We’ve had hurricanes on the brain! One of our team members lives in Louisiana and evacuated to GISetc h.q. to avoid Isaac’s path (no major damage for her, thank goodness – but our thoughts and prayers are with all the families affected). Anyway, when we ran across this stunning hurricane map visualization and an accompanying article on it’s projection we knew it was time to share. 

Here’s a bottoms-up view of known tropical storms and hurricanes dating back to 1851.  The fine folks at NOAA keep an archive of storm paths with wind speed, storm name, date, among other attributes, and are always updating and refining information for past events based on historical evidence and educated hunches.  The data are awesome and they make it available in several formats.  Here’s what it looks like slapped onto a polar projection (looking up at Antarctica) with point color tied to intensity

Thoughts on Structure and Detection: 

  • Hurricanes clearly abhor the equator and fling themselves away from the warm waters of their birth as quickly as they can.  (Paging Dr. Freud)
  • The void circling the image is the equator.  Hurricanes can never ever cross it.
  • Detection has skyrocketed since satellite technology but mostly since we started logging storms in the eastern hemisphere.
  • The proportionality of storm severity looks to be getting more consistent year to year with the benefit of more data.

You can find a superultramega-sized version here or check out poster print options here.  Check out the animated version of hurricane seasons since 1978 here.

At GISetc.com we curate and bring you the best science resources from the web. We hope our sharing will keep you up to date on the latest science and geospatial news. Click here to read the full article from IDV Solutions’ blog.