How to Track a Hurricane with Google Earth

Google Earth is a very popular, useful, and informative software that provides the user with a virtual globe and maps formed by superimposition of satellite and aerial photos.

But Google Earth contains far more content than simple maps.  For example, there are many weather tools available with Google Earth that, among other things, enable a user to track hurricanes.

To get started, Google Earth can be downloaded here.  Furthermore, this page explains how to obtain Google Earth’s weather and storm tracking tools all in one place.

Hurricane tracking is not only of value to the hobbyist with a keen interest in weather.  It can also be of crucial importance to people potentially in the path of a hurricane, seeking to find out if they need to make preparations, or even evacuate the area entirely.

When you can track a storm directly yourself, you don’t have to wait for whatever information the media happen to pass along.  In extreme cases, staying on top of things with a good hurricane tracker could make a life or death difference.

Once you’ve installed all the necessary parts, what will you be able to do with Google Earth to learn more about a hurricane?  Here are some of the features you’ll discover:

* Track the past and present locations of the storm, and forecast its most likely future path.

* See a visual representation of the wind impact of the storm, both where it has been and where it’s headed.

* Access the most recent satellite photos of the storm.  As you zoom in or zoom back, Google Earth automatically adjusts to give you the highest resolution image available for each distance.

* See the locations of lightning strikes overlaid with the satellite images.

* Access information, analysis, and additional satellite views from other sources, such as the United States Navy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

* See a color-coded representation of sea surface temperature in the area of the storm.

* Receive severe weather warnings as they are released by NOAA.

* Follow along live with Hurricane Hunter flights as they gather data on the storm, or see the results of previous flights.

* Access information on the storm acquired by buoys and ships at sea.

* Use the historical section to access similar tracking information on past storms.

This of course is only a partial list of what you can do with a rich software like Google Earth.  Google Earth puts a great deal of weather-related information and images at your fingertips.


Google Earth Blog