Hurricanes

Blue holes, like the Great Blue Hole in Belize, are vast caverns that descend into the seafloor. Sediment accumulates at the bottom of a blue hole, giving researchers a way to gauge historical hurricane activity.

Blue Holes Show Hurricane Activity in the Bahamas Is at a Centuries-Long Low

Many more powerful storms battered the region in the past

Hurricane Nora off the coast of Mexico and Hurricane Ida gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico on August 28, 2021.

NOAA Predicts Another Busy Hurricane Season This Year

2022 will likely be the seventh consecutive year of above-average hurricane activity

Some 1,500 rhesus macaques live a mile off the eastern shore of Puerto Rico on Cayo Santiago.

Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican Island Where 1,500 Monkeys Rule

The Caribbean Primate Research Center on Monkey Island is one of the world’s top institutions for studying primate behavior

This mural outside of an outfitter's office illustrates the snaking mouth of Mosquito Bay.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bays Are Brighter Than Ever

The nightly light shows have rebounded from Hurricane Maria's devastating blow

Anyone who drives the stretch from Miami to Key West is bound to be mystified by the ghostly remains of an early 20th century railway.

In the Florida Keys, a Century-Old Bridge Reopens as a Tropical High Line

A portion of the Seven Mile Bridge, an engineering marvel completed in 1909, has been transformed into a linear park

A humpback whale and her calf swim underwater. A recent study in Nature found whales eat and poop way more than previously thought—and that feces plays an important role in fertilizing the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2021

From the discovery of a large bioluminescent shark to the use of an innovative drone to study hurricanes, these are the best marine stories of the year

NOAA and Saildrone deployed the fleet of five hurricane-class vessels in the Atlantic’s “hurricane belt” in the summer months leading up to this year’s tropical storm season. 

 

Innovation for Good

'Saildrone' Captures First-Ever Video From Inside a Category 4 Hurricane

This uncrewed, remote-controlled vessel gathered valuable scientific data that could help researchers better understand and predict these violent storms

Natural disasters do not destroy buildings evenly. By studying which fall and which are left standing, engineers can develop new strategies for the future.

When a Natural Disaster Hits, Structural Engineers Learn From the Destruction

StEER engineers assess why some buildings survive hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and why others do not

A dozen rat carcasses with upturned bellies were found littered along the sand in Brooklyn's Canarsie Park.

Rat Carcasses Wash Ashore in New York City After Hurricane Ida

Flood waters from record rainfall overwhelmed the rodents and forced them out of their homes

Researchers with the Kivi Kuaka project are tagging a variety of Pacific birds, hoping they will reveal differences in their capacity to detect and respond to dangerous storms and tsunamis.

Can Birds Tip Us Off to Natural Disasters?

Researchers think birds can hear hurricanes and tsunamis—a sense they’re hoping to tap into to develop a bird-based early warning system

Two original slave cabins, as well as the 1790 Big House, 1790 barn and 19th-century kitchen, survived the storm. But Ida destroyed at least several structures on the historic plantation.

Hurricane Ida Damages Whitney Plantation, Only Louisiana Museum to Focus on the Enslaved

The historic site will remain closed indefinitely as staff assess the destruction and make repairs

Smithsonian Voices

How the Smithsonian Collected Artifacts That Told the Story of Hurricane Katrina

Buildings in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, pictured here, sustained damage when Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Destroys New Orleans Jazz Landmark Dubbed Louis Armstrong's 'Second Home'

The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence collapsed on Sunday after water pooled on its roof

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana's southeastern coast at 11:55 am eastern on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Slams Louisiana Coast on the 16th Anniversary of Katrina

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall in southeastern Louisiana midday Sunday, causing extensive flooding and power outages

Hurricane Elsa before downgrading to a tropical storm near Barbados

Hurricane Elsa's Early Arrival Could Mean a Busier-Than-Usual Storm Season in the Atlantic

Following Elsa, the fifth hurricane so far, experts now forecast at least 20 named tropical storms and nine named hurricanes in total

The Sound of Our Resurrection Is Stronger Than the Silence of Death is what McCormick and Calhoun call their picture of A Chosen Few Brass Band, photographed in the city’s Treme neighborhood in the 1980s.

Photographs Salvaged From Hurricane Katrina Recall Life in New Orleans

Making art out of disaster, two photographers reexamine these affectionate portraits of life in the Crescent City

A postcard of Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, from 1914

Five of America's Most Invincible Hotels

From Miami to San Francisco, these luxury establishments survived their share of crises before the Covid-19 pandemic

Hurricane Laura as it approached the Gulf Coast on August 26, 2020

NOAA Predicts Another Above-Average Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and NOAA predicts it will see between 13 and 20 named storms

A satellite image of North America taken on August 25, 2020. Smoke from wildfires can be seen rising from California and Hurricane Laura can be seen heading toward Louisiana and eastern Texas as the remnants of Marco swirl over the Southeast.

NOAA's Weather Forecasting System Just Got a Major Update

The new version of the Global Forecast System could give Americans in the path of a hurricane an additional 36 hours to prepare compared to the old model

Category-4 Hurricane Laura hit Cameron, Louisiana on August 27, 2020 with winds up to 150 mph and storm surge in excess of 15 feet. The storm caused costly destruction along the coast and inland to the city of Lake Charles and was one of seven storms that caused more than $1 billion in damages.

U.S. Breaks Record for Billion-Dollar Climate Disasters in 2020

A total of 22 disasters caused $95 billion in total damage, reflecting climate change’s growing cost

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