PREDICTING HURRICANE TRACKS
To visualize the potential track of a tropical storm or hurricane approaching the Eastern Caribbean from the east, start by plotting the latest position of the center of the storm. Then, draw forward from that position a 10-degree-wide cone, and you have the area in which the center of the storm is likely to go. The length of the cone is the storm’s speed of approach (knots) times 24 (hours). Do this every day, obtaining the most recent information on the storm’s position and speed of approach from the National Hurricane Center. The tracks for all of 2017’s hurricanes are pictured above. Anyone with an internet connection can obtain this information directly from the NHC, which updates its predictions every six hours, refining them with data from satellites, hurricane-hunter aircraft observations and numerous computer prediction models. A word of warning: Do not fixate on the centerline of the conical depiction of the predicted track — the center of the storm could go anywhere within the cone, or even outside of it.