Maps & Resources Tracking Hurricane Rita

As Hurricane Rita bears down on Texas, we’re obviously hoping for the best.
Some new resources for those who want to track the storm’s progress are covered
below, including very nice MSN Virtual Earth-powered and Google Maps-powered
services.

Robert Scoble
points to
an MSN Virtual Earth-powered
map produced by
Poly9 for MSNBC. It shows where the storm has been and where it is projected to
go, future points in lighter shades of white.

Hover over any future point for a bit more info on forecasted winds.
Wondering how the track will impact Galveston? Hard to see on the map, because
as a small town, Galveston’s not shown unless you zoom in a bit. Basically, find
Houston and come down at a 5 o’clock angle until you hit the coast — or zoom
in.

Sadly, if you visit  either the actual
MSN Virtual Earth site or MSNBC, you
don’t find any links to this map. How Robert found it, he doesn’t say, but it
should be a lot easier.

One plus to the exploring, however. MSNBC has another great
Hurricane Tracker map that
shows the past path and projected route, along with how the storm has grown in
strength. Look to the left of the map, and you’ll see links for past storms in
2004 and 2005, including Katrina.

Doc Searls points
to Central Florida Hurricane Center 2005, or
flhurricane.com
. As the site says, this is not some official government site
but a nice resource run by weather hobbyists.

They’ve got a Google Maps-based
storm track you can
follow — where the storm has been, where it’s expected to go, and info when you
click on any of the pinned points along the way.

I think it’s much nicer with the hybrid view switched on, and Galveston shows
easily with only slight zooming. Also check out the legend that explains the
storm strength as show with colored dots.

Steve Rubel
notes
you can now get weather feeds via
Yahoo, by the way. I didn’t think this was new, but they’re adding so much, it’s
hard to keep track! A page with severe weather alerts is
here, Texas
here, but these
are sent via email only. A Yahoo News feed for "Hurricanes & Topical Storms" is
here — and those who
prefer to read online can see the Full Coverage area for hurricanes
here.

Hurricane Rita
Takes Aim at Texas Coast
from Gary yesterday also notes some other news
resources tracking Rita. Basically, pick your usual news source suspect, and
they’re going to be doing something.

FYI, I remarked to my wife when Ophelia came along how quickly we were going
through the hurricane alphabet. What happens if we hit Z (or really W, the last
letter actually used)? MSNBC
writes
we move to the Greek alphabet, along with nice background on how
storms are named.

Postscript from Gary: More Maps.

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