[IMG: Luis; Credit: Norm Nelson, Bermuda Biological Station for Research - http://www.bbsr.edu/~norm]

The Hurricane Page

the 1996 season

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Don't forget to look at the local reports and weather discussions from the Leeward islands' point of view.

| 1996 Summary | Marco | Lili | Isidore | Hortense | Fran | Edouard | Bertha |

- Fran and Gustav -

Aug 30, 1996 10:30am EDT
I found the following St.Maarten update regarding Fran written by Romeo Chance (Megatropic, St.Maarten's only ISP) on the Palm Beach Post website:

     Well Prepared
     by Romeo Chance, 8/29/96

     Well, it appears that another storm has decided to 
     bypass our island paradise of St. Maarten.....

     Nonetheless, the level of readiness for such events 
     is high. For Fran, because of the "WATCH" issued 
     earlier today, several businesses and private homes 
     on both sides of the island began taking 
     precautionary measures. People were stocking up on 
     essentials but there was no "panic" in the 
     air......everything proceeded calmly......

     The Government did not spare any expense on this 
     one either....preparations and information were 
     extremely timely. School was canceled early with 
     the expectation that FRAn would indeed strike. This 
     cancellation is valid thru tomorrow. So at least 
     the kids got a long weekend.

     Also a contigent of military support was flown in 
     from our sister Antillean islands...this is all 
     part of the revised preparedness plans which have 
     been updated since LUIS last year. All in all it 
     was a good experience and everyone seemed to be 
     very prepared.....

     We are now looking at GUSTAV although this does not 
     look like much of a threat to our area at this 
     time.....we are also closely monitoring the 
     "factory" which is what we call the east Atlantic 
     area around North Africa.

     Our Internet service
     has been lit up with local access callers hunting 
     for weather information. We have updated our 
     weather pages to provide faster access to this type 
     of information to accommodate the demand.

Visit Megatropic's weather page for more info.

One last note about Gustav: it still looks like it will disappear in the Atlantic! The wave which came off the African coast yesterday (see below) fell apart as well, and doesn't look as impressive and well-organized anymore. Although, according to the National Weather Service it has some potential for further development...

Aug 29, 1996 8:15pm EDT
So we got lucky again!! If you want to check out what Fran will do in the near future and if it will threaten the US coast, I would recommend visiting the Palm Beach Post website, or follow the various links spread around on this page (which I should organize when I have some spare time).

And what about Gustav? More good news, seems like that one will disappear to the North somewhere far from any landmass in the Atlantic. There seems to be a so-called Mid Atlantic Upper Level Cut Off Low steering it to the north. In 72 hours NHC expects Gustav to be as far north as 24.0N and as far east as 44.4W (St.Maarten is 18.1N, 63.1W - a safe distance). Furthermore winds are expected to be not higher than 50knots, making it a solid tropical storm, but a long way from becoming a hurricane.

So we can breath freely for a while. But stay in touch...a huge wave just came off the African coast. Hopefully it will follow Gustav's path.

Aug 29, 1996 5:00pm EDT
Tadaaah, good news! Hurricane watches have been discontinued for all islands! Fran is going more north. The current estimate is that the center of the storm will not pass any closer than 190 miles from St.Maarten. For comparison, Edouard, which was/is a much stronger system, passed around 255 miles from the island, and they hardly felt the effects on the island (see below). For more details take a look at the Advisories from NHC.

Aug 29, 1996 2:00pm EDT
A little bit better news about Fran; from the 2:00pm EDT NHC Public Advisory:


Also, satellite images and data from the reconnaissance plane show that Fran is 'poorly' organized. Maximum sustained winds remain at 75 mph. The advisory even states that Hurricane Watches for the Islands may be discontinued later today (they will probably change them in Tropical Storm Watches). Later more when the more detailed advisories of 5pm come in...

Aug 29, 1996 11:10am EDT
The new advisories have come in. Fran's forecasted track is a little bit more to the north then earlier anticipated, putting it still north of the Leeward Islands. The center of the storm is expected to pass as close as 140 miles from St.Maarten. It's current position is 17.9N, 57.2W, moving towards the west northwest at 15 mph. This puts the eye 300 miles east of Barbuda (~20 hours). Minimum central pressure is 984 mbar.

