PRE­DICT­ING HUR­RI­CANE TRACKS

Cruising World - - Hurricane Whole -

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.

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