Hurricane Sandy. Image: NASA

Editor’s NOTE: With Hurricane Sandy currently over Cuba and threatening Florida and the U.S. East Coast, here is a look at some of the top websites for tracking hurricanes as picked by Fred Pickahardt, a professional ship weather router from Tampa Florida. 

By Fred Pickhardt, Ocean Weather Services

Now that the Atlantic hurricane season is underway here are my thoughts on the best hurricane tracking sites for 2012:

  1. 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 numerous 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.
  2. 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, numerous satellite images and also features several excellent weather blogs.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. TropicalWX.com has no graphics but does provide an extensive collection of links to useful information for the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico including links to local radar sites, weather buoys, satellite photos and even web cams.

Other Useful Tropical Cyclone tracking Sites

  • IBISEYE allows you to track active or past tropical depressions, tropical storms, or hurricanes for the North Atlantic.  It also provides links for the latest storm news, local storm alerts; and allows satellite and weather observation overlays.
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