When a hurricane is bearing down on your travel location, a tracker app can help you monitor the situation. Here’s what you need to know.13 June 2011
The National Hurricane Center tracks all tropical storms throughout the year and they make their data available to everyone.
These maps show the points of origin (by 10-day periods) for named storms during years 1851 through 2009 for the Atlantic storm region.
These maps show the zones of origin and typical hurricane paths through the hurricane season – clearly demonstrating that hurricanes originate and travel different paths during different months.
See Where is the Hurricane Zone for more information about traveling during hurricane season.
These maps show where hurricanes and tropical cyclones have historically occurred.
Tropical cyclone history
Google has added tools to their maps app to help travelers survive a natural disaster. Google isn’t in the weather business, but it’s tapping into official sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Japan Meteorological Agency to track hurricanes.
In the days leading up to a hurricane, Google Maps will show you a visualization of the hurricane in their maps. This is known as a ‘hurricane forecast cone’ and it’s just like the ones you see on television weather forecasts.
Tropical cyclones are one of the most powerful and damaging storms that affect our planet. The strongest qualify as hurricanes and Google Earth will show a visualization of active tropical storms. The past, current, and projected path of an active hurricane is updated every 30 minutes.
The icon on the map will also display the severity level of the storm according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The projected location of the storm is sown on the map as a blue cone, but hazardous conditions can occur outside the tracking area.
Google warns: the data is on a delay and should not be used as a real-time forecast or way to determine current safety conditions.
While there are plenty of weather apps, hurricane tracking apps are different. Most can alert you when a storm is approaching your location. Hurricane tracking apps will also tell you the detailed forecast. If you, or someone you know, may be in danger of an impending hurricane, here are the best free tracking apps (according to Lifewire):
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.