CC attribution: by "An Honorable German" (Charles McCain) on flickr.
Looks like I skipped doing a GSD Hurricane Tracking Links page update in 2011. I guess that’s because the tropics were very quiet for us last year. That’s a Good Thing ™.
Today the Valca clan spread from Houston into the remote reaches of Louisiana now watch with interest the multiple Atlantic Basin churnings. So it seems fitting to fire up the engines, check and re-check the 2010 GSD hurricane linkages, and get this post into the skies.
Refresh your bookmarks! (Or at least your link to your GSD Hurricane tracking post!)
Gulf Coast Watch List
Here is the updated list of hurricane links I am watching at home and work. There have been some changes--and additions--due to business model changes at some locations. And I’ve come across a few new and worthy sites to track the impending winds.
Listed in order of my current personal preference…
Google Earth – Google Earth remains in 2nd place in the list this season only because IBISEYE provides (IMHO) the best “at-a-glance” charting of big-picture storm data. Couple that with the wicked-awesome Google Earth Network Link For Entire Basin (direct download link) KMZ files provided by the Tropical Atlantic website and you are ready for some major storm-path modeling. When a storm comes, you can also go to the specific storm page and download/use the KMZ files for just that storm as well. Once you download the file, be sure to save it “permanently” in your Google Earth preferences so it will be available and “updatable” with the latest data when needed. Lay in some of the FEMA flood hazard layers for more usefulness. Finally, supplement it some more with tools from these Google Earth Blog links: Storm Tracking With Google Earth & More tools to help track Hurricane Irene
SciGuy Blog – Chon.com’s Eric Berger - It’s probably not a good idea to attempt to interpret all these charts and data on your own to make life-impacting decisions as a hurricane bears down on you. Fortunately, Eric continues to faithfully provide Houstonians and neighbors beyond his outstanding details, commentary, live chat-sessions, and analysis of all science and prognostication tropical. Highly recommended as a filter of reason and temperance in a media-market filled with over-hype, smashing graphics, and fear-factor extremes. Besides that, you can count on Eric to provide great meteorological linkage to excellent source material like this GFS global model or this the European model. It’s a must-follow/must-RSS feed blog for all Texas Gulf Coast residents. Period. (see also Jeff Masters’ Wunder Blog : Weather Underground).
Skeetobite Weather - New (to me) charts and data site found by keeping a keen eye on Eric Berger’s hurricane posting data linkage. Good stuff here with nice clean graphs, graphs, and data linkage.
Tropical Atlantic: NHC Model Data for Tropical Storms – TropicalAtlantic – For folks who need to have more than one storm-track model. Look at the top of the page to select any current storms. Then you can select either the “in-browser” Google Maps mash-up or the Google Earth TMZ builds. Additional NOAA summary of storm-track models. Also, Tropical Atlantic: Information About Atlantic Hurricanes – main-page.
Hurricane and Storm Tracking - Terrapin's site remains a dear favorite. It is lean and simple and allows for quick location of information without lots of graphic overkill. The storm-track plots come in two flavors, a simple historical and future projection track that is static as well as a java-based animated one. Loads fast and updated as new forecasts are posted.
National Hurricane Center - Website maintained by the National Weather Service. Lots more linkage on the sidebar for hurricane related topics and preparations. The main page has links to a number of graphics and advisories.
(NHC's) Atlantic Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook - A sub-page of the site listed above. This is pretty cool. Any current tropical systems are overlayed on a satellite image with an icon. Hovering over the icon pulls up a quick update view. Clicking on the update popup then takes you to the system's detailed page.
Moreweather.com -- Tropical Atlantic Weather Page - T-Storm Terry Faber has created a great hurricane system page here. Not only does it have lots of links to any active systems, but it also contains links to radar and satellite images, many in great details and high resolution. The hurricane tracking maps and projections are there, of course. T-Storm Terry also provides links to other sources of information as well as historical data on previous storm systems.
Tropical Weather : Weather Underground - This is a fantastic site that has the widest range of linkages, maps, images, models, and everything. Just about the only thing it doesn't provide is winds blown into your face through the monitor. Which is why I put this at the bottom and not the top: there is just so much information it overwhelms.
Oklahoma Weather Lab | Hoot - Models: GFS Model Upper-Level Wind 850mb provided us great forecast models of the high/low pressure zones and ridges leading up to Ike’s eventual landfall and really helped us understand the forces driving its path.
Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project | Real-Time Guidance - NCAR Research Applications Laboratory - “The real-time guidance system generates an individual page for each active storm in the North Atlantic, Northeast Pacific, and North Central Pacific basins. Each individual storm page features the latest plots of model guidance and intensity forecast aids for that storm, as well as other diagnostic and observational information.” - added 08/10/2012 via a tip from SciGuy blog Eric Berger. Drill down into great plot track guidance models.
WeatherBELL Models - Amazing collection of high-quality weather models and data. Until you get focused, you can easily get lost for hours in the charts, visual model animated “loops”. My head is spinning and I’m afraid I will start to be dreaming in whirls of colors! - added 08/10/2012 via a tip from SciGuy blog Eric Berger.
