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Website of the Week — National Hurricane Center


Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.

Hurricanes — the tropical cyclones that form off Africa's Atlantic coast and travel west — are among the most fearsome storms on earth. As we get into the thick of the hurricane season, our Website of the Week can help you keep track of the danger and drama with an impressive array of text and graphical tools, plus background information to help you understand the phenomenon.

JUCKINS: "The National Hurricane Center website is your complete source for all official tropical storm watches, warnings [and] advisories. And it also contains a wealth of information for preparedness and the ability to learn about hurricanes and tropical cyclones."

Christopher Juckins is the National Hurricane Center webmaster at nhc.noaa.gov. The site includes maps showing the location and projected path of current storms, probable wind speeds, animation, satellite photos and other types of data.

JUCKINS: "The information on the site is very detailed. There's a lot of links regarding preparedness, learning about hurricanes, how they form, archived information from past storms, some of the worst storms on record we have information about, storm names. There's really a lot of things on there."

TEXT: Juckins says the forecasts on the National Hurricane Center website are the result of expert human analysis of sophisticated computer processing, based on land observations, weather balloons, aircraft and satellite data, and other sources.

JUCKINS: "And once that data is collected, it's basically all processed in large supercomputing facilities and creates what we call model forecasts out of that. And the model forecasts are what our forecasters use here to analyze the storm and basically do the difficult job of trying to figure out where it's going to go and how strong it's going to be."

Christopher Juckins says the National Hurricane Center website uses a variety of tools to get the word out, including text and graphics, and email, too. You can follow the latest storms, or just learn more about some of nature's most violent and fascinating phenomena at nhc.noaa.gov, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.

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