Tracking historical hurricanes is an important way for hurricane
researchers to learn about the paths of future hurricanes. Because of
this, records of hurricane paths are archived and studied. Not all
hurricanes follow the same path, but there are certainly noticeable
trends for hurricane paths. Many computer models that have been
created to predict hurricane paths include the historical data in their models.
This dataset shows the paths of all tropical cyclones from 1950 through 2020. Each line is a tropical cyclone, whether a tropical depression or tropical storm (blue, cyan) or hurricane (yellow to red). The maximum sustained wind speed, with cool colors for slower speeds and warm colors for faster speeds, are indicated by the colorbar. When mapped like this, definite patterns in cyclone paths are clear to see. For example, you can see that cyclones typically start near the equator and move away from it toward the poles and they don't cross the equator.