App of the Week: Top Nine Websites for Hurricane Season
I swear that after this post, I will stop talking about weather apps and websites for a while, but since it is hurricane season here on the Gulf Coast, I figured one more post won't hurt anybody and it might even help a few.
Literally the weather authority when it comes to hurricanes, it's hard to beat the NHC.
There are a lot of weather websites and many of them provide the same basic information. When I'm looking for decent local weather coverage, I usually point my cursor in the direction of the fastest and easiest website to glance at the radar and check the upcoming forecast. But, when it comes to tropical weather, most of us want a little more.
So, I've put together a list of what I consider to be the nine best websites/blogs to help you keep track of tropical disturbances before and after they have formed.
9. Skeetobite Weather
This might be the equivalent of the local weather site that is quick loading with few frills. Skeetobite puts the latest disturbance map with tracking model information at the top of the page and a list of any current storms below it. There are quick links to satellite imagery and basic hurricane information including historical data. It's a good, quick look at what is happening at the moment.
8. South Florida Water Management District
You're probably thinking, "Why the hell would I want to read a website about water management in South Florida?" The simple answer is that this site happens to stay extremely well updated during hurricane season, specifically the most extensive "spaghetti model" on the web. There are dozens of forecast models for hurricane tracking. Most sites will display a few with a line that looks like spaghetti trailing from the storm along its projected path. SFWMD displays virtually all of them on one map, which is exceedingly handy.
7. Penn State University Electronic Map Wall
The Penn State E-Wall is for advanced users.
Let's just say right now this one is for advanced users. Imagine a movie with a control room in some communications hub. The wall will probably be covered in blinking lights and knobs. The Penn State e-wall is basically the weather internet equivalent. The site displays virtually every weather tracking model available with links to view the animations. If you don't get any of this, that's ok. Just skip it. But, if you are a bonafide weather geek, you just hit the mother lode.
6. NOAA Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential
This is, like the e-wall, more for the nerds out there, but extremely valuable when trying to predict the size and strength of a storm as it moves across the open waters of the Atlantic basin. This site displays the current water temperatures and the depth of that "heat content," which is a key contributing factor in the development of hurricanes. It also allows for comparison between this and other seasons, which can be helpful in estimating what to expect.