Hurricane Webquest

Please answer the following questions about hurricanes.  Please only use the sites listed below.  As you answer each question, please include the website that you were able to get the information from.  For ease, I've coded each website, so please include the code at the end of each answer.  For example, "Answer: Hurricanes are strong wind forces. (Website A)"
  1. What is the relationship among hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones?

  2. What are the three weather conditions under which a tropical cyclone usually develops?

  3. What is the source of energy for all tropical cyclones?

  4. Describe the three stages of development of a tropical cyclone. Include the wind speed in your description.

  5. What are the three parts of a hurricane?

  6. A hurricane was described as a 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. What does this mean?

  7. What is the diameter of a typical hurricane? What is the diameter of the eye of a typical hurricane?

  8. When and where was the worst hurricane in the United States? How many people died in that hurricane?

  9. When and where was the worst hurricane in the world? How many people died in that hurricane?

Web Resources

Look at the web sites given here to find the information that will enable you to answer questions about hurricanes.

  • How do hurricanes work?   Website A
    Visit this site by the Miami Museum of Science to learn how hurricanes form. You can find out about hurricanes by scrolling down and clicking on any of the buttons at the bottom of the page. For example, if you click on "make a hurricane spiral", you can go to an activity in which you will make a hurricane spiral and use it to create the spiral effect of a hurricane.
  • Hurricane Basics.  Website B
    Go to this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site to learn all about hurricanes, how they form, and how they are named. Scroll down to see a list of names assigned to Atlantic tropical storms through 2006.
  • Hurricanes. Website C
    At this site by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) you can learn more about hurricanes. The index at the left of the screen lists the topics available at this site. Click on past major hurricanes to see a list of major hurricanes that have hit the U.S. since 1961.
  • How Hurricanes Work.   Website D
    Visit this site to learn how a hurricane forms, what its parts are, and how hurricanes are tracked. Click on parts of a hurricane, then scroll down and click on hurricane creation to see interactive graphics that show the formation of a hurricane.
  • HyperHurricanes: Create a Hurricane.  Website E
    Go to this site to create a hurricane of your own by moving sliders that represent ocean temperatures, shearing winds, pressure gradient, and humidity. Then you can compare your storm with one of three past hurricanes.
  • Hurricanes: Nature’s Greatest Storms.  Website F
    At this NOAA site you can learn more about the role of this organization in tracking hurricanes. NOAA has two main hurricane tracking centers, one in Florida and one in Hawaii. Both work with satellite imagery to predict and track hurricanes. Scroll down and click on any region to see the latest satellite imagery of that region.
  • Hurricanes: Online Meteorology Guide.  Website G
    Visit this University of Illinois site to learn about hurricanes. You can read a definition of hurricanes here, and find out what the stages of development of a hurricane are. Scroll down and click on explore a 3-D hurricane to view a 3-dimensional computer model of a hurricane.
  • What paths do hurricanes take? Website H
    Go to this Miami Museum of Science site to find out more about hurricane tracking. Click on the radar screen to open an activity in which you can track a hurricane yourself. Then scroll down and click on one of the hurricane buttons to find out where that hurricane traveled.
  • FAQ: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones.  Website I
    At this NOAA site you can find answers to many of the questions you might have about tropical cyclones. You can find out here how hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones are related.
  • National Hurricane Center.  Website J
    Visit this NOAA site to learn more about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness. The site lists active tropical systems in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and in the Eastern Pacific.