TeachersFirst's Hurricane Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore these resources during a unit on weather or disasters and include related projects and classroom activities.  Classrooms in hurricane-prone areas may want to stop to observe anniversaries of local hurricane history or even to conduct local history projects in conjunction with some of these starter resources. Turn frightening natural disasters into positive learning using the background on these helpful sites.

 

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Weather Underground - Hurricane and Tropical Cyclones

Grades
6 to 12
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Stay current with information about the latest hurricanes and tropical cyclones. Find articles about the potential threat of current hurricanes, Hurricane Preparedness, and Cyclone...more
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Stay current with information about the latest hurricanes and tropical cyclones. Find articles about the potential threat of current hurricanes, Hurricane Preparedness, and Cyclone Energy. From the drop-down menu on the right read various articles about Storm Surges, find Blank Tracking Charts (in PDF format), Online Resources, and more. Also find a Hurricane Archive with tracking maps and aerial photos for past hurricanes. From the top menu find many other weather issues, information about wild fires, and much more.

tag(s): disasters (39), hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Introduce the class to the most current hurricanes forming with a projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to find similar hurricanes from the past and ask them to make a prediction about the current one. Have them prove their predictions using a tool like the interactive Venn Diagram Three Circle,reviewed here, or the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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When Nature Strikes: Science of Natural Hazards - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the science behind the world's worst natural disasters. These ten videos are hosted by Dr. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia and The Weather Channel in partnership...more
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Explore the science behind the world's worst natural disasters. These ten videos are hosted by Dr. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia and The Weather Channel in partnership with NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation. Topics include Wildfires, Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, Space Weather, Landslides, Hurricanes, Flash Floods, and Earthquakes. Videos are approximately 5 to 6 minutes in length and include transcripts. Scientists' interviews explain the stunning scenes of nature's havoc. Although part of a larger site that charges for access, these videos are free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earthquakes (48), floods (6), hurricanes (35), natural disasters (20), scientists (68), tornadoes (16), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the weather. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have each group choose a video to use as a launching pad for further study. Have students create an annotated, narrated image, including text boxes and related links, using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Place the videos on your classroom website or blog for students to explore on their own. Flip your instruction, and have your scientists watch the videos before class time to build background knowledge. Review nonfiction reading strategies with students before reading the transcripts. Have students investigate STEM careers by researching the jobs of the scientists interviewed in the videos.

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Interactives & Simulations: Weather, Climate & Atmosphere Education - UCAR Center for Science Education

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual...more
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual balloon to examining layers of the earth's atmosphere, or "building" a tree using different climate options. Each activity includes a full explanation and many include additional links or extension activities.

tag(s): arctic (44), atmosphere (26), carbon dioxide (17), climate (92), climate change (64), hurricanes (35), solar energy (38), sun (71), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Introduce Interactives & Simulations on an interactive whiteboard or projector then allow students to explore on their own. Be sure to provide a link on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate information learned from this site. Alternatively students could create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Create-a-Cane! - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
4 to 10
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Use this interactive to create a hurricane by choosing ideal weather conditions such as wind, latitude, moisture, and sea temperature. Click on the question mark under each of these...more
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Use this interactive to create a hurricane by choosing ideal weather conditions such as wind, latitude, moisture, and sea temperature. Click on the question mark under each of these to learn more about these conditions and their effect on hurricanes. Once your score reaches 80 a tropical depression forms, triggering events to begin a hurricane. Answer a few more questions to create your full-strength hurricane!