The NHC Marine Advisory shows that in 24 hrs:

     FORECAST VALID 30/1200Z 19.5N  61.5W
     MAX WIND  75 KT...GUSTS  90 KT
     64 KT... 30NE  30SE  30SW  30NW
     50 KT... 40NE  40SE  40SW  40NW
     34 KT...120NE  60SE  60SW 120NW

The islands will be SE or SW from the center. Tropical storm winds extend to 60 nautical miles (=60x1.852km=111km) to the SE/SW of the eye, and around 225 km to the NE/NW. Since it is expected that the eye will not come closer than 140 miles (225km) from SXM, maximum sustained winds will not be higher than 34kt (39mph, min. tropical storm winds). However, higher gusts are possible. Furthermore, these numbers are calculated for sea-level, at higher altitudes higher winds are expected...

To put it all in perspective, hurricane Bertha, which eye passed straight over St.Maarten (not 100+ miles like Fran), had max. sustained winds of 80mph. The damage on the island was minimal, partly because the people were well prepared (see below). Therefore, I don't expect too much trouble for the islands, as long as they are well prepared. But as always, you never know. Caution is still advised.

Aug 29, 1996 9:00am EDT
Hurricane watches have been posted for the Northeastern Leeward Islands from Antigua through St.Martin. This includes Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Nevis, St.Kitts, St.Martin/St.Maarten, St.Barts, Statia and Saba.

Fran's position at 8AM EDT is: 17.7N, 56.6W, moving West NOrth West near 15mph, location around 340 miles east of Barbuda (22 hours).

The eye is expected to passs as close as 115 miles from St.Maarten. The 9AM Public Advisory from the NHC shows that Tropical Storm WInds (39-73mph) extend outward up to 145 miles. The islands are not expected to get Hurricane Force Winds since they extend outward up to 30 miles. But they should still be prepared for a big storm...

Aug 29, 1996 2:15am EDT
Looking at the 11pm NHC forecasts:
The closest the eye will pass SXM is at around: 19.6N, 61.8W, this is 215 km from St.Maarten. According to the Marine Advisory:

        FORECAST VALID 30/1200Z 19.1N  61.1W
        MAX WIND  75 KT...GUSTS  90 KT
        64 KT... 40NE  40SE  40SW  40NW
        50 KT... 50NE  50SE  50SW  50NW
        34 KT...140NE  80SE  80SW 140NW

So 34 kt winds extend up to 80 nm SE or SW of the eye = 150 km. SXM will be further at all times (according to the forecast) from the storm, therefore I don't even expect them to get tropical storm force winds. The system is pretty big, so I see a lot of rain and a high surf, but not high winds...

I hope I'm right...

Aug 28, 1996 8:40pm EDT
I just received another update from John Dovale (Megatropic, St.Maarten) about precaution being made on St.Maarten. For more info regarding Fran look below, or later on above when new updates come in.

     Well......here we go again

     It looks like we are going to feel the effects of a near 
     direct pass from FRAN within the next 36 hours according 
     to the 5pm advisory. Hopefully EDOUARD will keep eating 
     up the hot air and water so that FRAN does not have a 
     chance to intensify. 

     It looks to me like Edouard is pulling FRAN along and at 
     the same time acting as a blocking mechanism from FRAN 
     turning to the northwest. In my opinion this will not 
     improve as FRAN is moving faster than Edouard. However, 
     that is one good thing.......FRAN is moving Fast which
     means less chance of serious strengthening.

     I have spoken to the people at the TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
     center and they indicated to me that our Satellite 
     Earthstation (which made it through LUIS no damage) can 
     handle an 80 mph wind in connected position. If the 
     winds are above 80 mph they will neutral the dish (put 
     it in store-horizontal position) which means that quite 
     a few communication mechanisms will be disconnected 
     while FRAN passes - this would include our service as we
     utilize them.

