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Hurricanes As Heat Engines DLESE Reviewed Collection
In this lesson, students will examine a historical Category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Rita, that crossed the Gulf of Mexico during September 18-24, 2005. First, they will use the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server to obtain sea surface temperature (SST) data maps of the Gulf of Mexico. Then, they will construct a time series of SST data (line plot) for a location within the path of the hurricane where a drop in SST is observed. Students will gain an understanding of how hurricanes gain energy from the ocean surface.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Mathematics
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: MYND-000-000-000-064
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Places and regions:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Dr Lin Chambers