MIAMI, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The federal government will launch five new weather satellites in the next eight years to help hurricane forecasting, The Tampa Tribune reports.
The five satellites will replace two satellites that orbit the North and South Poles, and two geostationary satellites that hover over North America and adjacent waters.
"There could be a 10- to 100-fold increase in data," said John Kelly of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"The more data you've got, the better chance you have of making good forecasts," said forecaster Jack Bevin of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Launches of the new satellites will begin in 2009 and the first to be replaced will be the polar orbiting satellites at a cost of about $4.5 billion.
The geostationary satellites are expected to be replaced by 2012. The cost has yet to be determined.