Posts Tagged ‘Hanna’

It’s peak hurricane season here in the subtropics. We’ve already seen Fay (a sloppy drunk of a storm, staggering across Florida like an incontinent cruise ship passenger hitting the bars on Duval Street,) and Gusty Gustav, who fortunately eased up before hitting the Big Easy.

At the moment, we have Hanna (who, if she had any poetic sense at all, would be heading for Savanna) heading up the Eastern Seaboard. Floridians are keeping an eye on the eye of Ike (minus Tina and the Revue) who is looking pretty damn evil at the moment.

Anybody who’s been through a hurricane season down here knows that with rare exceptions, the local news outlets are useless, more effective as 24-hour advertisements for plywood, flashlights and duct tape at Home Depot.

Unless you’re a fan of newscasts featuring soggy geeks in windbreakers, toppled ficus trees and empty supermarket shelves, leave the TV off.

This goes double for that obnoxious loudmouth at the Weather Channel.

Fortunately, the web is an excellent resource for all kinds of up-to-date, official and downright interesting information. Here’s a list of my favorites.

  1. The National Hurricane Center is an essential part of any hurricanist’s repertoire. All the official government stuff: advisories, discussions (my favorites) and the official forecast paths and maps, which are based on computer models, satellite images, floating buoys and the famous “hurricane hunter” recon flights — the drive-bys of the weather world.  Also historical stuff and a wealth of official (important concept!) info. Convenient links to NOAA for local forecasts and radar.
  2. Experimental Forecast Tropical Cyclone Genesis models. I don’t know what that means exactly, but what you’ll find are animated java movies of some of the computer models. Just pick your model, the storm and hit animate. This part of the Florida State Meteorology department.
  3. One of the best overall resources I’ve found: the Central Florida Hurricane Center. It’s a very well-organized aggregator of hurricane information, including links to the NHC forecasts. Everything’s organized per storm, not by type of info. Makes it VERY easy to access everything. Also has forums, although based on my very brief experience, they have NO sense of HUMOR!
  4. The US Navy’s Fleet Numerical Meteorological and Oceanographic Center (FNMOC).  (Note: there’s always been some weirdness with the certificates for this site.  I’ve never encountered any thing that didn’t seem kosher, but fyi.)  Lots of goodies, more detailed maps than the others; check out the wave height and direction prediction tools (also animated.)

There are plenty more, but these are a good start.

May your roof remain attached to your house.