Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hurricane links

As the North Atlantic hurricane season is starting in earnest, I wanted to mention some of my favorite links that I, an amateur weather nerd, follow enthusiastically when a tropical depression has become a hurricane, particularly one that will hit land. Most of these will work for anywhere in the world, so you don’t have to be a North American to find your local storm information.

Image, NOAA/Wikimedia commons

NOAA National Hurricane Center advisories. The top NHC meteorologists break it down for you every three hours during an active storm.

Maps. Click through the various loops: Dvorak, satellite, funktop, and others, and you’ll learn a lot simply by comparing the images. (Read up a little, and you’ll learn more) Some show cloud height in different colors and some show wind speeds in different colors, some show water vapor. Interesting stuff.

Earthnull.net Surface winds, and a beautiful presentation. Being the nerd I am, I can spend an hour spinning the globe, magnifying, moving back out, figuring out what’s happening and how it all connects, watching the dance of the winds on this tiny planet we call home. Isn’t the internet cool?!?

capture 15:12UT, 13 August 2016, Pacific Ocean

Weather Underground’s hurricane update, , often updated 2-3 times a day when the winds are blowing. Dr. Masters and the other scientists are great (link to that blog on right side of page), and the comments on the blog run from the head-scratchingly silly to the brilliant amateur with good insights and of course with plenty of needless internet bickering.

When a hurricane develops, for video storm coverage, nothing is better for me the writer, wanting to know what it feels like on the ground to normal people, than finding a local news station that streams and is covering it full-time. I can’t give you specific links, for my crystal ball is at the shop and I can’t tell you where the next hurricane landfall will be in North America. Name a big city in the area of likely impact, google that and “live streaming television” and you should find something.

Also, there are often webcams on beaches, on boardwalks, and at resort hotels aimed out to sea. Whereas live TV coverage streamed from Mexico is nearly impossible to find, webcams are common enough at resort towns, so even Mexican landfalls can often be watched. Switching between cameras at various locations can give you that feel of being there, watching the thing come at you. Often, the weather knocks out the feed when winds are over 80 mph, but until then, it’s fascinating to check in on the images from time to time. Again, googling should find some for you. Sometimes, a city’s chamber of commerce or tourism site has links to several.

You may ask me, “Lou, so after your morning hours of writing or revising or proofreading are over, how many hours can you spend moving from one of these sites to the next when a full-scale hurricane (or something akin, like Sandy) is moving in?” And the answer to that is, 12 hours, easily.

All together now. “Weather nerd!”

Stay tuned for part two, some more advanced links.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.Thank you so much for sharing this post.


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