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Tracking Hurricanes Worksheet

Introduction For centuries, people have tried to protect themselves from the devastation caused by hurricanes. A key part of this effort is knowing where hurricanes are, predicting their paths, and calculating their strength and speed. Meteorologists use a combination of tools to monitor and track hurricanes as the make their way across the Atlantic Ocean to the east coast of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. In this activity, you will research a past hurricane and develop a presentation on it, including a tracking map and a summary report. Directions 1. Go to National Hurricane Center's "Hurricane History" Web site (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml) and select a hurricane to research. Additional information on many hurricanes may also be found at the "Historic Hurricanes" Web site (http://hurricaneville.com/historic.html). 2. Click on the link for the hurricane you selected. As you read through the information, write down the following: a. The storm's formation date (when it was first discovered). _____________________ _____________________________________________________________________

b. The dates on which the hurricane made landfall with a major land mass or masses (a Caribbean island, Central America, or North America). ______________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

c. The hurricane's intensity level (category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5). _____________________________________________________________________

d. The hurricane's recorded wind speed and/or estimated wind speed. _______________ _____________________________________________________________________

e. The height of the storm surge. ____________________________________________

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f. Details of the damage caused by the hurricane. _______________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________

3. On the hurricane tracking chart, draw the hurricane's approximate course and varying strength levels using the color key from the National Hurricane Center map. Click on the map provided with the hurricane description to get a closer look. 4. Locate the coordinate points of the hurricane's landfall on your tracking chart. Coordinates are recorded with the latitude number first and the longitude number second. They also include a compass direction indicating the location north or south of the Equator and east or west of the Prime Meridian. Example: 35o N by 85o W. 5. If the hurricane you selected made more than one landfall, be sure to record the coordinates for each (in the Caribbean islands, Central America, and/or the United States). 6. With your partner, prepare a presentation about your hurricane, including a map, radar or satellite images (if available), the statistics you've recorded, and a narrative description of the hurricane in your own words. The presentation can be constructed on a large sheet of poster paper or created as slides in PowerPoint.

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Tracking Hurricanes Worksheet