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Hurricane Irene: 12 Ways to Track the Storm Online

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There’s a lot of excitement on the East Coast this week. In addition to Tuesday’s earthquake, Hurricane Irene will likely make an appearance this weekend in the Carolinas and possibly elsewhere.

As I write this, Hurricane Irene is wreaking havoc on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, but who knows where it will go? The National Weather Service reported Tuesday morning that the storm is moving northwest at 10 mph. By Thursday, it’s expected to strengthen into a Category 3 storm.

Predicting the path of a hurricane is notoriously difficult work. Since things can change quickly, you can, in effect, become your own meteorologist by using many of the same tools the pros use. In this day and age, there are a wealth of online tools that can help you track the hurricane. If you’re one of the millions of people in the path of Hurricane Irene, you might want to avail yourself of the following resources.

1. National Weather Service

If you want the official word on what's going on, check in to the National Weather Service's site. Though there are sites with better graphics, the NWS is a good all-around resource for all things weather-related, including oil spills and even space weather.

2. NOAA's nowCOAST

NOAA nowCOAST lets you make a customized, real-time map using NOAA data. If you're interested in variables like the sea surface temperature and precipitation estimates, this site may be for you, but for others, this may be TMI.

3. MyFoxHurricane

A great resource from MyFoxTampaBay and the FOX Network, MyFoxHurricane has tons of pictures and an obsessively updated blog.

4. The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel has all the stuff that the other sites have along with lots of video, of course.

5. AccuWeather

AccuWeather has forecasts and lots of news, with just about every angle into the hurricane you can think of.

6. Ibiseye

Ibiseye is a big map with information about the storm's track and intensity. A graphical synopsis of the storm’s winds, pressure and wind field is also available.

7. Weather Underground

The Weather Underground has the usual features of the other sites plus the site’s trademarked “Wundermap,” on which you can choose layers of information to display.

8. Stormpulse

Stormpulse integrates information from the National Hurricane Center to give you a real-time map of the storm's progress.

9. NASA Earth Science Office

Are you curious about what the hurricane looks like from outer space? Check out the latest satellite pictures direct from NASA’s Earth Science Office. The site offers a number of different satellite views, include infrared and water vapor readings.

10. Storm Advisory

The Google Maps-based Storm Advisory lets you zoom in and out at high resolution.

11. Twitter Resources

CNN Weather's Twitter feed provides constant updates on the hurricane's progress. Other Twitter feeds worth checking out include: @BreakingWeather, TWCBreaking, MyFoxHurricane, @Hurricanes, @Wunderground, Stormpulse, @NASAHurricane and @HurricaneTrack.

12. iPad Apps

By now, most of the sites listed above have iPhone and Android apps. A few, like The Weather Channel, let you track the storm via your iPad.AccuWeather and MyFoxHurricane also have iPad apps.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Eric Hood

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