     Hopefully this will not be the case.........Also the 
     electrical company usually shuts down power to overhead 
     cabling (the ones on the poles) for winds above 65mph. 
     So if FRAN is coming close and her winds are 70mph, We
     will have a brief period of power loss on the island. 
     Restoration should not be a problem afterward---similar 
     to BERTHA...and I believe that all facilities with 
     direct underground to the electrical plant will remain
     online - this includes most major hotels and stuff like 

     Of course this is all 'unofficial' and based on the 
     experiences of past actions taken by the
     Authorities......We will know for sure by between 9PM
     and 11PM tonight what is going to happen. Things are 
     being closely monitored at this time. 

Aug 28, 1996 5:00pm EDT
Fran is strengthening! It could become a hurricane later today. Current position: 16.1N, 53.6W. Movement is West North West near 18mph. Maximum winds are 60 knts, minimum central pressure 990 mbar. It is expected to move very close to the North of the Leeward Islands (center forecasted to pass about 80 miles from St.Maarten) with winds of 75 knots, making it a minimal hurricane. It's current position is 640 miles from St.Maarten (36 hours!). Tropical storm winds extend towards 50 nm from the center (i.e. just out of reach of the islands closest to the forecasted hurricane track; Barbuda, St.Barts, St.Maarten and Anguilla).

Aug 28, 1996 4:45pm EDT
TD#7 upgraded to Tropical Storm Gustav. Current location: 12.4N, 34.7W. It is moving North North West near 13 mph, minimum pressure: 1005mbar. Gustav is still far East of the Leeward Islands, forecast indicate that it keeps moving West/North North West over the next 3 days. In 72 hours the eye is expected to be at 17.8N, 43.8W (~1100 miles east of the islands, same latitude as St.Barts/Barbuda). So as it looks right now it does not pose a threat to the Leeward Islands.

Aug 28, 1996 1:20pm EDT
I just received another e-mail from John Dovale (Megatropic, St.Maarten). He writes the following about the current situation on the island (keep in mind that the eye of hurricane Edouard, with 130 mph winds, passed within 255 miles of the island of St.Maarten!):

     Well, we did not have any adverse weather effects from 
     EDOUARD at all. The seas did show some impressive swells 
     in certain areas, but nothing that would have been cause 
     for worry. We received a few rain showers, but nothing 
     above normaly expected. At present it is somewhat hot and 
     the humidity factor 'feels' higher than normal, but then 
     again I am in an office all day long so outside is always 
     HOT to me.

     It is somehat overcast today with some dark clouds, but 
     nothing that would indicate severe weather of any sorts. 
     Of course, everyone is tuned in to FRAN at the moment.  
     There have been preliminary reports on the Radio Stations 
     that FRAN may increase to minimal hurricane strength. The 
     information flow on the storms has been quite good so far. 
     The population is being updated as quickly as the 
     information becomes "officially available". Of course, now 
     that many individuals, and companies have internet access, 
     they too are receiving information (unofficial).

     In my opinion as a professional in Disaster Mgt, the 
     island is in a very heightened state of awareness. The  
     people are monitoring all available information sources 
     for updates (especially the boating community), and the 
     government is already in the readiness mode in the event 
     that the situation warrants action. Hoteliers are very 
     keen on the situation and on keeping their guest up to 
     date on the current situation. The Media is doing a good 
     job of disseminating the reports from the Weather Center 
     as well.

     On another note: A Private Sector Disaster Recovery Group 
     has been formulated with the goal of acting as a conduit 
     between the government and the private businesses on the 
     island (DUTCH SIDE) for coordination of recovery efforts, 
     expediting of issues needing attention in terms of 
     economic recovery of the island etc etc. This group has 
     been well accepted by the government mechanism and should 
     be a great resource for coordination of assistance from 
     the private sector as well as disseminating information to 
     the private sector on policies the government has put in 
     place in terms of preparedness for disasters.
     This is one of the reasons I said earlier that the country 
     seems very well prepared for this hurricane season.

