Although this year’s hurricane and tropical storm season has been extremely quiet up until now, things seem to be heating up in a big hurry.
It isn’t difficult to find weather on the Web or on cable, those who want to keep ahead of the TV news or want real in depth information will want to check out and perhaps bookmark some of the following Web sites.
The basic National Hurricane Center page is
Today the Atlantic map shows TD (tropical depression) Claudette, TD Anna, and Hurricane Bill.
Roll your cursor over the storm name and you will see updated statistics, usually reset every hour.
For Bill, the 11 a.m. numbers were:
Max sustained winds 80 knotts or 90 mph
Saffir-Simpson Category 1
Minimum pressure in the eye, 977 mb
The quick data display also shows movement and current location of the center of the storm (but not in any detail).
Double-click on, say TD Anna, and you get a costal watch/warning map along with the 5-day track forecast.
There are also quick links to various graphics, including Marriner’s 1-2-3 Rule, Surface wind conditions, and a table of Predicted Maximum 1-minute Wind Speed Probability.
A recent NOAA study (published August 11, 2009) on observation and analysis of short-lived tropical systems shows that in the past 100+ years the number of 1-2 day duration storms has increased from 1 per year to five per year but that a lot of the increase is due to better observational tools and improved analysis.
and on the American Meteorological Society Web page but the full article is not available for free.
If you are a fan of those hurricane hunter airplanes, you can see the current schedule of flights at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/reconlist.shtml.
And, if you are really into the science of weather, bookmark this Unisys site for GEOS infrared satellite imaging.
Whether you are following storms because you live in the path; because you are an investor who needs to predict such things as whether oil rigs may be ordered shut down due to storm activity; have relatives in the path of a storm, or simply have an interest in weather, don’t neglect the government NOAA sites just because there is an entire cable channel devoted to the weather.