Storm Tracking With Google Earth

[NOTE: Here is a video showing the storm tracking tools in action]
Weather tools in Google EarthOne of Google Earth’s most powerful features is the ability to pull in real-time information from other sites and overlay the information for visualization (thanks to the network link). Weather data is one of my favorite applications in Google Earth of this ability. Imagine pulling in the latest satellite photos, radar animations, hurricane tracking, live web cams on the ground, sea surface temperature analysis, etc. Well, you can do all that with the set of the very best weather tools for Google Earth which GEB has bundled together into this: the weather and storm tracking tools collection . Simply drag this network link into your Places folder to keep it handy. It won’t take up space until you turn it on. It first loads several folders of weather tools you can explore. You may want to turn only one layer on at a time – these layers weren’t designed to all be turned on at once. Although, some of the layers are complimentary (like current lightning strikes with clouds or storms turned on).
Right now the collection includes: two global hurricane tracking tools, global cloud maps, current global lightning strikes animation (from, zoomable GOES weather satellite imagery, severe weather warning data and radar data from NOAA for the US, a large collection of weather image overlays from TropicalAtlantic, weather observations for the US from WeatherBonk, a real-time day/night viewing tool, and the global annual lightning flash rate map from NASA.
Turn on the first layer Hurricanes – Live Positions link to see the latest storms around the world. You will see the storms’ tracks, forecasted paths, current positions, and the red dots are nearby web cams. The position of the storms, when a hurricane, will show it’s storm strength (level 1, 2, etc.). You can also turn on Google Earth’s built-in Weather->Clouds layer which is the best tool for viewing the current positions of clouds around the world.
These tools were put together by a variety of people (some are weather professionals, others are weather hobbyists). But, these are the best. GEB will continue to add more storm and weather tools to the network link periodically, but if you save this network link, you will automatically see them added.
Here are more details about the weather tools in the collection:

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. This is great — particularly for Floridians and those near the coast. Great article!

  2. Mucbarney says:

    There is an image update for Munich Germany (August 25th 2007)

  3. andyepstein says:

    is there a way to get a normal satellite loop covering a given number of hours. say one picture every 2-4 hours and a loop of about 7 pictures so one can see the movement of the storms? I am primarily concerned with the pacific nw and the area near revelstoke bc.

  4. What about displaying the “Cone of Uncertainty”?

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