Crowd Sourcing Tropical Systems Using the Dvorak Technique

CycloneCenter uses the Dvorak Technique to classify systems.  For more information, please visit:

As the first blog post of 2013, I wanted to share a link I recently discovered that incorporates trends in data, crowd sourcing, weather and science.  Regardless of your experience, age or background, this post is for you – you can have a part in determining the strength of a tropical system.

Have you ever wondered how scientists classify tropical systems?  Usually that involves analyzing numerous observations from land or ocean systems, flying aircraft into systems, taking measurements  through upper air balloons, etc.  However one tool that they use is a technique known as the Dvorak Technique, named after Vernon Dvorak.  Dvorak discovered that the intensity of a tropical cyclone could be skillfully approximated by the cloud patterns on a single satellite image and he developed and improved his method (now called the “Dvorak Technique”) in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The technique consists of a set of 10 steps, which can be simplified to produce the answers to four important questions: Continue reading


Heroes of Isaac – Team Braithwaite Foundation – Facing and Overcoming The Storms


You need to read this story because it embodies the challenges we face, and how we each can respond.  This is definitely a story that needs to be shared with as many people as possible, not because of the tragedy, but because of the American spirit embodied in this story – We help one another, we step up in times of trouble, and when we’re hit and knocked down, we get back up and keep going – just like the Shaffers in Braithwaite Louisiana.

After Hurricane Isaac, the Shaffer family set up the Team Braithwaite Foundation to help families impacted by Hurricane Isaac.  They’ve given clothes away, and received a number of donations from those who were not hit as hard by the storm.

But another storm hit this weekend when thieves stole nearly $15,000 worth of supplies meant for victims of the storm. Continue reading