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Tracking Hurricanes

posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Okay… I don’t want to overwhelm you with hurricane weather pages. You can visit a million pages, and still come up with the same result—the hurricane is headed in your direction. However, in this day and age, you can track a hurricane as often as the satellite captures its image. I have a few descriptions of these web pages to help you wade through.

Basic Hurricane Data

National Hurricane Center (Has the latest storms, 5-day track forecasts, satellite imagery, analysis and frequently asked questions. It does NOT have computer models-see below.)

Weather Underground Hurricane Page (Dr. Jeff Masters has compiled such a thorough page, it has latest storms, tracks, computer models, and a dozen websites to help you analyze a storm.)

Storm Pulse (Very pretty website with easy to understand track plots of current storms.)

Guide To Hurricanes (Cool website from Scientific American that explains why hurricanes occur.)

Central Florida Hurricane Center (Good website with lots of data.)

Skeetobite Weather ( I like skeetobite’s dropdown menus, easy to find info.)

Crown Weather Services (Crown has a useful blog about the storms’ as well.)

Millennium Weather (Kind of a techy website, not easy to use.)

Unisys Weather Hurricane Page ( I mainly use this for historical information.)

Hurricane Computer Models – for the Weather Expert (and Geek too)

Florida State University Experimental Tropical Cyclone Genesis Page (Forecasters like this one because it shows frame by frame the possible track, and possible intensification.)

Weather Underground’s GFS Model ( I like this one… it shows the Atlantic basin, and has easy to read color contours)

National Weather Service Hurricane Models (NCEP) (Provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction, this shows the computer models put out by the National Weather Service-most importantly the GFDL (GHM), GFS and HWRF.)

Canadian Model (I look at the GEM to see if it’s in line with the other forecasts.)

ECMWF – European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Model (The ECMWF is one model that the NHC watches to see if it diverges from computer models sponsored by the United States. It’s relied on heavily during hurricane season. If you read the NHC discussions on storms, it will often say ECMWF.)

Colorado State Track Model Guidance (A lot of people like this track model guidance, because it shows you a dozen computer model tracks, and shows whether there is an agreement or disagreement among the hurricane computer models. Take note: it shows some unsophisticated models.)

MIT’s Track & Intensity Guidance (This page isn’t “pretty” but it’s pretty easy to understand. There’s a graph to show the computer model for intensity forecast, and the forecast model tracks.)

WX Forecaster’s Hurricane Page (This is a website put together by a forecaster for forecasters… gotta love this guy!)

The Navy’s Weather Forecasting Website (During hurricane season, everyone wants to know which is better the NOGAPS or the GFDL, especially if they disagree. Both are global models, the GFDL is run and researched by the NHC. As far as statistics, the National Hurricane Center track “bests” all models at most forecast times.)

Explanation of Computer Models

Dr. Jeff Master’s Explanation of Hurricane Models (Dr. Jeff Masters, the Director of Meteorology for Weather Underground has a more detailed description of the hurricane computer models is you would like something else to refer to.)

Table Listing Computer Models and Summaries by NHC (This link has a summary of the hurricane computer models. You can find out the actual name of the model—it lists the name as well as abbreviation. For example, the GFDL is the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model, and also has a technical description for you.)

National Hurricane Center FAQ’s – Hurricane Models (And for one more explanation, you can go to the NHC’s Frequently Asked Questions website.)

Interpretation of Hurricane Forecasts (This is a GREAT website to thoroughly understand what the TV weather anchors are talking about when they show you the CONE OF UNCERTAINTY.)

Hurricane Formation – for the Weather Geek!

NOAA Hurricane Formation

NCEP Cyclogenesis Tracking Page

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