What likes the ocean and warm temperatures and goes at least 74 miles per hour? Hurricanes are powerful forces of nature that can arise given the right conditions: They need not only moist areas such as oceans and warm temperatures but also low air pressure and tropical wind patterns. It's now hurricane season in the Southern Hemisphere. Discover how hurricanes form, find out how scientists forecast and track them and learn how people prepare themselves and their homes in case one arrives, using these direct links on The Times' Launch Point Web site: http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint/
Canadian Hurricane Center: Just For Kids: Hurricanes occur in the North Atlantic Ocean from June to November while the hurricane season in the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, Indian Ocean area) runs from November to April. Let Hurricane Harry tell you all about hurricanes--how they work, how they are measured, and what people should do when a hurricane is coming.
Hurricane: Storm Science: Learn about the science behind hurricanes through various activities. Find out how hurricanes are tracked using latitude and longitude lines and how planes fly straight into the center of a hurricane to take radar images.
BrainPOP: Hurricanes: View an animated depiction of how hurricanes form and take a quiz.
Hurricanes: How They Work and What They Do: When does a cyclone become a hurricane? Learn about Hurricane Hunters, take a virtual tour inside a hurricane and learn how hurricanes are named.
Hurricane: A-Z Science: Hurricanes are powerful, swirling storms that start over warm waters. Learn about the various parts of a hurricane, read about the kinds of damage it can cause and find out about forecasting methods.
Hurricanes: Learn how hurricanes are classified and where they start. Find out what goes into a disaster supply kit and how people protect their homes from disaster.
Hyper Hurricanes: Read about scientists who study cloud clusters to find out what triggers hurricanes and paleotempestologists, who look for clues of ancient hurricanes in such places as coral reefs. View video footage that dramatizes hurricane tracking and forecasting and try creating your own hurricane through an online simulation.
Hurricanes: Online Meteorology Guide: Hurricanes are winds that exceed 74 miles an hour and circulate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Read about the developing stages and structures of hurricanes and explore a 3D hurricane.
American Red Cross: Hurricanes: What is the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning? Find out how people prepare for high winds through this site offering valuable information in both English and Spanish.
The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.
What is the most dangerous effect of a hurricane?
Clue: See Hurricane: A-Z Science
Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point covers more than 150 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint/ for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.
Answer to last week's Quest: Spiders can weave webs, traps, shelters, lifelines and cocoons.
Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Katie Spencer, Laura Ruddick, Melissa Brown-Frias and Anna Manring.