anonymous writes "Does lightning predict the intensity of a tropical storm? What role does dust from the Sahara play? Do hurricanes form from the large-scale environment around a tropical storm or from small-scale formations 100 kilometers from the center? A team from NASA, NOAA, and NSF plan to find out. Starting Saturday, the team will conduct the largest hurricane study every undertaken. Among other things, a better understanding of hurricanes has ramifications for weather prediction, building codes, insurance policies, and disaster planning." One recent study found that hurricane creation is affected by plankton in the ocean.