Tracking hurricane wind speeds in Google Earth

Back in 2006, we showed you a tool from Jeremy Cothran at the University of South Carolina that provided a ton of near real-time weather data from various sensors around the southeastern United States.
Jeremy has now taken that vast amount of data, and simplified it to highlight significant events among those sensors. In particular, it highlights wind gusts over 30 mph or wave heights over five feet. The result, when combined with other tools such as Google’s built-in satellite overlay, can be quite useful.


The more significant events are shown using larger icons, making it easier to see where the heart of the action is. You can view it yourself by loading this KMZ file into Google Earth. You can also view the data using Google Maps, but it loses the label styling and time slider functionality.
In both cases, the data shown is from the past 24 hours, and is updated hourly with new information. Nice work, Jeremy!

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. Thanks for the post! Wanted to add that clicking on any of the locations gives a time-series graph of the recent activity at that point also. Looking to add water levels(storm surge) and precipitation data in the future.

  2. Nice work Jeremy!

  3. As the weather clears and things are calm, you won’t really see much with this map, so a retrospective map for hurricane Irene demonstrating what should be available in future storms is available at

  4. That’s a great and cool news indeed!


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