Basic Hurricane Safety Actions
Know if you live in an evacuation area. Know your home's vulnerability
to storm surge, flooding and wind. Have a written plan based
on this knowledge.
At the beginning of hurricane season (June 1), check your
supplies, replace batteries and use food stocks on a rotating
During hurricane season, monitor the tropics. Monitor NOAA
If a storm threatens, heed the advice from local authorities.
Evacuate if ordered.
Execute your family plan.
Know the Difference
A HURRICANE WATCH issued for your part of the
coast indicates the possibility that you could experience hurricane
conditions within 36 hours. This watch should trigger your family's
disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated,
especially those actions that require extra time such as securing
a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.
A HURRICANE WARNING issued for your part of
the coast indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph
are expected within 24 hours or less. Once this warning has
been issued, your family should be in the process of completing
protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during
Hurricane Photos from NOAA's Photo Library
Weather Service Album - early
satellite imagery, damage photos, graphics and more...
Hunters in Action - Photos of the aircraft used
in hurricane research.
hurricane is a severe tropical storm that forms in the North Atlantic
Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the
South Pacific Ocean east of 160E. Hurricanes need warm tropical
oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions
last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible
waves, torrential rains and floods. In
other regions of the world, these types of storms have different
- Typhoon —
(the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline)
- Severe Tropical
Cyclone — (the Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 160E or Southeast
Indian Ocean east of 90E)
- Severe Cyclonic
Storm — (the North Indian Ocean)
Cyclone — (the Southwest Indian Ocean)
in a counterclockwise direction around an "eye." A tropical
storm becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph. There are on
average six Atlantic hurricanes each year; over a three-year period,
approximately five hurricanes strike the United States coastline
from Texas to Maine. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1
and ends November 30. The East Pacific hurricane season runs from
May 15 through November 30, with peak activity occurring during
July through September. In a normal season, the East Pacific would
expect 15 or 16 tropical storms. Nine of these would become hurricanes,
of which four or five would be major hurricanes.
move onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can
damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm
surge. Storm surge is very dangerous and a major reason why you
MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale — a 1-5
rating based on the hurricane's present intensity. This is
used to give an estimate of the potential property damage
and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall.
Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm
surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental
shelf in the landfall region.
Daily color satellite images atlantic ocean storms
— You can find links to satellite imagery for other
regions of the world, such as the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Satellite Images, Storm Animations and Special Events
— You will find hundreds of selected satellite images
capturing some of the more important weather and environmental
events over the last 30 years.
Products - These are NOAA GOES satellites images of
various coastal sectors. You can see infrared (IR) or visual
(VIS) versions of these images. Note that the visual images
can only be seen during daylight hours.
Field Program 2005 — Observations will
be collected in a variety of hurricanes at different stages
in their life cycle—from formation and early organization
to peak intensity and subsequent landfall or decay over the
of Western North Pacific and South China Sea Cyclones
— The Hong Kong Observatory provides the pronunciations
of these storms through the use of Real Audio.
Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters (1980 - 2005)
"Hurricane Hunter" Aircraft Fly Through Pacific
Winter Storms and More — NOAA's "hurricane
hunter" aircraft and their crews may be best known for
their prowess in flying through and around nature's severest
storms over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of
Mexico. However, these flying meteorological stations prove
their mettle on the West Coast and over the Pacific Ocean
as well—after hurricane season has ended and severe
Pacific winter storms have begun.
UTC or Zulu Time
NOAA National Hurricane Center
a continuous watch on tropical cyclones over the Atlantic, Caribbean,
Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific from May 15 through November
30. The Center prepares and distributes hurricane watches and
warnings for the general public, and also prepares and distributes
marine and military advisories for other users. During the "off-season,"
the NOAA National Hurricane Center, in Miami, Fla., provides
training for U.S. emergency managers and representatives from
many other countries that are affected by tropical cyclones.
The center also conducts applied research to evaluate and improve
hurricane forecasting techniques, and is involved in public
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
- Its mission is to conduct a basic and applied research program
in oceanography, tropical meteorology, atmospheric and oceanic
chemistry, and acoustics. The program seeks to understand the
physical characteristics and processes of the ocean and the
atmosphere, both separately and as a coupled system. The lab
is home to the NOAA
Hurricane Research Division.
Hydrologic Information Center — flooding,
National Weather Service Forecast Offices
Aircraft Operations Center (Home of NOAA's Hurricane Hunters)
- The airplanes
and helicopters of the Aircraft Operations Center are flown
in support of NOAA's mission to promote global environmental
assessment, prediction and stewardship of the Earth's environment.
NOAA's aircraft operate throughout the United States and around
the world; over open oceans, mountains, coastal wetlands and
Arctic pack ice. These versatile aircraft provide scientists
with airborne platforms necessary to collect the environmental
and geographic data essential to their research.