After the storm – Tracking Hurricane Matthew and analysing its impact

Brief description

In this set of two activities, students will explore the applications of Earth observation data in tracking hurricanes and assessing their aftermath by using the example of Hurricane Matthew. Students will learn how a hurricane develops and the impact that extreme weather can have on the society. They will do this by comparing satellite images. The activity could be completed either in an ICT suite in which students complete independent learning about the images or could be taught using a more active learning style in the classroom.

Subject Geography, Science

Learning Objectives
  • Explain how hurricanes develop
  • Understand the impact that extreme weather can have on society
  • Understand how Earth observation can be used to track incoming weather and assess the damage caused by extreme weather
  • Understand how countries work together to supply aid and relief to affected areas
Age range
12 – 15 years old
approximately 30 minutes per activity
Resource available in:
Activity 1: Track the hurricane
In this activity, students will analyse some basic characteristics of a hurricane that can be identified in a satellite image. Then, students will investigate the development of Hurricane Matthew using printed satellite images. This activity can be adapted according to the students’ prior level of knowledge.
Activity 2: Impacts of Hurricane Matthew
In this activity, students will analyse satellite images taken before and after the hurricane made landfall to see what impact it had on the landscape and the people living there. 

Did you know?

When disaster strikes, a group of international space agencies pools its resources and expertise to support relief efforts on the ground. The International Charter Space and Major Disasters is an international collaboration between 16 owners or operators of Earth observation missions. It provides rapid access to satellite data to help disaster management authorities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Since its first request for support in 2000, until May 2018, the Charter has called on space assets on many occasions, helping to respond to more than 580 disasters in more than 120 countries. On average, the Charter is activated about 40 times a year. predict future climate change.

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