Update: At of 11 a.m. EDT Oct. 7 the eye wall of Hurricane Matthew was centered about 95 miles southeast of Jacksonville and about 35 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach, and forecasted to track near or over the coast of northeast Florida and Georgia through Friday night, and near or over the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
(October 4) – With Hurricane Matthew currently barreling across the Caribbean and threatening Florida and the U.S. East Coast, we reached out to Fred Pickhardt, a Tampa, Florida-based professional ship weather router, to ask him what were some of his go-to websites and resources for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms. Here are a few of his favorites:
Best Hurricane Tracking Sites
- The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the place to find the official tropical cyclone forecasts and warnings issued by the US government for the North Atlantic as well as the Eastern North Pacific. The site has many resources available with excellent satellite photos, computer model guidance and an archive of past historical tracks going back into the 180o’s. The NHC site is user friendly and comes in full feature, mobile and text only versions with easy access to the latest storm info, official advisories, marine forecasts and much more. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
- The Weather Underground Tropical Weather Page is a very comprehensive and easy to use site which provides excellent tools for storm tracking for both the professional and the amateur. The site is available in a full (graphics heavy), a lite version, a mobile version and an iPhone version. This site allows you to track tropical cyclones anywhere on the globe with interactive maps that allow overlays of computer guidance, forecast tracks, many satellite images and features several excellent weather blogs. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
- The Naval Research Lab (NRL) Monterey Marine Meteorology Division Tropical Cyclone page is another useful site that provides global storm tracking with comprehensive satellite and forecast track information on tropical cyclones across the globe. This site is heavy on satellite images and is oriented a bit more to the professional user. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
- Stormpulse is a commercial site that offers both current and archive tracks on an interactive map that allows you to overlay satellite, radar and surface data. It has a unique feature that allows you to quickly check how far the storm center is from major cities/ports. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
Other Useful Tropical Cyclone Tracking Sites
- Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project (TCGG), part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), provides real-time guidance and information for major storms, including Hurricane Mathew. The site uses data from a variety of modeling centers outside of the NCAR, such as NOAA, other national numerical weather prediction centers, and universities. Hurricane Matthew coverage.
- Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) – University of Wisconsin – This is an excellent site for the more technical user with numerous overlays of meteorological analysis tools, satellite photos and surface observations.
- Unisys Hurricane Data page provides an extensive global archive of current and past tropical cyclones.
- Pen State’s Operational Model Displays for the North Atlantic and East Pacific Basins provides links to several operational computer models. (More for the technical user)
- NOAA listing of World Tropical Cyclone Centers with links
- NASA often provides great satellite imagery for major hurricanes and cyclones. Check out their page for Hurricane Matthew.
- NOAA’s Satellites and Information website also provides satellite imagery of major storms in near real-time.
Also be sure to check out Tropical Tidbits, a blog that focusses primarily on tropical cyclones and related topics, as well as Mike’s Weather Page at SpaghettiModels.com, which is a mash-up of various official models and information.