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6 Digital Tools to Track Hurricane Sandy

From weather livestreams to gorgeous wind maps, you can watch the storm online

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As the monster hurricane barrels northwest toward the east coast of the United States, chances are you're hunkered down in your home, bracing for treacherous weather. While you wait—and while you still have power—we've collected some of the most interesting digital tools you can use at home to track the storm's progress and capture this weather event as it happens. Whether you're a weather geek, news junkie, or just a concerned citizen, these sites and platforms will keep you in the know until the storm passes.

Weather Channel YouTube Livestream
As of yesterday, The Weather Channel has made its hurricane coverage available streaming live on YouTube. This could prove a useful resource as the storm continues on its track toward the Jersey Shore and New England. YouTube is promoting the feed at the top of its homepage—and it appears to be quite popular, with more than 55,000 people watching at almost noon.

Google's Crisis Map
Google's interactive map may be one of the best tools around for those in the direct path of this storm. Updated in real-time, this crisis map overlays evacuation routes with a weather radar, current and projected forecasts, emergency shelter locations, as well as information about flood surges. All the information is layered on the map so you can turn it on and off as you see fit.

Hint.fm's Wind Map
While this map is not directly associated with any government agency, Hint.fm's wind map is a gorgeous tool for watching surface winds in near-real time. Taking wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database, the results are updated each hour to show exact wind speeds and patterns. The result is a beautful, Van Gogh-esque moving portait of this powerful storm.

New York Times Rooftop Webcam
Situated 50 some stories above the New York Times newsroom, this high-definition camera updates every minute, providing snapshots of midtown Manhattan. Facing eastward, the camera will show Sandy as it bears down on Manhattan. It's also the perfect tool for New Yorkers without access to a window view to survey the deteriorating conditions.

Instagram
As has been the case throughout breaking news events in 2012, Instagram is an excellent near-real-time way to see on-the-ground pictures of Sandy. Sites like Statigram are helpful in searching the social photo sharing network. Popular hashtags are #sandy, #frankenstorm, and #Instacane. "This Is Now," a real-time streaming platform, displays photos as they're taken from all five boroughs of New York City. For breaking news junkies, these photo-sharing sites could be the quickest way to get access to the tens of thousands of pictures being generated by those in the path of the storm.

Twitter
This is a no-brainer, but needs to be included. Sites like the Huffington Post have put together handy "Who to Follow" lists for the Hurricane. Government and local crisis and disaster organizations will be tweeting out helpful storm information and meteorologists and citizens on the ground will be updating with dispatches from hard-hit areas.