How close can it get?

- - Closest Point of Approach - -

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You have seen the by the National Hurricane Center issued three day forecast of the path of a hurricane, and you are wondering just "how close it can get". With this interactive program you can quickly determine an approximation of the closest point of approach of the eye of the storm to your island. Just select your island (or if your island is not listed enter your coordinates) and three day forecast, consisting of the latitude and longitude pairs of the forecast and click on 'Show me how close it can get...'. You can use the U.S. Gazetteer to find latitude/longitude coordinates for US cities and zipcodes and zipcodes or the Astrodienst-website for World-wide queries (results have to be converted from dd:mm:ss-format). A related tool on this website (How close is it?) calculates how far the storm is right now and how long before you might experience strong winds.

Caution: Remember that forecasts are 'just' forecasts. The exact path of a hurricane is very hard to predict, so the uncertainties are large, especially for the 48 and 72 hour positions. Also, do not focus on just the eye of the storm. The windfield of hurricanes can be huge, so although that it seems that the eye of the storm stays quite far away from you, the winds don't need to. More important the torrential rainfall normally associated with tropical systems can cover large areas and can cause flooding and mudslides. In fact, most fatalities associated with hurricanes are attributed to the rainfall, not the windforce itself. So be sure to look at the whole picture!

For people living in threatened areas of the United States, I have compiled a list with the latitude/longitude coordinates of many of the cities on the coast of Gulf of Mexico, plus some larger cities in Florida. The latitude/longitude can then be entered in the 'Or enter your Coordinates' section. See here (pop-up). By the way, Corpus Christi is at 27.71N, 97.29W, Houston at 29.80N, 95.39W, New Orleans at 30.07N, 89.93W, Pensacola at 30.44N, 87.19W, Panama City at 30.17N, 85.67W, Tampa at 28.0N, 82.5W and Cape Coral at 26.6N, 82.0W. -Gert

Currently Tracking:
- Tropical Depression Beryl - Latest Advisory: 1000 PM CDT Mon Jul 08 2024 [view]

Select your Island:
Enter Five Day Forecast:
Current Position:     
12 hours:     
24 hours:     
36 hours:     
48 hours:     
60 hours:     
72 hours:     
96 hours:     
120 hours:     
Or enter your Coordinates:
Lat: Lon:
Generate Map

Help? The three day forecast is can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion product. It is issued by the National Hurricane Center/Tropical Prediction Center and linked directly from the Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator (QHWRN). Lat/Lon should be entered in decimal degrees, not in the dd:mm:ss-format, so: 18.5, not: 18:30:00. Valid range: latitude 0-90 degrees, longitude: 0-180 degrees. When numbers are entered in the 'Or enter your Coordinates' box, the island selection is ignored. The coordinates for the islands are based on the corresponding National Weather Service weather stations. The closest point of approach is defined as the shortest (great circle) distance between the location of interest and the loxodrome (rhumb line) defined by two forecast points. The algorithm and code for the great circle distance calculation was provided by the National Geodetic Survey using GRS80/WGS84 as the reference ellipsoid.

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