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a study of hurricanes and weather. Create a link to Create-a-Cane on classroom computers for student use as a center. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to track hurricanes during hurricane season. Students can add text, images, and location stops with Animaps!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hurricanes - Curriculumbits

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4 to 8
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This simple website explains how hurricanes form. Each screen contains just one sentence which the you can read and also listen to. One of the most interesting parts of this ...more
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This simple website explains how hurricanes form. Each screen contains just one sentence which the you can read and also listen to. One of the most interesting parts of this short explanation is the page that shows inside a hurricane. The language and vocabulary used is scientifically correct but easy to understand. It also explains how the Safifir-Simpson scale measures the strength of hurricanes. Finally, an interactive screen allows students to see the effects of different levels of hurricane devastation.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Have students do a comparison of two famous American hurricanes using Pinwords reviewed here. Challenge students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then detail the effects of the storm as if it were a news report.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sky Diary - Chris Kidler

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2 to 7
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Sky Diary offers facts for students about hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, and storm chasing. Choose the link to each of the topics to find quick facts such as how tornadoes or ...more
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Sky Diary offers facts for students about hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, and storm chasing. Choose the link to each of the topics to find quick facts such as how tornadoes or hurricanes form, measuring intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes, or safety precautions. The storm chasing portion of the site offers insight into a typical storm chase, reality vs tv, and how to become a storm chaser. This simple site contains a great deal of useful weather information for classroom use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (130), hurricanes (35), tornadoes (16), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Share information from the site on your interactive whiteboard during weather, career, or storm preparedness units. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain the development of hurricanes or tornadoes, or severe weather safety instructions. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).

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GeoCube - GeoCube

Grades
3 to 12
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GeoCube is a delightful, online, interactive resource about world geography. Based on the principle of the Rubik Cube, GeoCube has six sides, each with a topic and nine sub-topics....more
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GeoCube is a delightful, online, interactive resource about world geography. Based on the principle of the Rubik Cube, GeoCube has six sides, each with a topic and nine sub-topics. Click on each sub-topic to find a gallery of videos and images with accompanying text explaining different concepts in geography. The topics explored are living together, earth from all angles, shrinking planet, exploring our world, fascinating earth, and useful geographies. Be sure to watch the How to Use intro video (uses Quick Time) to see how your mouse navigates GeoCube. Clicking on downloads will allow you to view and print PDFs of each topic as well as a colorful GeoCube template with photos to fold and assemble. GeoCube is viewable in several languages: English, Spanish, German, and Italian.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), ecology (135), energy (197), environment (317), extinction (4), forests (29), hurricanes (35), landforms (45), maps (287), mountains (13), natural disasters (20), natural resources (59), ozone (10), pollution (66), religions (61), transportation (40), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61), water (130), wetlands (9)

In the Classroom

Explore one of the subtopics on GeoCube with your class on the interactive whiteboard. Discover different aspects of the world through the subtopics. Use the text as a basis to find another text, either narrative or expository, and compare and contrast the knowledge. You might want to allow students to investigate the different topics on their own at a learning station. Language arts, social studies, and science teachers can use the information found on GeoCube to build background knowledge for students before studying a unit. Introduce a unit on the environment by reading and viewing the videos for waste and pollution, water resources, energy resources, deforestation, species extinction, and climate change. Physical science teachers can use GeoCube as a unique way to introduce volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and conflicts in the earth's systems. These are just a few of the 54 subtopics your will find on GeoCube. ESL/ELL and learning support will all enjoy and benefit from viewing and reading GeoCube.

Use the GeoCube idea for students to present information they research on any science or social studies topic. Adapt it slightly, having students create foldable visual aids using FoldPlay, reviewed here, or interactive video cubes using YouCube, reviewed here. YouCube needs to access YouTube, so may not be accessible at school.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Forces of Nature

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes with this comprehensive site. View images, articles, and videos to learn more about how they form, the power they have,...more
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Learn about tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes with this comprehensive site. View images, articles, and videos to learn more about how they form, the power they have, and the destruction they cause. View safety tips and helpful information. There are also links to interactive activities (such as "Spin Off your Own Hurricane").

