October is almost here, and fall officially started last week; pumpkin in all its natural and synthetic forms has initiated its perennial invasion; and the more breezy among us might assume that the potential for tropical storms went out the window along with the summer’s tropical weather. Unfortunately, that’s not the case – hurricane season officially lasts until November 30 – and, just this morning, Hurricane Joaquin turned its eye toward potential landfall on the United States’ Atlantic Coast.
…which gives us a great excuse to feature a mind-blowingly fun data visualizer: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Historical Hurricane Tracker.
NOAA’s tool lets you easily search its database for information on past years’ storms – including info dating deep into the 19th century – and represents those storms on a handsome, interactive map, complete with the hurricanes’ trajectories, strengths, and rather casual first names. You can also query the data based on location, setting the zone of interest in customizable distances. For instance, here’s a sample of all the hurricanes that have passed within 100 nautical miles of VividCortex’s office, here in Charlottesville, VA, beginning with Tropical Storm UNNAMED back in 1859.
We’re always in admiration when a database manages to present itself so efficiently and engagingly as this. Go ahead and try for yourself: take NOAA’s tool for a whirl.