Students explore issues related to the rapid intensification of hurricanes. They become familiar with the concepts of heat energy and the specific heat of water and interact with animations of sea surface temperature images to identify the Gulf Stream and the Loop Current. Students use ImageJ, a free image processing application, to explore visualizations of heat content in the Gulf of Mexico just before Hurricane Katrina. They plot the path of Katrina as an overlay on these visualizations and observe changes in the heat content of Gulf waters as the hurricane passed over it.