Hurricane Central - Tracking Storms by Satellite
Satellite image courtesy of NASA-GSFC, data from NOAA GOES
Residents of the United States Gulf coast are unlikely to ever forget where they were on August 29, 2005.

Five days earlier, Hurricane Katrina was rated as a Category 1 storm when it first struck southern Florida after raging over the northern Bahamas as a tropical storm. It then churned through the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall again near New Orleans. By August 30, Hurricane Katrina had become the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

Much of what we know about hurricanes comes from satellite images, such as this one of Katrina hitting New Orleans. To accurately predict a hurricane's path and strength, forecasters also incorporate local weather data into their predictions. Surface winds influence the speed and direction of the hurricane's movement, and water temperature greatly affects the size and ferocity of the storm.

Scientists can also compare the actual path of a hurricane with different courses it could have taken - which is what you'll be doing in this activity.

Click the blue Begin Lesson Here button (above) to start the activity. WebImage may take a short while to load.