One more about hurricanes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My column is beginning to resemble more of a hurricane fact book than a column of boating safety topics. However, over the past five weeks, the positive response that I have received from readers indicates that I have struck a cord. Our readers are finding the hurricane information, especially as it relates to boating, of interest. So, just one more column on hurricane issues – next week I promise to return to other, safer boating topics.

This week we look at yet another exceptional Web site, which presents a unique blend of information sources that can be incredibly useful to recreational boaters, and those that just want information on hurricanes. The site is called and it really is a resource that boaters should tab on their favorites.

I like this site for several reasons. I found it easier to pull information from then some of the other sites out there. One question that has been asked over the last few days was how the temperature of the water and the upper level winds played into the effect presented by a hurricane. In the site, you can find both these pieces of information quickly. I also liked the chart which presented a Tropical indicator, showing places in the world that development is more ripe than others. To boaters, especially those that venture offshore or do long haul boating this information is invaluable.

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The site provides the daily Hurricane Hunter information and observations. The Hurricane Hunters are specially equipped C-130s that fly into the storm and drop meteorological data collectors. A recent report on ABC’s early morning show provided viewers an idea up close how dangerous this work is. On the site you can see the results of this flight.

The site all contains a large collection of links, including the Coast Guard’s &uot;StormWatch&uot; site. There is also a section with newspaper articles, from Dave Barry’s column on hurricanes, to a reprint of the USA TODAY Weekender article on the specific parts of a hurricane.

The final feature that I really like is the Featured Book section. I have to admit I was amazed at the number of books that have been done on hurricanes and their destruction. This week the featured book was &uot;The Ship and Storm&uot; by Jim Carrier.

There were many other titles within the &uot;bookstore.&uot;

The site even had the last names left on this year’s hurricane roster including: Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma, four names I REALLY hope we don’t see for the rest of this year.

The web site is &uot;; Check it out. It provides boaters another tool in their bag when seeking information on one of America’s most destructive forces.

Until next week….boat safe…. and boat smart!

Joe DiRenzo III is a retired Coast Guard Officer and former cutter Commanding Officer. Currently a Coast Guard civilian employee, he is a nationally recognized expert on port security and maritime terrorism issues. He has written boating columns for the Suffolk News-Herald for just under five years.