BY NICK YINGLING

If Friday’s post didn’t instill in you a healthy fear and respect for hurricanes, I don’t know what will. Okay, so maybe I’m inflating my writing skills, but I hope it was useful. I promise that this posting is going to be interesting and useful.

I’m a huge fan of the social media blog Mashable, and this posting about tracking Hurricane Bill through social media is another example of them just destroying the competition. Okay, so Hurricane Bill is yesterday’s news, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use their storm-tracking suggestions for future weather patterns.

Right out of the gate, they drop eight separate websites on you that let you track hurricanes online. Taking things one step further, a couple of the sites they list also feature Facebook apps and Google Maps mashups. Then they turn around and give you the names of seven hurricane- and weather-related Twitter feeds that you can follow. To wind things down, they provide you with six different mobile options for tracking storms.

The smart phone ideas probably won’t help you in the classroom, and the Facebook apps for some of their suggested sites won’t exactly work out either. You could still mention the Facebook options offhand to students who might be interested in their after-school studies. The websites should definitely facilitate your lesson plans by providing you with several outlets to plot and track storms, put eyes on satellite imagery across several spectrums, and receive news bulletin updates.

The Twitter feeds could go either way for you, depending on your stance with integrating Twitter in the classroom. Assuming that you make use of it, adding the feeds they mention to your stream would provide you with some real-time updates to your lesson. Ideally, this is best during periods of high hurricane activity and you’ll find yourself with a bonus mini-lesson about how social media has flipped the script on adverse weather reporting.

Hurricane Bill: How to Track it Online

Related stuff:

Descend into the maelstrom at USGS Science: Before, During and After the Storm

Keep an eye on hurricanes with Stormpulse