Hurricanes in the North Atlantic in 2004, 2005, and 2017 This part of the hurricanes exercise examines storm tracks o

Hurricanes in the North Atlantic in 2004, 2005, and 2017

This part of the hurricanes exercise examines storm tracks of hurricanes in the North Atlantic during 2004, 2005 and 2017 when substantial damage and loss of life occurred in the U.S. on Florida’s Atlantic coast and along the Gulf Coast (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama), in Mexico, and in Caribbean nations, notably Puerto Rico in 2017. The tracks of hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan can be examined using a link to the 2004 Tropical Cyclone Archive data at the National Weather Service’s Tropical Prediction Center (2004 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). Similarly, the tracks of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma can be examined using a link to the 2005 data (2005 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.), and the tracks of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria can be found on the preliminary version of the 2017 map (2017 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). Selection of names of each of these hurricanes on the archive pages for 2004 and 2005 provides access to their individual records, and the link entitled “Graphics Archive” (below the title “Hurricane X Advisory Archive on each page) presents a series of animations of the hurricane track. For 2017 the archive is accessible separately (2017 archive (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.).

The target animations for the 2004, 2005 and 2017 hurricanes can be accessed using these links:Charley (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Frances (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. & Ivan (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., and Katrina (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Rita (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. & Wilma (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., and Harvey (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Irma (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. & Maria (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Each animation shows the position of the hurricane (as an orange dot) and its projected path several days and hours ahead. The speed at which the images are presented (Slow and Fast buttons under Adjust Speed) and the size of the images (In and Out buttons under Zoom) can be changed using the controls to the left of the image.

The question based on these animations require examination of the storm tracks for these hurricanes focusing on where they originated and the directions they took. This process requires noting the timing and paths of the hurricanes, which, for convenience, can be described according to their initial letter(s): C = Charley, F = Frances, IV = Ivan, K = Katrina, R = Rita, W = Wilma, H = Harvey, IR = Irma, and M = Maria.

Question 1: Choose three of these hurricanes, one from each year 2004, 2005, and 2017, and answer the following questions for each of your selected storms:

Where did the hurricane originate and what regions along its path do you expect were significantly affected by hurricane-strength winds or the storm surge?
For each storm how accurate was the prediction of its path as shown as the white cone ahead of the known position of the storm?

A strong answer will describe the path of each hurricane and the regions that it impacted using latitude and longitude or general geographic terms (e.g., specific States), and discuss whether the prediction changed substantively during the hurricanes progress, noting when and where the prediction appeared more or less precise.