Get hurricane updates before you travel

Huge waves surge at Saint's Rest Beach at high tide in west Saint John, Aug. 29, 2011, after...

Huge waves surge at Saint's Rest Beach at high tide in west Saint John, Aug. 29, 2011, after Hurricane Irene ripped through New Brunswick. (KATE BRAYDON/QMI Agency)

ILONA KAUREMSZKY, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET

Q: Is there any way to get hurricane updates?

-- J. Espinoza, Newmarket

A: Several meteorology organizations report on hurricane activity. AccuWeather.com allows you to download hurricane-tracking maps. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami has downloadable hurricane tracking maps for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific regions at its website nhc.noaa.gov. NHC is resource-rich offering information on hurricane preparedness, hurricane season summaries and reports, and cyclone forecasts. The Atlantic hurricane season typically starts on June 1 and ends by Nov. 30.

If you are travelling to the Caribbean, check with the Caribbean Hurricane Network, which monitors the Atlantic Hurricane Season. According to the website, local correspondents maintain the network.

Q: I seem to recall a column you wrote about retracing ancestral roots. Do you happen to have any tips for persons with an Irish background? My computer skills are limited but thankfully I have some nieces in town who have offered to help me.

-- T. O'Hearne, Toronto

A: Tourism Ireland reports more than 70 million people worldwide now claim Irish ancestry. This is a pretty fascinating statistic when you consider Ireland boasts a wee bit over 6 million residents.

Next year the country will host a year-long celebration known as The Gathering Ireland. While the celebrations will hone in on everything Irish and will appeal to Irish descendents, other visitors will find an array of events celebrating culture and traditions. For details on the events go to thegatheringireland.com.

People can also start checking into their Irish roots at Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading family history website.

Q: What airlines fly to Nicaragua?

-- J. Go, Scarborough

A: According to the Nicaragua Tourism Board, international flights land at Sandino International Airport in Managua, the country's capital. Currently four U.S. cities have direct flights to Nicaragua. In Miami, American Airlines provides three daily flights and TACA Airlines has one daily flight. In Atlanta, Delta has daily flights to Nicaragua. Continental Airlines offers a daily flight from Houston and Spirit Airlines provides three flights a week from Fort Lauderdale. Nicaragua is a short, two to three-hour non-stop flight from these hubs.

Send your travel questions to Ilona Kauremszky at mycompass.ca


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