Storm Chasers

Student Handout

Evaluation Rubric

Watch the introductory Video:

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Hurricane Follows Polar Jet Stream!

Recently, a possible new weather disaster is approaching North America. Scientists believe because of global warming, a hurricane is expected to follow the Polar Jet Stream across North America. Hurricane Marty, the name given to this hurricane is expected to be the strongest hurricane on record, a category 6 storm. Mathematicians have estimated the potential path, strength, and time line of Hurricane Marty. Their data is shown below.

Meteorologist: Find the Path of the Hurricane

Using Google Earth, open the file “jetStream_student.kmz” (or on the schools shared drive). Plot the coordinates that the hurricane is expected to take.

Watch the video below to learn how to plot points in Google Earth.

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  1. Find a function that models the path of the hurricane (You may use a TI-Nspire).
  2. Find the following using your equation
    1. The amplitude of the path
    2. The equation of the axis
  3. Mr. Orr is on vacation on his Mega-Yacht off the coast of New York City. His GPS device is not working correctly; only showing him a longitude coordinate of 64° W. What latitude coordinate should Mr. Orr avoid to stay out of the path of the hurricane’s eye? Plot a point in Google Earth to represent the coordinates Mr. Orr should stay away from.
  4. A giant gust of wind coming from the south pushed the jet stream up 34°. What effect would this wind have on the equation of Hurricane Marty’s path? Write the new equation.

Expected Path of the hurricane per day

Longitude Latitude Day
127° W 49° N Day 1
124° W 50° N
119° W 51° N Day 2
116° W 51° N
112° W 50° N
109° W 49° N
104° W 49° N Day 3
101° W 44° N
97°W 40° N
94° W 35° N
90° W 31°N Day 4
88° W 30° N
86° W 30° N
84° W 29° N
82° W 30° N Day 5
78° W 32° N
73° W 34° N Day 6
68° W 37° N
62° W 39° N
59° W 40° N Day 7

Damage Assessor Task: Assess the Damage Hurricane Marty will inflict.

The equation below relates the expected damage (d measured in billions of dollars) to the time (t measured in days) as Hurricane Marty crosses North America.

d(t) = -10t^2 + 40t + 210

  1. How much damage will Marty inflict halfway through the 5th day?
  2. Complete the square to find the maximum amount of damage Hurricane Marty will inflict. On which day will this happen?
  3. How long will it take for the hurricane to cause less than 185 billion dollars?
  4. Consult with the Hurricane Specialist to find the wind speed and category of a hurricane that causes 81 billion dollars.

Hurricane specialist Task:

While over water Hurricane Marty has wind speeds of 290km/h. As Marty travels across North America, it losses 15% of its wind speed per day.

1.  Create an equation to model the wind speed of the hurricane per day.

a) What will the wind speed of Marty be on the 5th day? What category of Hurricane will Marty be?

b) Consult with the Meteorologist, and find out which major city is closest to the hurricane on the 5th day and describe how residents of the city should prepare for the incoming hurricane (refer to the Hurricane categories).

c) Consult with the Damage assessor and calculate how much damage will occur on the 5th day.

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