The calm before the storm

It has been a quiet summer here in Asheville and on We tend to have fewer classifications in the summer, likely due to all those vacations that you’re taking.

As you come back from break, though, don’t forget to classify some storm images. We recently had a paper accepted for publication in a scientific journal (more on that in later posts) and we’re planning some big things for our fourth birthday. So check out the recent stats and go make some classifications!


Cyclone Center News and Updates

Hello Classifiers and Friends!  There have been a number of recent developments in Cyclone Center world in recent weeks.  Have a read and then head over to the Cyclone Center website and help us keep the classifying momentum!

New Cyclone Center Journal Article Accepted

CC scientist Dr. Ken Knapp from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Asheville, NC is the lead author on a new paper just recently accepted into the journal Monthly Weather Review.  Titled “Identification of tropical cyclone ‘storm types’ Read More…

Cyclone Center Part of New Hub of Citizen Science

Today, the White House announced the launch of, a new hub for U.S. government sponsored citizen science projects.  Cyclone Center is one of 300 project listed on the site.

citizenscience_govOriginally launched in September of 2012, Cyclone Center has gathered over a half million classifications from citizen scientists in nearly every country.  We use your classifications to clarify inconsistencies in historical tropical cyclone wind records.  Your contributions have resulted in the publication of two papers, numerous scientific presentations, and educational opportunities from K-12 through college.

There is still much to do; we need your help to finish classifying our 32-year data set of tropical cyclone images.  Log on to and join our expanding group of citizen scientists today.

Classification Numbers for February 2016

February 2016  was one of our most successful months so far! Citizen scientists made 15,858 classifications! Read More…

Classification Numbers for December 2015

December 2015 is complete! Citizen scientists made 10,033 classifications.  Read More…

Most Uncertain Storm Images

One of the great things about crowd sourcing is that we have the luxury of using numerous classifications to determine an answer for one image.  The responses of 15 citizen scientists is much more powerful than a response from one person, even if that person is an expert.

We have gone through every single storm image on Cyclone Center that has been classified by at least 10 citizen scientists.  All classifications were used to determine the variance of the image – or, how similar one classification was to the others.  Ambiguous cloud patterns will have a higher variance than one with a clear eye, for example.

Read More…

Classification Numbers for November 2015

November 2015 is complete! Citizen scientists made 6265 classifications.  Read More…

Classification Numbers for October 2015

October 2015 is complete! Citizen scientists made 10,087 classifications.  Read More…

TCOTD – Typhoon Ward – Oct. 20

October 20
1995 WARD 140 knots in the Western North Pacific

Read More…

TCOTD – Hurricane Wilma – Oct. 19

October 19
2005 WILMA 160 knots in the North Atlantic

Read More…