Expect 2020 to be a record-setting year for hurricanes. Current forecasts predict nearly twice the number of hurricanes this year compared to previous years. At this moment, there are two of concern: Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura, forecast to strengthen to a hurricane before reaching landfall. Both storms are expected to make landfall in the U.S. within 48 hours of each other, an unprecedented event.
ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World includes authoritative live feeds and other content that helps you learn more about active hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. Besides making your own map in under a minute using ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Living Atlas content, you can use other applications that use the same live feeds to visualize and learn more about hurricanes.
Continue reading to learn about three ways to make a map and find out more about hurricanes, all in under a minute.
Make a hurricane map
Follow these steps to make your own hurricane map in a minute or less. Just follow this workflow:
- Make an ArcGIS Online map using the ArcGIS Living Atlas Active Hurricanes.
- Refine and finalize the map by changing the basemap and adjusting layers and styles (optional).
Step 1 — Open Map Viewer, click Add, then Browse Living Atlas Layers.
Step 2 — Enter “hurricane” in search to locate the Recent Earthquakes layer. Click (+) to add it to the map.
Tip: To learn more about any layer, click the layer title to View item details.
From the Active Hurricanes item details you will learn that the layer shows the observed path, forecast track, and intensity of tropical cyclone activity (hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones) from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The source is checked for updates every 15 minutes.
After adding Active Hurricanes, the map content shows a collection of layers describing the observed and forecast hurricane positions and tracks, the forecast error cones, and watches and warnings. The map below shows the status for Marco and Laura in the Gulf of Mexico.
Explore the map and click features to learn more. The map was created in less than a minute, but additional refinements can be made to customize the map to suit your tastes and needs.
In the example below, all layers save those showing the observed and forecast tracks, plus the forecast error cone, have been toggled off. The basemap was changed to Firefly Imagery Hybrid. Finally, the style was adjusted for the error cones for better viewing on the basemap.
Experiment with different basemaps, layer visibility, and layer style adjustments to create the map you like.
Use Hurricane Aware
Hurricane Aware is a ready-to-use Living Atlas application that uses the same live feeds layer as above. The app also adds demographic information to help you learn more about impacted areas. Follow these steps to use Hurricane Aware.
Step 1 — Navigate to the ArcGIS Living Atlas website Apps tab and look for Hurricane Aware.
Step 2 — Open Hurricane Aware by clicking the thumbnail to View app details.
Step 3 — Click View application.
Step 4 — Click Select Storm and choose from the current active storms. Hurricane Laura was selected.
Step 5 — View the selected hurricane. The forecasted storm intensity is displayed on the right, click an entry to zoom to the forecasted event.
Step 6 — Click anywhere within the United States to learn more about weather and the demographics of the local community. A yellow dot appears where you click.
Additional charts are added below the forecast events showing precipitation, wind gusts, population, and demographic information.
Hurricane Public Information Map
The Hurricane Public Information Map is built and maintained by the Esri Disaster Response Program. It uses ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, ArcGIS Living Atlas live feeds and basemaps, along with the Public Information solution template. To use the app, follow these steps.
Step 1 — Locate the app on the Esri Disaster Response Program website. Open the Disasters tab, then choose Hurricanes.
Step 3 — Explore the map using the available tools. Map navigation, measure, print, sketch, and a basemap tools can be found in the upper left. The upper right has map information, legend, layer visibility, full screen, and sharing tools. Click any feature to learn more about it.
Experiment to create the desired map by toggling different layers, changing the basemap, and adding sketch elements.
You can make a hurricane map using authoritative live feed sources in well under a minute using any of the options discussed above.
For more information, see:
- Browse Living Atlas layers
- Change style
- ArcGIS Living Atlas
- ArcGIS Living Atlas Apps
- Esri Disaster Response Program
- Esri Disaster Response Program Hurricanes