Q:

How are hurricanes tracked?

A:

Quick Answer

Satellites, Doppler radar, aircraft and observations are used in the process of tracking hurricanes. Tracking hurricanes is a constantly evolving process that sometimes requires the use of only some of these tools and at other times requires the use of all these tools.

Know More
How are hurricanes tracked?
Credit: kakela CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Satellite images are extremely important to forecasters. Satellites can put several hours of pictures into motion. This helps meteorologist gather information about the track and the development of hurricanes.

Doppler radar helps detect rain associated with hurricanes. It covers rainfall surrounding a distance of 200 to 250 miles from the Doppler location. It also helps provide estimated rainfall amounts and helps spot rain bands, the eye and the eye wall within a hurricane.

Aircraft are used to gather information about wind speed, rainfall and the eye of a hurricane. Dropsondes are instruments dropped into a hurricane by aircraft. These devices record wind speed, wind direction, air pressure and air temperature.

Observational data, such as that collected by data buoys placed throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards, is relayed as radio or satellite signals, providing information about a hurricane. This includes the air and water temperature, wind speeds, air pressure and the conditions of the waves occurring with a hurricane.

Information obtained from all these tools about past hurricanes helps meteorologists forecast a new hurricane's potential path and any changes in intensity long before the hurricane ever makes landfall.

Learn more about Storms

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What state has the most hurricanes?

    A:

    Florida has the most hurricane landfalls in the United States, with 110 accumulating from 1851 to 2004. Texas is second with 59 over the same span of time, and Louisiana is third with 49. North Carolina is fourth with 46 landfall strikes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of hurricanes?

    A:

    Hurricanes are extremely powerful storms that form above ocean water and can cause devastating damage in coastal areas as a result of powerful winds, heavy rains, high waves and water levels. In meteorological terms, hurricanes are low-pressure systems that form in tropical areas.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do hurricanes move?

    A:

    Hurricanes are blown around the planet by the prevailing global winds. When a hurricane forms in the Atlantic Ocean, it comes together in a band of winds called the trade winds, which blow east to west in the low latitudes. Once a hurricane approaches land, local weather conditions become a much larger factor in its movement. In particular, high pressure zones can stall or divert a hurricane from its path.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are hurricanes dangerous?

    A:

    Hurricanes are dangerous because they have high winds, torrential rains and storm surges. Individually, these dangers can pose a threat to one's life and damage property, but they can cause widespread destruction when the forces are combined.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore