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Scientists Use Animation to Track Hurricane Frances

With Hurricane Frances bearing down on Florida, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center have developed a new satellite animation tool that provides detailed, near realtime movies of the hurricane as it approaches the Florida coast. The animation, available at, shows the massive storm sweeping across the Bahamas toward Florida. Updated every half-hour, the movie is produced from visible and infrared satellite imagery obtained from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-12 satellite. Images of the storm are projected on a base map obtained from NASA's Earth Observatory Team. This color, high-res base map shows the affected islands in detail.

According to staff scientist and hurricane expert Chris Velden, the new animation tool will be online throughout the hurricane season, enabling the public and scientists to track hurricanes and tropical storms. For more information, contact Velden at (608) 262-9168 or

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