Activities

Tracking Hurricane Katrina

Name: _________________________________       Date: _____________

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina brought scenes of unimaginable destruction to the Gulf Coast. Days before the hurricane made landfall, satellites were already tracking Katrina as it grew from a disorganized storm to a monstrous hurricane. Use the info about Katrina's category, track, and coordinates on the link to answer the questions below.

  1. On August 23, Katrina's storm category was ___________________ (light blue). Its maximum wind speed was ______ mph. Its lowest barometric pressure was _______ millibars.
  2. On August 24, Katrina was a ____________________ (light green). Its maximum wind speed was ______ mph. Its lowest barometric pressure was _______ millibars.
  3. On August 26, Katrina grew to a _________________ hurricane (yellow) as it hit Florida. Its maximum wind speed was ______ mph. Its barometric pressure dropped to _______ millibars.
  4. By August 28, Katrina grew into a _________________ hurricane (lavender). Its maximum wind speed was now ______ mph while its barometric pressure plunged to _______ millibars.
  5. Notice where Katrina was between August 24 and August 28. Think about how a hurricane gets its energy. Give a hypothesis relating the storm's dramatic gain in strength to its location.
  6. Look closely at your data. What can you conclude about the relationship between wind speed, barometric pressure, and the strength of a hurricane?
  7. Here's a satellite view of Hurricane Katrina striking New Orleans. Read the caption. How strong was the hurricane when it hit land?
  8. Read this Planet Diary report. Describe the impact Katrina had on the U.S. Gulf Coast.