Experimental forecast Tropical Cyclone Genesis Potential Fields - Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University - Great supplemental animated and static image data on a lot of key tropical weather-related information points. - added 08/10/2012 via a tip from SciGuy blog Eric Berger.
Atlantic and Caribbean Tropical Satellite Imagery - Satellite Services Division / Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution and Gulf of Mexico Imagery - Satellite Services Division / Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution from the NOAA. Special thanks to GSD frequent commentator “Bozo” for sharing this great source of satellite images from NOAA with me last year.
National Weather Service - another top-level landing point to drill down deeper into forecast maps, radar imagery, etc. - added 08/25/2012
National Weather Service Doppler Radar Images - link to various NWS/DoD Radar sites. Select your focus then add additional details and information via the bottom control bar as well as run loops from the left control bar. - added 08/25/2012
Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential Page: Global Fields - Select your basin map field on the left (such as the Gulf of Mexico). Put very simply, understanding what the water temperatures are and combining them with storm-track information might help one forecast potential intensification/intensity of a tropical storm. Of course lots of other factors play into the mix as well… - added 08/25/2012
Gulf of Mexico AVN Color Imagery - Satellite Services Division - nice radar loop imagery with options to add additional data markers to the base image. Provided by the NOAA Satellite and Information Service/NESDIS) (AVN=Aviation) - added 08/25/2012
Gulf of Mexico Visible Imagery - Satellite Services Division - nice visible satellite loop imagery with options to add additional data markers to the base image. Provided by the NOAA Satellite and Information Service/NESDIS) - added 08/25/2012
Latest Satellite Imagery - NOAA site that has links to a large number of additional satellite imagery. Neat stuff. - added 08/25/2012
NEXSAT, NRL/JPSS Next Generation Weather Satellite Demonstration Project - Super-duper cool satellite images and loops. Again drill in to get to the NEXSAT area of interest (such as the Gulf of Mexico), then use the controls above and to the left as needed to tweak your views. - added 08/25/2012
NCEP Central Operations - National Weather Service link - Pick the option you want above the map, then select the type and area. Finally make one or more final option picks and you get some very helpful graphs. - added 08/25/2012
Weather & Climate Data - COLA - Additional links for current conditional analysis, forecasts, climate outlooks and hurricane intensity models. - added 08/25/2012
Galveston Bay Operational Forecast System (GBOFS) - NOAA Tides and Currents for the Galveston Bay area - super neat tidal and water level information useful for those who dwell on the rim of Galveston Bay. Also reports wind and current data with animated loop views available. - added 08/25/2012
Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System (NGOFS) - NOAA Tides and Currents for the wider upper Gulf of Mexico costal areas. - added 08/25/2012
Texas Storm Surge Models - Wunderground - For additional storm surge inundation maps for US coastlines, see this page Storm surge imagery for the U.S. coast | Weather Underground - added 09/01/2012
U.S. NEXRAD and TDWR Radar Stations - Wunderground - I’m linking to the main map from which specific radar stations can be chosen depending on your area of attention; though the Houston Hobby and Houston-Galveston interest me the most. The radar images have lots of cool tweaks you can perform on them so spend some time getting to know them! - added 09/01/2012
Computer models - USATODAY - old but a good starting point introducing foundations to weather forecast models. - added 08/25/2012
Stormpulse / Hurricane tracking, mapping - Sadly, Stormpulse has now been diminished to the bottom of the pile. The site developers have modified their business model (you go dudes!) to now be solely subscription-based access. There are some time-limited free-trials you can access. Currently they are not offering any “consumer-level” subscription services and the basic package is probably still too pricy for all but the most crazy consumer weather-heads. All that said, they do still have a “live” mini-display view on their home page that contains a fair amount of the imagery and tracking projections that we all used to love. If you are desperate and pine for the days of Stormpulse of old, then hop over there and just zoom up your browser window display size to your heart’s content.
For local Houston area facts and updates, most of the local news stations have their web-sites powered up.
- Hurricane Central | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle - I generally turn to the Houston Chronicle's website for the majority of my information locally.
- Harris County Homeland Security & Emergency Management - Main page links to the new Evacuation maps, Contraflow routes, etc.
- Evacuation Zones and Routes (PDF File) - Harris County Homeland Security & Emg. Mngmt.
- Harris County Evacuation Zones (by ZIP) - Harris County Homeland Security & Emg. Mngmt.
- Fox News 26 - Hurricane Toolbox - Lots of links and helpful tips
- abc13.com: Gulf Coast Hurricane Guide - Again lots of links and preparedness tips.
- JustWeather (KPRC Local 2 Click2Houston) - News channel 2's public information page.
- HURRICANE CENTRAL from 11 News KHOU.com - One more local news site's tropics page.
Even More Weather
I have found these additional links pretty cool:
- e-WALL : PSU ELECTRONIC MAP WALL – Too Much Information! But still cool.
- TROPICAL ATLANTIC e-WALL – I’m no meteorologist, but I can play one at work and home!
- Real Time Tropical Cyclone Research Page– University of Central Florida. Lots of additional links.
- Houston TranStar Real-Time Traffic Map,
- Houston TranStar Cameras, and
- Houston TranStar Incidents and Road Closures.
Again as it bears repeating, you just don’t want to be caught off guard when one of these comes knocking