Aug 28, 1996 11:00am EDT
TD #6 has been upgraded to a tropical storm. It's name is Fran. Good and bad news, the good news first. While it looked before that the storm was heading over Guadaloupe, current forecasts predict it to go much more north. As it looks right now it will pass just north of the Leeward islands. The bad news is that it has increased significantly in strength. Currently estimated winds are at 50 knots, these are expected to increase to 70 knots over the next 72 hours, making it a minimal hurricane...

Current position: 15.8N 51.5W. Moving to the west near 15 mph. It is about 620 miles east of the Leeward islands (at this speed this translates to 41 hours). Mimimum pressure: 997 mbar.

And what about TD #7? This looks more positive as compared to yesterday. While it is becoming better organized, winds are still around 30 knts and its moving west NORTH west near 12 mph. Forecasts show that it will go much more north than earlier anticipated! In 72 hours NHC predicts the center of the TD to be around 16N 45.1W. This is around 1000 miles east of the Leeward islands, at the same latitude as Guadaloupe. This means that it will take a course even more northerly than Fran and Edouard! So hopefully we will escape from this one as well. However, TD#7 is expected to strenghten, it may become a named storm later today. Also, with tropical systems you never know...it is too early to celebrate. Stay tuned for more...

Aug 27, 1996 11:15pm EDT
According to the latest NHC forecasts is TD#6 still not upgraded to a tropical storm, however it is borderline. It is expected to move a little bit further south than previously anticipated. In three days the center of TD#6 (then probably named Fran) should be around 16.1N, 61.9W with 60 knt winds. This is just past Guadaloupe.

TD#7 hasn't changed that much either. NHC is forecasting it to become a moderate tropical storm (Gustav) over the next three days. Expected track is still far south, in 72 hours it is expected to be at 10.2N 44.7W, or about 1100 miles west of Trinidad with 50 knots winds, but I don't think it will stay that low.

Note that NHC forecast of Edouard's track was very accurate.

Aug 27, 1996 9:30pm EDT
And number 7 has formed in the far eastern Atlantic. Like #6, still a depression, no storm (yet). Strengthening is expected though. The National Hurricane Center forecasts show that over the next 3 days TD #7 will stay pretty far south (10.5N, same latitude as Trinidad). Winds are expected to increase to 50 knots. TD #6, on the other hand, will end up much closer to the Leeward islands in 72 hours (16.5N, in between Guadaloupe and Antigua). The latest advisories for TD #7:

When forecasts will be updated as well as links to other hurricane websites and satellite images can be found below. Eric Blake's collection of links is probably the most complete.

Aug 27, 1996 4:30pm EDT
Hmmmm, it seems that Tropical Depression #6 may pose a threat to the islands after all! We have just escaped from Edouard, now we are confronted with the next storm. Although storm, it is still not upgraded to a 'named' tropical storm. It is not very well organized, pressure is not very low (1006mb) though winds are up to 35mph. The 5pm Advisory says:


The latest positions are: 14.7 N... 47.2 W. This is pretty far south. Not good for the islands. But we'll see. It doesn't look like that this is becoming a Category 3 or 4 Hurricane like Edouard. The advisories can be found at (if busy look below for alternate sites):

National Hurricane Center Advisories are released at 03:00, 09:00, 15:00 and 21:00 GMT. It is now:

- Edouard -

Aug 27, 1996 1:10pm EDT
I just received an e-mail from John Dovale who is from the (only) St.Maarten ISP Megatropic. He writes the following about the current situation on St.Maarten:

     ....according to our local weather center and also my 
     calculations, we were supposed to be feeling some effects 
     by noon today (actually between 12:00 & 2 PM) It is now 
     12:40 and everything is still calm......no problems so far.
     We are expecting some rain, but that will only be a benefit 
     in terms of making the place lush again.. (the lushness has 
     already started to come back in force since BERTHA).

     We expect some slight winds on certain low lying areas and a
     little bit of stirring in the ocean.But I do not believe at 
     this point it will have any effect on the condition of our 

     We are paying close attention to TD#6 and some other goodies 
     coming from the african factory, but at this point everything 
     is CALM and the place is lookin' good.

