Hurricane Irene in Google Earth

Hurricane Irene, which has already done some serious damage to Puerto Rico, was recently captured in stunning high resolution by NASA’s Terra satellite as it heads toward the east coast of the United States.
[UPDATE: We’ve posted more tools for tracking Hurricane Irene]


You can view the image on NASA’s Earth Observatory website, or view it in Google Earth using this KML file. Be aware the KML is loading the full 5 MB file from NASA’s server, as it’s amazingly sharp, so it’ll take a few moments to load.
To track the Hurricane and view its forecasted track, turn on your Places layer and an icon will appear over the Hurricane. Clicking that icon will give you access to details about the Hurricane, along with historical data and various projected paths. More details about this feature can be found in this post from a few months ago.
If you’re aware of other great tools to help track Irene and other 2011 hurricanes, leave a comment below and let us know.

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. The hurricane Irene location / weather data in Google Earth seems to be quite a bit behind reality. Now getting closer off the Florida coast – I am watching closer … and other valid plots put it quite a bit further north than where Google Earth puts it.

  2. John Smith says:

    mickmel, the possessive form of “it” is “its”, not “it’s”. You’re welcome.

  3. Good catch, John. I’ve corrected it now. Thanks!

  4. Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage to our home and gutters, does anyone have good tips on the best way to remove branches from gutters and downspouts? I used this one but I might be missing a few more. Help?

  5. It just looks like a big cloud, it doesn’t look like something so dangerous.

  6. It’s a shame we can’t capture all that energy.

  7. I don’t think we can make wind turbines strong enough to withstand a hurricane yet Geoff.

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