Research and Revise

Now that you have shared information about what you know about hurricanes and have viewed multiple perspectives about the link between hurricanes and the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, it is now time for you to research and revise your ideas, using the Web.  Visit the Web sites listed to learn more about the anatomy of a hurricane, how hurricanes form, and factors that determine hurricane strength, and to investigate how these factors affect public health and awareness.

Vocabulary List

Cyclone Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Gulf Stream Mosquitoes
Hurricane Storm surge El Niño/La Niña Dengue fever
Hadley cell circulation Storm tracks Waterborne disease West Nile virus
Convection High- and low-pressure systems Insect vector Malaria


  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Preparedness provides information about hurricanes, including maps of hurricane tracks.  There are also links to various resources that you can use to learn about historical tropical cyclones occurring in locations throughout the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and East-Central North Pacific basins.


  • The EarthLabs — Hurricanes module.

    The module contains nine labs for learning about hurricanes through data analysis activities and hands-on experiments.  The labs are designed to be done in sequence.  Depending on available time, your teacher may assign all nine activities, or Labs 1, 2, and 9, which are the most relevant to this challenge.

  • Lab 1, Meteorological Monsters.

    In this introductory activity, you will view and interpret a satellite visualization movie of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season that shows a composite of Atlantic Basin satellite imagery and sea surface temperatures overlaid with hurricane paths and names.  Through close examination of this movie, you will develop a general understanding of the multiple systems and processes that influence hurricane life cycles.

  • Lab 2, Hurricane Anatomy.

    You will view and explore a variety of different hurricane visualizations: movies of satellite imagery (visible and infrared); composite images with rainfall intensity, wind circulation, temperature; cross-sectional composites; and radar imagery.  Based upon their analysis of the images, you will identify basic hurricane structure, wind circulation patterns, and precipitation patterns.  Next, you will compare your interpretation and labeling of the images with textbook or Internet-derived diagrams of hurricane structure and refine your interpretation and labeling.  To conclude, you will examine images of a southern hemisphere tropical cyclone that you will contrast and compare to northern hemisphere cyclones.

  • Lab 9, Death and Destruction.

    You will search for images and video that illustrate the dangers that hurricanes pose to property and life.  You will consult morbidity and mortality reports to find the common causes of death attributed to hurricanes and to discover the challenges to counting deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  You will also explore hazards from storm surge, high winds, and inland flooding and outline a plan that would prepare you to survive a hurricane.