Hurricane Tracking

Grades 7-12

Developed from the National Hurricane Center Website

Background | Materials | Instructions | Questions


Background

Hurricanes are tropical storms that have a sustained wind speed greater than 74 miles per hour. They can deliver intense rainfall and record flooding. An average of 10 tropical storms develop in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico each year, and an average of six of these become hurricanes. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons, and similar storms in the Indian Ocean are called cyclones. (NOAA)

Meteorologists study the development and movement of hurricanes. This information is made available to the public through the National Hurricane Center which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Time Needed

1+ class period

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Materials Needed

• Access to the National Hurricane Center Website

• A tracking chart (view example). For more charting maps for both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans please visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

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Instructions

  1. Use the data on the National Hurricane Center Website to find locations of current hurricanes and tropical storms.
  2. Plot the data found on the National Hurricane Center website to track the path of the storm.
  3. It might also be helpful to look at paths that other hurricanes have taken. The National Hurricane Center website keeps a history of past hurricanes that you can study.

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Questions

  1. What predictions can you make about the path a hurricane will make?
  2. Try to figure out the hurricane rate of movement by tracking its path.
  3. What other things can you notice about cyclonic storms by tracking their movement?

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For more information please visit: http://hurricane.terrapin.com/ or http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/