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), hurricanes (35), tornadoes (16), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to create awareness sheets that may help the public in the event of a natural disaster. Students can also create public service announcements to help the public. Evaluate the school and community emergency preparedness plan using the information about these forces of nature. Use the information to create a sample emergency kit that all households should have in case of emergency. Make it a multimedia project by having students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here, to create an informative book about the weather phenomenon that they studied.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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USA Today Interactive Weather Graphics - USA Today

Grades
2 to 12
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This site has an expanding group of interactive weather graphics for those weather anomalies students like to explore. Clicking on a specific weather situation takes you to a page with...more
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This site has an expanding group of interactive weather graphics for those weather anomalies students like to explore. Clicking on a specific weather situation takes you to a page with a text explanation as well as a graphic that you can manipulate. See the seasons, fall foliage, tornado formations, lake effect snow causes, how winter storms bring rain, ice, and snow, atmospheric optics (rainbows, sun dogs, sun pillars, and halos), global warming, the landscape of natural disasters, a hurricane in action, and more. The topics range from simple weather to more complex topics for older students. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): disasters (39), fall (16), seasons (37), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site as you discuss tornado warnings with your class or when a hurricane is looming nearby. Use it also when classes study geography or meteorology. Project the interactive portions on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the topics and present a multi-media or web presentation about it: a wiki page with embedded video examples or a simple interactive book using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stormpulse - Stormpulse

Grades
6 to 12
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present....more
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present. This is not considered an actual weather source but is an aggregate of information on storms. Probabilities of storms and hurricanes are given, based upon weather movement. This interactive site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Watch storm movement and predict potential path. Use archives to determine common paths, areas where storms are more prevalent, change in numbers of hurricanes in different decades, etc. Use this site as a springboard for further research and better understanding of causes of hurricanes, factors that change the movement, destruction from hurricanes, or how best to prepare for hurricanes. Students can create traditional (poster, bulletin board) or multimedia presentations (newscasts, wiki, blog) on storms or even "create" a mythical storm of the future that follows predictable patterns, documenting it on a class weatherwiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hurricane Hunters Association - Hurricane Hunter Association

Grades
4 to 12
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information...more
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information from the planes that follow the storms. Research more information about science and meteorology by using the multitude of links provided. Real time data of current storm conditions in the world are available on the website. View spectacular photos in the "Photos" section or click on "Questions" to read the most often asked questions and their answers. In the "Questions" is a link to a cyberflight that walks through the before, during, and after of a Hurricane Hunter flight. This site is mostly text and pictures.

A link to a "Hurricane Hunters Gift shop" is found on the main page and students should be advised to avoid such an advertisement. The site requires Flash for storm updates. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Compare numbers of hurricanes of various years. Plot locations, and storm paths on the same chart (or in Google Earth) to determine the origination point and landfall or end point of the hurricanes to draw conclusions. Use the information to determine the physical characteristics of the hurricanes (instead of looking them up in an encyclopedia). Determine the areas of the world where hurricanes occur in order to understand factors responsible for hurricane formation. Have students track a current hurricane and use information learned on this site to predict the spot where it will make landfall and provide reasoning for their choice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NOVA: Science Now - Hurricanes - PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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This fascinating website presents middle and high school students with concise but eclectic information about hurricanes. Topics range from Hurricane Katrina, to an online quiz, to...more
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This fascinating website presents middle and high school students with concise but eclectic information about hurricanes. Topics range from Hurricane Katrina, to an online quiz, to a 12-minute video clip. The video explains the "how" behind predicting a hurricane's direction and path. It also explains how the intensity affects various cities (such as New Orleans). The video clip requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the "Teachers Guide." There you can click on "Classroom Activities" to find a lesson plan, additional links, and explicit standards. Use the additional links included with the lesson plan for students to do further research about hurricanes. Have them work in pairs to research various "famous" hurricanes and add them to a class "disaster" or "weather" wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hurricanes - BBC

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1 to 8
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This site is wonderfully done and has a wealth of knowledge. You will find an animated guide to hurricanes (a must-see), quizzes, pictures of Hurricane Katrina (a year after ...more
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This site is wonderfully done and has a wealth of knowledge. You will find an animated guide to hurricanes (a must-see), quizzes, pictures of Hurricane Katrina (a year after the devastation), message boards, web chats, reference information about hurricanes, and more. Many of the activities require FLASH.

tag(s): weather (187)

In the Classroom

You must try an interactive whiteboard to share the animated guide to hurricanes with your students - wow! It is very easy to understand and extremely informative. The animated guide truly helps students understand the complexities of hurricanes.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Extreme Weather: Hurricanes - Nicole Koonce, Jennifer Conlon