They have setup an excellent hurricane page on the St.Maarten Megatropic webserver.

Aug 27, 1996 10:00am EDT
Just spoke to my family on St.Maarten. The sun is shining and no wind. Looks like the hurricane passes too far off the island to affect it seriously. Only the swell associated with Edouard could cause beach erosion on the Atlantic side.

Aug 26, 1996 12:15pm EDT
Still looking 'good'. But as always, with hurricanes, you never know... Check out the most recent advisories and tracks (National Weather Service Website) or some alternate sites:

National Hurricane Center Advisories are released at 03:00, 09:00, 15:00 and 21:00 GMT. It is now:

The latest satellite image (visible) or take a look at the latest GOES-8 and METEOSAT images at NRL Monterey's website, or follow the links from WeatherNet's Tropical Wheater Page, especially those of Intellicast are quite impressive, as well as those from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison complete with satellite derived wind vectors.

Aug 25, 1996 11:30am EDT
Good news. As it looks right now it goes well north of the islands! I did some calculations on the 11AM forecast: it is now around 1500km from SXM (= 69 hours). The closest the storm will pass is around 420km (260miles). Since the storm it pretty tight and strong, and looking at the marine advisory, it means that the islands won't even get 34knots winds! Very good news! But you never know of course!

Aug 23, 1996 12:30pm EDT
Our bet is that Edouard will go north of the islands... Stay tuned, we will put together some hot links to track down Edouard very soon. For the time being you can use the links we used for Bertha. Though some of them won't work anymore.

- Bertha -

We have tried to put together some up-to-date information about the current state on the islands of St.Maarten and USVI after Hurricane Bertha hit. We are working on getting some reports from the BVI.

Quick Link Index
The Hurricane Page

Press Releases
Hurricane Bertha Update USVI

11:30 EDT, July 10, 1996

I just got a hold of the following two press releases 
by Martin Public Relations and the St.Croix Hotel and 
Tourism Association.  Please note that it is dated 
July 9, any referral to 'today' in the text was 

As soon as I receive an update it will be posted here 
or put on our 'hurricane web-page'.


Hurricane Bertha - Media Statement #1
Preliminary Report - July 9, 1996

ST.THOMAS, U.S.V.I., JULY 9 - The U.S. Virgin Islands 
- St.Croix, St.John and St.Thomas - has avoided any 
significant damage resulting from Hurricane Bertha.  
The storm was rated as a category-1 hurricane aqs it 
passed near the islands of St.Thomas and St.John in 
the afternoon of July 8.  St.Croix, further away from 
Hurricane Bertha's path, escaped any notable effects 
from the storm.

There are no reports of injuries to visitors to the 
U.S. Virgin Islands as a result of the storm.  
However, it has been reported that one surfer is 

Government and tourism industry officials are in the 
process of compiling detailed reports about all 
properties, businesses and residences on the islands 
of St.Thomas and St.John.  The official reports are 
due to be completed tomorrow afternoon.  St.Croix is 
reporting no damage to the island's infrastructure, 
tourist facilities and natural beauty.

Preliminary reports include:

* The airports on St.Croix and St.Thomas are open and 
  have resumed regularly scheduled flights.  The 
  airlines flying into St.Croix and St.Thomas today 
  include: American, American Eagle, Bohlke 
  International and Delta.  Seaborne Seaplanes is also 
  operating as usual.  USAir will provide its usual 
  service to both islands by tomorrow.

* Telephone service on all three islands was available
  throughout the entire duration of the storm.  Due to 
  today's high volume of calls, circuits in the 
  Caribbean have been frequently busy.  However, it is 
  still possible to place calls to and from all three 
  of the U.S. Virgin Islands today.

* As a precautionary measure, electrical power was 
  voluntarily shut off prior to the storm.  All 
  electrical power was restored to St.Croix this 
  morning, and all power will be restored to St.John 
  and St.Thomas later this evening.

* Stores and restaurants are open and welcoming 
  visitors today on St.Croix.  Many stores are open 
  today on St.John and St.Thomas, and most are 
  expected to be open again by tomorrow.

