Tracking Hurricanes with Google Earth

With Hurricane Alex making landfall, the 2010 Hurricane season is underway. As we’ve shared in the past, Google Earth can be a great way to track these hurricanes as they develop.
The first place to start is the weather and storm tracking tools collection which Frank assembled a few years ago. It’s got a variety of layers that helps to view all of the current storms out there. You can read more about how he put this package together.


Another good resource is’s download page. Their files are quite useful, but they generate a new one for each storm. It’d be nice to see them wrap all of the files into a network link so that it’d update automatically, but it’s still a useful tool to have.
Last year Google created a special layer for “Hurricane Season 2009” in the main “Weather” layer folder. They haven’t created a 2010 version, but I hope they will because the 2009 version was quite useful. In the meantime, the “clouds” and “radar” information in there is still helpful, but doesn’t do a lot in terms of storm tracking.

Do you know of other useful tools for tracking hurricanes/cyclones in Google Earth? Let us know in the comments section so others can use them as well.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. I recently finished a Google Earth visualization of the 2010 hurricane season using animated overlays, tracks, and icons. It’s a pretty cool way to sea the entire season develop in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins. I used a custom app to process NOAA storm track data and export individual KML files for each storm. (Slow down the animation to get the full effect.)
    It’s available on my website and in the Google Earth Gallery.

  2. Greg — That is great! I’ll likely post a blog entry about it in the next week or so. Thanks!

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