and Engineering faculty member with N.C. A&T.

The research could have an economic impact.

"If the forecast is inaccurate, you might have to have more cities evacuate than are necessary. Only evacuating places that are necessary to evacuate obviously saves a lot of money for economies that aren't going to be impacted," said Larkin Folsom, a Ph.D. candidate working on the project.

Researchers said this technology also has the possibility to save lives.