Tropical cyclone track information

Storm track information is posted by the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) on the Canada.ca/weather website during the hurricane season (June 1st to November 30th) whenever there is a tropical or post-tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean region.  Tracks are shown based on the following procedures:

  1. When the US National Hurricane Center is issuing bulletins on a storm not expected to affect Canada, the Canadian Hurricane Centre updates the map with the NHC track at least twice daily on this site
  2. When both the Canadian Hurricane Centre and US National Hurricane Centre are issuing bulletins on the same storm, the Canadian Hurricane Centre version of the forecast track map is posted.
  3. When the Canadian Hurricane Centre is issuing bulletins on a post-tropical storm and the US National Hurricane Centre has stopped issuing messages, the Canadian Hurricane Centre forecast track map is posted.

When there are no active storms, the Canadian Hurricane Centre will still post the map indicating this, with a satellite image updated once or twice daily.

Content of the forecast track map

The forecast track map below provides an example of the kinds of information available on each map.

Sample Canadian Hurricane Centre Forecast track map. Complete track map details are listed in the section below.
Sample Canadian Hurricane Centre Forecast track map. Complete track map details are listed in the section below.

Map Label

The label in the upper left corner of the map indicates the forecast issue date and time. In this case the track map was issued on June 30, 2011, at 10:57 a.m. ADT. The map can be issued in Eastern, Atlantic or Newfoundland time, depending on which region is being affected by a storm. The usual time used is Atlantic time.

Track positions, times and wind speeds

The track positions on the map may be either 12 hours apart or 6 hours apart. The total forecast length may be as short as 12 hours or as long as 120 hours.

Storm intensity/type symbols

A map legend showing the symbols that are used on the Canadian Hurricane Centre’s track map for tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane, and post-tropical storm. Forecasted wind speed, local time and storm name are also indicated on the track map.

The legend in the upper right corner of the map shows the symbols used to indicate the four different storm types that may appear on the map: tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane and post-tropical storm. In this example, the storm transforms from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm as it approaches Nova Scotia.

Satellite Imagery

Usually the meteorologist will include a satellite image with the track that was taken near the time of the initial position of the storm on the map. Usually an infrared satellite image is displayed.  Sometimes the meteorologist will decide to not include a satellite image if a new one is not available, or if the image clutters the map.

Boundaries

The CHC Response Zone and Environment Canada marine forecast boundaries (red lines) are typically included on the map for quick geographic referencing.

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