* While St.Thomas and St.John experienced high winds 
  and rain, all hotels that were open prior to 
  yesterday's storm remain open after Hurricane Bertha 
  and are welcoming visitors.  All hotels on St.Croix 
  continue to welcoming guests.

* Most reports of damage are related to residential 
  areas where some of the buildings were still using 
  blue FEMA tarps as roofs after being damaged during 
  last September's Hurricane Marilyn.

* Leaves and other island greenery remain intact on 
  all three islands.

In general, visitors will be returning as early as 
tomorrow (and in some cases today) to the U.S. Virgin 
Islands of St.Croix, St.John and St.Thomas.


St.Croix - Hotel and Tourist Association

St.Croix, US Virgin Islands 
Hurricane Bertha Update
July 9, 1996

St.Croix is back to business as usual, the island and 
its resort received no damage from Hurricane Bertha.  
The tourism infrastructure is fully operational, and 
the airport on St.Croix is currently accepting 
regularly scheduled flights.

The main town of Christiansted and Fredricksted are 
happily welcoming shoppers, Buck Island is open for 
visitors to enjoy snorkeling and diving, and the Whim 
Plantation, Botanical Gardens and other attractions 
are also welcoming tourists.

15:00EDT, July 9, 1996

Press Release

Just received the following update from YP&B
Public Relations by way of the St.Maarten
Tourist Office.

Hurricane Bertha Update From St.Maarten

Following is straight, accurate, up-to-the-minute news 
about St.Maarten since Hurricane Bertha passed 

Bertha touched land on Dutch St.Maarten approximately 
3:00am Monday, July 8th, bringing heavy rains and 
80mph winds; and had passed through by 10:00am that 
same day.  The minimal damage included scattered 
downed power and telephone lines, blown debris and 
some dislodged storefront signage in the capital city 
of Philipsburg.

Prior to the storm's arrival, the island's electricity 
was temporarily shut down to minimize the potential 
hazard of felled power lines.  Much of the power and 
telephone service has been returned and will be 
completely restored by Friday, July 12.  Until 
Wednesday when water is completely restored, bottled 
water is suggested for consumption.

Other precautionary measures included the closure of 
Princess Juliana Airport and relocation of charter 
yachts and fishing vessels to protected harbors; those 
vessels are now returning to their permanent moorings 
and at 7:00am today the airport reopened and flight 
schedules resumed.  Cruise ships will begin returning 
to call on St.Maarten this Saturday with the arrival 
of "Inspiration".

Monday morning a temporary curfew was imposed to 
expedite damage assessments and the clean up of 
roadways.  The curfew was lifted that same evening at 

All hotels continued operating, serving their guests 
without interruption during the storm and within 24 
hours of its passing all casinos, all but two of the 
island's stand-alone restaurants, and close to 95% of 
shops reopened for business as usual.  While some of 
St.Maarten's 37 beautiful beaches lost some sand, 
erosion was minimal and will be temporary.

Commissioner of Tourism, Theo Heyliger announced today 
that "the rains of Bertha actually helped to revive 
the lushness of St.Maarten's vegetation which was 
beginning to show the results of a very dry spring.  
Tourism is our business and we want it to be known 
that St.Maarten is without doubt open for business.  I 
await vacationing public, as do the hotels, 
restaurants and vibrant night life".

Hurricane Bertha Update St.Maarten

11:30EDT  July 9, 1996

Spoke to several people on the island.  First
reports of 'minor' damage still holds true.

* last night the curfew was lifted
* as of 7am this morning airport open
* rumors report that a man on the french side 
  had 'some electricity problems' and unfortunately
  got electrocuted...
* only three boats down in the lagoon
* power is up, in some areas phones are still down
* leaves are still on the (palm)trees, only vegetation
  planted four months ago (aftermath Luis) damaged, 
  e.g. palmtrees along airport road down (no time 
  enough to set root)
* as far as I've heard all stores seem to be open
* casinos and restaurants were even open last night
* the water looks brown due to the high turbulence.
  Probably within a few days the sand will settle...

