# Tracking Hurricanes to Learn About God

[Originally published as Hurricanes, Math & the Savior]

Hurricanes can be devastating, as so many know personally. But we often donâ€™t stop to think about the role math plays in tracking hurricanes, helping to save lives and property from their grip, and assisting those affected. Nor do we think through how much hurricanes shout out humanityâ€™s need for a Savior.

Below are some ideas on these themes that I hope will prove helpful to you with your children/students.

### Hurricanes & Math

• Tracking HurricanesÂ â€“ Every hurricane season, the weather news is filled with updates on developing storms and hurricanes and predictions about where that hurricane might impact. According to theÂ National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationÂ (NOAA), predictions are based on data collected from satellites, which is in itself an application of math. Pressure, latitude and longitude, speedâ€”all these are measurements. As Iâ€™m writing this, the NOAA listsÂ this data on Hurricane Larryâ€”notice the numbers!
5:00 AM AST Fri Sep 3
Location: 14.6Â°N 38.9Â°W
Moving [speed]: WNW at 20 mph
Min pressure [minimum central pressure]: 982 mb
Max sustained [winds]: 90 mph
• Giving WarningÂ Â­â€“ Advanced warning of when a hurricane will touch shore can help save many lives and property. And math is used in that process!Â The NOAA explains about the models used to do this.Â A simple summary is that models (think mathematical equations) can be based on statistics (i.e., think historical measurements), knowledge about the atmosphere (i.e., what we know of the consistent way God governs creation), a combination, or on other models.
• Rescuing & HelpingÂ Â­â€“ After a hurricane strikes, thereâ€™s a lot of cleanup! Math proves helpful in assessing the damage (youâ€™ll hear aboutÂ how manyÂ died orÂ howÂ deepÂ the water was orÂ how muchÂ property was lost) and figuring out how to allocate resources to help. Imagine trying to recover from a hurricane without any math. No one would knowÂ how manyÂ people were helping whereâ€¦orÂ how manyÂ supplies had been (or needed to be) sent where.

### Hurricanes & the Savior

Every time a hurricane strikes, we not only use a lot of math but we should also be reminded of how desperately we need a Savior.Â Their very existence screams out that the world is no longer very good (Genesis 1:31)â€”when sin entered the world, it brought with it death and suffering. God has allowed us to endure a tiny taste of life where He removes His protective hand in the hopes that weâ€™ll come to Him and avoid eternal wrathâ€”a wrath against which, like a hurricane, we canâ€™t stand. The Bible warns that, while He is longsuffering, hoping that weâ€™ll turn to Him and receive eternal life as a gift, thereâ€™s coming a day when it will be too late and He will pour out His wrath on the earth.

For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury,Â  and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh;Â  and those slain by the Lord shall be many. Isaiah 66:15-16 (ESV)

That wrath is against sinâ€”and we all have sinned. Thatâ€™s why we need a Savior! And God gave us One. He poured His wrath out on Jesus, and if weâ€™ll but believe in Him, we will be saved from the wrath to comeâ€¦and have eternal life in a perfect world without the suffering and death in this one.

Hurricanes also point us to Godâ€™s power to both punish and save. We crumble, helpless before storms, yet Jesus spoke, and a storm stopped (Mark 4:35-41). The power of a hurricane pales in comparison with the power of God. And that should make us tremble if our faith is not in Christ and run to Him for salvationâ€”but should give us tremendous peace and comfort if our faith is in Him, as if weâ€™re in Christ, that powerful God is our loving Heavenly Father who is with us in every storm of life.

### Practical Idea to Use with Your Child/Students

To give students a glimpse into the math involved in tracking hurricanes, go to NOAA.govÂ and look at stats on a hurricane two days in a row. Have your child use math to figure out how the speed (i.e., moving), minimum central pressure, and maximum sustained winds changed. Then have them look at aÂ map with latitude and longitude markedÂ and have them find the different locations of the hurricane; for example, the map below shows the location given above for hurricane Larry. You could even have them plot a hurricaneâ€™s position over several days!

Point out to them how math helps us outside of a textbook. Remind them weâ€™re able to use math like this because God made us in His image and gave us dominion over the earth. Then talk with them about how hurricanes remind us of how desperately we need a Savior.

## Written by Kate [Loop] Hannon

After having her own view of math transformed, Katherine has been researching, writing, and speaking on a biblical worldview of math for more than a decade. She's the author of the popular Principles math curriculum series published by Master Books. Her books on math and a biblical worldview have been used by individuals, homeschool groups, and Christian schools and colleges. Receive a free video on transforming math at www.christianperspective.net/math/transforming-math