Mapping Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the US East Coast, and there a lot of places around the Web where you can track its progress. If you need something that will still be available offline, or you want to be able to integrate your own data along with information about the hurricane, then Depiction is the tool for you. The above video goes over the steps for bringing in the latest satellite imagery and path predictions for Irene.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Create a new depiction that encompasses most or all of the US East Coast. Don’t worry about the warning about the depiction size–just don’t try to bring in road networks or elevation at this level.
- Go to the add menu, select Web Services, and then select WMS from the dropdown menu.
- Put this URL in the text bar and click Show Content: http://nowcoast.noaa.gov/wms/com.esri.wms.Esrimap/obs
- In the Content list, scroll down to the GOES Visible Image. Select that, choose Auto-detect from the element list and click Add.
- This will load the latest satellite image of the region into your depictio and put it into a revealer.
- You will probably want to size your revealer to cover your entire region, then turn its transparency up to the maximum and lock it in place.
- To get the latest hurricane projections, go to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gis/ and click on the “Hurricane IRENE .shp” link to download a zip file.
- Unzip the file to your computer, then, one at a time, drag and drop the files that end in “5day_pgn.shp”, “5day_lin.shp” and “5day_pts.shp”, adding each of them as ‘Auto-detect’.
- These will bring in the projected path, the ‘cone of uncertainty’ and key points along the path.
- If you want to use the hurricane icon for the points that I used in the video, it’s available in the Homeland Security Natural Events icon pack–or you can use any other image you may have or want.
- Key properties for the points are DATEBL, which gives the time for the projection, TCDVLP, or what type of storm is projected to be present at the time (hurricane vs. major hurricane vs. tropical storm, etc.), SSNUM which, I believe, refers to the category (or strength) of the hurricane, and MAXWIND, which gives the highest projected 1-minute average wind at that point.
You can now explore the data that you’ve imported, or add your own data (spreadsheets, images, other shapefiles, etc.), either to satisfy your curiosity, or to make plans in regards to how you are going to respond to the storm.