A hurricane (or typhoon, or severe tropical cyclone), the strongest storm on Earth, is a cyclonic (rotary) storm that derives its energy from cloud formation and rainfall.
This is unlike mid-latitude storms that derive their power from a temperature gradient. The strongest hurricanes release energy the equivalant of one 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. A hurricane begins as a tropical depression with a sustained wind speed of less than 39 mph (35 knots; 63 km/hr). As the system strengthens, it becomes a tropical storm with winds from 39 to 73 mph (35-63 knots; 63-118 km/hr).
Tropical storms are named in the Atlantic, East, Central and Northwest Pacific, in the South Indian Ocean, and in the Arabian Sea. When the winds are sustained (based on a one-minute average) at 74 mph (64 knots; 119 km/hr), the storm becomes: In the Atlantic Ocean, East Pacific, Central Pacific (east of the International Dateline) and Southeast Pacific (east of 160°E) a Hurricane; in the Northwest Pacific (west of the International Dateline) a Typhoon; in the Southwest Pacific (west of 160°E) and Southeast Indian Ocean (east of 90°E) a Severe Tropical Cyclone; in the North Indian Ocean a Severe Cyclonic Storm; and in the Southwest Indian Ocean (west of 90°E) a Tropical Cyclone.
Tracking Hurricane Irene: map in Twitter, YouTube and Flickr
The map is built using the ArcGIS API for Flex and runs on ArcGIS Server. Data comes from a variety of sources, including the National Hurricane Center, Open Street Map, Telvent and social media APIs.
Tracking Hurricane Irene with Google Maps
Storm Advisory use Google Maps to show the track and projected track of hurricanes. The map currently shows Hurricane Irene as an H2 category storm. StormAdvisory also features a news ticker of the latest hurricane news.
IbisEye is also tracking Hurricane Irene with the help of Google Maps. The map includes constantly updated statistics on the hurricane. At the time of writing IbisEye says that the maximum recorded wind from Irene, so far, is 109 mph.
WunderMap’s Google Map of Hurricane Irene also allows you to overlay the latest satellite imagery of cloud cover.