Grades
3 to 8
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ESL/ELL and other students learn vocabulary about hurricanes in this interactive lesson that mandates student performance on the artistic, oral, written, and recognition levels. Using...more
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ESL/ELL and other students learn vocabulary about hurricanes in this interactive lesson that mandates student performance on the artistic, oral, written, and recognition levels. Using a combination of written materials, videos, downloaded materials, and related experiences, students add to their active word list, their science knowledge, and emergency preparedness; a KWL activity ties the various parts of the lesson together and makes it interesting to them. The plan includes multi-level assessment tools in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

tag(s): disasters (39), hurricanes (35), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Further weather lessons or emergency procedures could be a spinoff from this lesson design.

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Web Weather for Kids - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
3 to 6
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Learn about clouds, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and blizzards with this kid-friendly weather site. Each weather phenomenon is presented with easy-to-understand text, interactive activities,...more
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Learn about clouds, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and blizzards with this kid-friendly weather site. Each weather phenomenon is presented with easy-to-understand text, interactive activities, and graphics. Includes a glossary of weather terms and teacher tips for incorporating the content into your science classroom. Aligned to National Science Education standards.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (187)

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Jetstream - NOAA

Grades
6 to 12
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Weather and weather safety are explored in this site that takes the mystery out of natural phenomena (like hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms), reducing them to clearly presented...more
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Weather and weather safety are explored in this site that takes the mystery out of natural phenomena (like hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms), reducing them to clearly presented "life-cycles" and lists of ingredients. Air masses, wind patterns, and cloud formations are also discussed along with more global information about large-scale weather patterns. Each well-illustrated topic is followed by frequently asked questions and interactive quizzes. A helpful index provides a glossary, common weather acronyms, and answers to review quizzes.

tag(s): air (163), hurricanes (35), tornadoes (16)

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Severe and Hazardous Weather - University of Illinois

Grades
6 to 12
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This extensive Web site contains information about many types of weather phenomena and provides impressive photographs, animations, and demonstrations. Explanations of weather maps,...more
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This extensive Web site contains information about many types of weather phenomena and provides impressive photographs, animations, and demonstrations. Explanations of weather maps, high and low pressure systems, air masses and fronts, El Nino and La Nina, are included along with current weather, future forecasts, and archived data.

tag(s): floods (6), hurricanes (35), tornadoes (16), weather (187)

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Visualize the Storm - CNN

Grades
6 to 12
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This CNN site offers a "virtual reality" look inside a hurricane to show how the wind currents drive the storm. You'll need the Cosmo VRML player. ...more
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This CNN site offers a "virtual reality" look inside a hurricane to show how the wind currents drive the storm. You'll need the Cosmo VRML player.

tag(s): weather (187)

In the Classroom

This site would be useful in any class that discusses the forces of nature, whether it be a Government class or a science class. Open the virtual tour via interactive whiteboard or projector, and play the demonstration for students. An example like this could be useful in a class discussing government responses to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina. In order for students to understand the concept of appropriate response, a refresher on the actual power of a hurricane would be useful. And of course any science teacher could use this at the beginning of a unit on the forces of nature to insure all students have the same basic knowledge of hurricanes.

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Hurricane & Tropical Storm Tracking

Grades
6 to 12
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A tracking resource from Terrapin Associates which provides current storm forecast tracks as well as animated tracks from past storms. ...more
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A tracking resource from Terrapin Associates which provides current storm forecast tracks as well as animated tracks from past storms.

tag(s): weather (187)

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Hurricane Guide - Miami Science Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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The Miami Museum of Science is building this new site to help younger students understand hurricanes and how to prepare for them. The site includes lots of graphics showing how ...more
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The Miami Museum of Science is building this new site to help younger students understand hurricanes and how to prepare for them. The site includes lots of graphics showing how storms develop, as well as information on how to stay safe if there's a hurricane headed your way. The site includes a teachers guide, as well as a section for children who have survived a hurricane.

tag(s): weather (187)

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