Hurricane season: A media resource guide

NOAA offers expertise on preparedness, forecasting, research, response and recovery

UPDATED: May 10, 2024.



NOAA has developed this guide to help journalists get the timely information, graphics and video they need for stories throughout hurricane season. 

Before, during and after a hurricane, NOAA scientists are working to make America a more Weather-Ready Nation through preparedness and resiliency that saves lives, protects property and strengthens the nation’s economy.

Monitoring and forecasting

Experts at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) study the latest data to aid them in forecasting the track and intensity of every tropical cyclone over the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the eastern North Pacific Ocean. With each storm, NHC confers with the National Weather Service forecast offices in the path of the storm to coordinate watches and warnings in those communities.

  • Starting May 15 through November 30, NHC issues a Tropical Weather Outlook each day at 2 a.m., 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. EDT.
  • For every active tropical cyclone, NHC issues a complete advisory package at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m. EDT. It includes an updated forecast and graphics with the track and intensity forecast, time of arrival of tropical storm and hurricane-force winds, key messages, a potential storm surge flooding map, and a storm surge watch/warning graphic. NHC also posts the same information on Facebook and Twitter to ensure a wide distribution.
  • When hurricane watches or warnings are posted for a portion of the U.S. coastline, NHC opens a television media pool to provide live interviews to national news/weather outlets and those local TV stations in the path of the storm.
  • NWS provides timely forecasts and decision support services to help local officials determine what public safety actions are needed, such as whether to evacuate, close roads and schools, or open shelters. 
  • NHC will expand its offering of Spanish language text products to include the advisory package not only in the Atlantic basin but also in the eastern Pacific basin. Links to the Spanish-language advisory products will be available on

Hurricane specialists use weather observations from satellites, radar, and aircraft reconnaissance, and analyze a variety of computer models to forecast the track, intensity and potential impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions. 

Experts at NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center deliver marine warnings and forecasts for large portions of the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Follow their updates on Facebook and Twitter.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issues seasonal hurricane outlooks in May for the Atlantic basin, the eastern North Pacific Ocean and the Central Pacific Ocean. CPC updates the Atlantic basin outlook in early August.

NHC’s Tropical Cyclone Reports contain comprehensive information on each tropical cyclone, including synoptic history, statistics, casualties and damages. And the National Hurricane Center Verification Report provides track and forecast verification for tropical cyclones. Other topics of interest to reporters each season include the naming of hurricaneshow to use the cone graphic, safety information about tropical storms, hurricanes and storm surge watches and warnings, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and tropical cyclone climatology.

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Before a storm arrives

Hurricane preparedness is extremely important. To increase public safety, NOAA provides actions to take, before the hurricane season begins, when a hurricane approaches, and when the storm is in your area, as well as what to do after a hurricane leaves your area

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Hurricane research

NOAA researchers study all aspects of hurricanes to advance models that improve weather forecasts that save lives, protect property and support our nation’s economy. During hurricane seasonNOAAis deploys a large array of air and water uncrewed systems to gather data designed to help improve hurricane track and intensity models and forecasting.  Aerial drones are launched from NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft that fly into the eyewall of hurricanes to collect data in the area where the warming ocean can fuel rapid intensification. Other uncrewed systems — Saildones, hurricane gliders, surface floats and global drifters — are being used to gather observations for research and forecasting. In 2024, for the fourth year in a row, NOAA and Saildrone Inc. will use  saildrones to capture hurricane weather data as well as video offsite link inside major hurricanes. To follow the location of several NOAA ocean observation systems in real time, please see the NOAA Physical Oceanography Division Ocean Observations Viewer

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Climate change connection

NOAA tracks how changes in our atmosphere, ocean and climate are influencing the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. In this 2021 ScienceBrief review, offsite link NOAA and partner scientists concluded that climate change is likely fueling more powerful hurricanes while flooding during hurricanes is being amplified by sea level rise. Other research offsite link by NOAA found the speed of movement of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, has been slowing  since recent decades, with more storms lumbering slowly over land, unleashing more rain, and causing more flooding. Two NOAA scientists published a blog that looks at how human-caused climate change is influencing Atlantic hurricanes and another blog on how we might expect Atlantic hurricanes to change over the next 100 years with continued global warming. In May 2023, NOAA scientists released an updated State of the Science on Atlantic Hurricanes and Climate Change.  In addition, NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory regularly updates a website with the latest research and analysis of how  human-caused climate change may be impacting hurricanes.

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Response and recovery

NOAA’s National Ocean Service supports the resilience of coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems with end-to-end services in support of preparedness, response, and recovery. We provide data and information needed for hurricane forecasts and to help coastal authorities prepare for potential storm impacts. 

When hurricanes make landfall, they often bring with them stronger-than-normal ocean currents that can shift navigational channels and bring debris that may threaten the ability of vessels to navigate safely along the coast. NOAA provides customer-driven maritime support services to ensure navigational safety, environmental protection, and the efficient and reliable flow of commerce through our waterways immediately following a storm. The NOAA team includes navigation managers, the regional resource for the complete range of NOAA’s Navigation Support Services, and navigation response teams which are distributed nationally and are able to rapidly respond to survey needs.

NOAA’s mobile navigation response team’s efforts are aimed at speeding the resumption of shipping after storms, and protecting life and property from underwater dangers to navigation. Working with the regional navigation managers, the teams work around-the-clock after a storm acquiring and processing data to speed the reopening of ports and waterways by verifying water depth and identifying dangers to navigation.

NOAA helps coastal communities make decisions today that will leave them better prepared and more resilient to storms in the future. This includes conducting aerial surveys both pre and post storm, if appropriate. This imagery is used by managers and responders to determine how best to apply assistance after the storm.

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Impacts on fish, mammals, habitat

Hurricanes can have impacts on seafood safety, fisheries, marine mammals and ecosystems. NOAA Fisheries experts monitor seafood safety during hurricane season and all year long. Following a storm or catastrophic disaster, the office’s Seafood Inspection Program works to assess seafood safety and ensure consumer confidence in seafood products from the impacted region. 

Because storm surge may have increased water levels during a hurricane, it is possible for marine mammals to enter waterways where they are not typically found, including lakes, canals and levees. NOAA asks the public, for their own safety, to not approach marine mammals and instead report any injured, out of habitat or dead marine mammal to NOAA.

NOAA Fisheries evaluates the economic impact a hurricane may have had to the commercial and recreational fishing industries after the storm, and it can help fishing communities get back on their feet through NOAA’s fishery disaster assistance programs.

NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation has experts available upon request who work with a variety of partners to assess and restore coastal and marine habitat such as wetlands and coral reefs to boost an impacted community’s resilience to future hurricanes, and sustain economically-important fisheries for future generations. Some of the projects have resulted in restoring corals after Hurricane Matthew as well as a damage assessment and restoration of reefs off Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

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NOAA hurricane multimedia resources

For video, contact:; For archived tropical satellite imagery (animations and stills):