The sun is shining again, and people seem to be in 
good spirits (given the circumstances).

We are awaiting more detailed reports.  As soon as
more information comes in, it will be posted here
or can be found on our 'hurricane' web page.

July 8, 1996

Hurricane Bertha Update St.Maarten

Just (12:30EDT) spoke to some people on St.Maarten.

The good news: it's over!!!  People are out on the streets,
and driving around the island to look at the damage.

The damage is not bad at all.  A lot of debris on the roads,
Corrugated iron laying in the streets.  The island just
needs (another) clean-up!

Marigot looks fine, minor damage...

Philipsburg, the same.  Dutch Army arrived.  They now  
check IDs on the roads to Philipsburg, you need to have a 
very good reason to get in town.  Precautions to prevent 
looting.  The Army will also help in the clean up.

They say that it was nothing compared to Luis, everyone 
is just very happy that it's over.

This should be good news for the USVI and BVI as well.  
Since the eye of Bertha passed straight over St.Maarten, 
the island got a full load of this system.  Despite
this the damage seems to be minor.

The latest reports show that Bertha has strengthened 
somewhat, but I am quite positive that the damage on
BVI and USVI will not be as great either.

July 8, 1996

Tracking Hurricane Bertha on the Web

The following sites I have found to be very
useful in order to stay up-to-date with
the path and strength of Bertha:

National Hurricane Center Advisories are
released at 03:00, 09:00, 15:00 and 21:00 GMT.
Intermediate advisories are released at
00:00, 06:00, 12:00 and 18:00 GMT.

It is now: 

The latest public advisory

Other National Hurricane Center Advisories can be
found at:
* http://asp1.sbs.ohio-state.edu/tropicaltext.html
* http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/products.html (the
  official National Hurricane Center pages, however,
  this site seems to be overloaded right now, or the
  server is down)
* Another very good site with links to the NHC
  advisories (and many other) is:
* I have noticed that often at the peak of the storms or when new
  advisories are coming out the above locations are 'busy' or 'unreachable'.
  Following are more sources taken from the FAQ2: HURRICANES, TYPHOONS, 
  AND TROPICAL CYCLONES (an excellent source of links):
      - gopher://geograf1.sbs.ohio-state.edu:70/1/Tropical (good source)
      - http://cirrus.sprl.umich.edu/wxnet/tropical.html (most info available)
      - http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/us/hurricane.html (full advisory list)
      - http://lumahai.soest.hawaii.edu/Tropical_Weather/tropical.shtml (map)
      - http://www.atms.unca.edu/%7Efarr/hurricane96.html (simple & excellent)
      - http://www.ih2000.net/ira/bmt-wth.htm (strike probs & track maps)
      - http://www.typhoon.org.hk/ (all basins)
      - http://www.weather.brockport.edu/cgi-bin/hurricane (nice, simple search)   

An image of the current track+forecast (not quickly updated though):
* http://www.hawaii.edu/News/localweather/atl.latest.gif

An image of the current track (updated around 15 min. after advisory
comes in):
* http://asp1.sbs.ohio-state.edu/text/wximages/hurricane/00LATEST.gif

An image of the latest forecast track (updated around 15 min. after
new forecast has come in):
* http://asp1.sbs.ohio-state.edu/text/wximages/hurricanefor/

Strike probabilities in image format:
* http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ftp/graphics/at02/al0296p.gif

Images generated with HURRTRAK software:
* http://www.pcwp.com/b1.html
* At the PC Weather Products Website you can find 
  GOES Weather Satellite images as well.
* A HURRTRAK shareware version and other weather software can 
  be found in the WeatherNet Software Archive.
USA Today - Weather has some very informative pages.

Have NWS Weather advisories automatically emailed to you:
* A service of the Palm Beach Post

How far is it?
If you want to calculate in miles or kms how far
the eye is from your island of interest visit the
following site: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Just punch in the coordinates (e.g. 18.2N 64.1W)
for both eye and target, divide it by the current
speed to get a rough estimate of the time of 

Hope this helps.

Keeping our fingers crossed!!

GoBeach Vacations
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