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"A tropical cyclone develops over tropical or subtropical waters. Severe tropical cyclones, with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or more, are called hurricanes or typhoons, depending on where they form. Hurricanes form in the North Atlantic or eastern North Pacific, and typhoons form in the Western Pacific. These storms may bring winds up to 180 miles (290 kilometers) an hour, terrific rains, violent thunder, and lightning. They measure 200 to 300 miles (320 to 480 kilometers) across." From: World Book Encyclopedia

Section 1. Organizations and Agencies

National Hurricane Center
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is a component of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) located at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. The NHC mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards. The NHC vision is to be America's calm, clear, and trusted voice in the eye of the storm and, with its partners, enable communities to be safe from tropical weather threats.

Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services - Hurricane Awareness
This Web site, published by the National Weather Service, provides several on-line preparedness guides in both Spanish and English, current watches and warnings, on-line tracking charts, and links to many of the national agencies dealing with hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery.

Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project's Forecasts
This Web site provides annual forecasts of Atlantic hurricane activity issued by Professor William Gray and his colleagues at Colorado State University.


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Section 2. General Resources

Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre Seasonal Forecasts of Extreme Weather Events
This site includes long-range forecasts for U.S. landfalling and Atlantic hurricanes, Far East landfalling and NW Pacific typhoons, and Australian landfalling and SW Pacific cyclones.

Coastal Hazards Information Clearinghouse
This site contains a 10-chapter monograph on coastal hazards, detailed coastal hazard maps for all coastal states, photos of property damage from several recent hurricanes, and a list of coastal hazard links for each state.

DisasterSafety.org Hurricanes
This site, published by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, includes videos, publications, and links to information about hurricane mitigation measures.

Extreme Weather Sourcebook
This annually updated site, published by the Societal Impacts Program at the National Center for Atmospheric research (as is this site!) provides quick access to data on economic damage from hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. The Sourcebook also provides limited information on lightning, and other weather phenomena in the United States and its territories. Visitors to the Extreme Weather Sourcebook will find the states and U.S. territories ranked in order of economic losses from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and all three events combined. A dollar figure for average annual losses for each state is also provided. Links take the reader to graphs with more detailed information on cost per year for each state and each hazard.

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones FAQs
This site, published by the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Institue, provides information on the definition and formation of a hurricane, typhoon and tropical cyclone, as well as information on where to get more information on the physical/meteorological aspects of cyclones.

Historical Hurricane Tracks
The Historical Hurricane Tracks site contains an interactive mapping application that allows users to query and display 150 years of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone data from the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Cyclone Best Track data set. The ability to plot user-defined portions of the data set and download credible and reliable data will enhance knowledge of hurricane climatology for any location within the Atlantic Basin. The web site includes text documents detailing particular storm events and graphs showing historical population data versus hurricane strikes for coastal counties from Texas to Maine.

Hurricane Andrew in South Florida: Mesoscale Weather and Societal Responses
This is the first report of the Extreme Mesoscale Events and Impacts Project. Its purposes are to 1) reframe the US hurricane problem in terms of societal vulnerability by discussing trends in coastal population, property development, and hurricane incidence; 2) place hurricane forecasts in the broader context of societal preparedness and response; and 3) to review the Andrew experience in that broader context. An appendix to the report provides an annotated bibliography of various articles, reports, and journal articles that discuss Andrew's societal impacts. This report is available for US $9 from the author Roger Pielke Jr. or perhaps students could receive complimentary access.

Mapping Coastal Change Hazards
The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards is a multi-year undertaking to identify and quantify the vulnerability of U.S. shorelines to coastal change hazards such as the effects of severe storms, sea-level rise, and shoreline erosion and retreat. It will continue to improve our understanding of processes that control these hazards, and will allow researchers to determine the probability of coastal change locally, regionally, and nationally. The National Assessment will deliver these data and assessment findings about coastal vulnerability to coastal managers, other researchers, and the general public.

National Climatic Data Center Hurricane Maps
A complete resource of hurricane maps from 1899-2004.

2010 National Hurricane Operation Plan
This site also links to national plans from 2006-2009.

Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services Service Assessments
This link has data on many different hurricanes. These links are in.pdf format; you will need ACROBAT to read these files.

Repeat Response to Hurricane Evacuation Orders
A Quick Response Report by Dr. Kirstin Dow and Susan L. Cutter

STORM2006 Hurricane Central
A complete resource covering the recent U.S. hurricane season.

The Sun-Sentinel's Hurricane Page

Tropical Weather
Weather maps, reports, forecasts, products, news, software, outlooks, and discussions.

USA Today's Guide to Hurricane Information

USGS Hurricanes and Coastal Storm Websites
This site includes links to other USGS sites that provide real-time data, background maps and studies, historical analyses of specific storms, and other reports about hurricanes.

The Weather Channel Forum on Hurricane Preparedness and Response
The findings and recommendations of The Weather Channel Forum on Hurricane Preparedness and Response, developed by the Atmospheric Policy Program of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), suggest that our nation is at serious risk of severe damage and loss of life caused by hurricanes. The forum report, available from the AMS Web site, calls for an assessment of the vulnerability of communities with potential exposure to hurricanes and the development of improvements in the preparedness, prediction, communications, and response strategies at the national, regional, and local levels. To find the report, click on "Atmospheric Policy Program" on the left side of the home page, then "Report of the Weather Channel Forum."

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