The Atlantic Hurricane Database Re-analysis Project is an effort to extend and revise the National Hurricane Center's North Atlantic hurricane database (or HURDAT). Going back to 1851 and revisiting storms in more recent years, information on tropical cyclones is revised using an enhanced collection of historical meteorological data in the context of today's scientific understanding of hurricanes and analysis techniques.
To receive email updates about progress in the Atlantic Hurricane Re-analysis Project, send an email to Chris Landsea.
April 2014 - A re-analysis of the database for Hurricane Camille, an extremely intense hurricane that devastated the U.S Gulf Coast on the night of August 17, 1969, has been completed. Based upon this reassessment, Hurricane Camille is indicated at landfall on the Mississippi coast to have been a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with peak sustained winds of 175 mph and a central pressure of 900 mb. This is the same category as analyzed originally, but the peak sustained winds were reduced from 190 mph and the central pressure lowered from 909 mb. Camille is also reanalyzed to have undergone genesis as a tropical cyclone 18 hours earlier than first indicated on August 14, 1969. When comparing Camille with the two other known Category 5 hurricanes that have struck the continental United States since 1900, Camille (900 mb and 175 mph) ranks between the 1935 Labor Day hurricane (892 mb and 185 mph) and 1992’s Andrew (922 mb and 165 mph) as the strongest hurricanes on record at landfall. Revisions to the Camille’s database were accomplished by obtaining the original observations collected – mainly by ships, weather stations, coastal radars, Navy/Air Force/Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) Hurricane Hunter aircraft reconnaissance planes, ESSA/NASA satellite imagery – and analyzing Camille based upon our understanding of hurricanes today. (The agency ESSA is now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA.) Margie Kieper, Jack Beven, Hugh Willoughby, Chris Landsea, and the NHC Best Track Change Committee all made substantial contributions toward the reanalysis of this devastating hurricane. This research is supported in part by the NOAA Climate Program Office.
March 2014 - A complete re-analysis of the Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) was conducted for the 1946 to 1950 seasons. Revisions to the hurricane database were accomplished by obtaining the original observations collected – mainly by ships, weather stations, and the early Hurricane Hunter Navy and Army Air Force aircraft reconnaissance planes – and assessing the storms based upon our understanding of hurricanes today. The reanalysis also allowed “discovering” of tropical storms and hurricanes that occurred, but were not yet officially recognized as such in the official records. 1946 to 1950 was an active period for hurricanes with 13 striking the continental United States, whereas an average five year span would have about nine U.S. hurricane impacts. Five of the 13 were major hurricane status – Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale – at U.S. landfall and all five struck Florida. These are a Category 4 hurricane in Fort Lauderdale in 1947, a Category 4 hurricane in Everglades City in 1948, a Category 4 hurricane in Lake Worth in 1949, Category 3 Hurricane Easy in Cedar Key in 1950, and Category 4 Hurricane King in Miami in 1950. Of these, King and the 1948 and 1949 hurricanes were upgraded from a Category 3 to a Category 4 based upon the reanalysis. Having five major hurricanes making landfall in Florida is a record for a five year period, equaled only by the early 2000s. In addition, nine new tropical storms were discovered and added into the database for this five year period. Andrew Hagen, Donna Sakoskie, Daniel Gladstein, Sandy Delgado, Astryd Rodriguez, Chris Landsea and the NHC Best Track Change Committee all made substantial contributions toward the reanalysis of these hurricane seasons. This research is supported in part by the NOAA Climate Program Office.
February 2014 - The 2013 Atlantic basin tropical cyclone best tracks have been finalized and made available in the Data page.
August 2013 - A paper documenting the methodology, datasets, and results from the 1931 to 1943 Atlantic hurricane season reanalysis has been submitted to the Journal of Climate.
June 2013 - The Atlantic basin hurricane seasons of 1941 to 1945 have been officially reanalyzed. The revised database is available here. Four new tropical storms were discovered and added into the database for this five year period. Notable hurricanes in these years include the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane, which affected North Carolina, the mid-Atlantic states, and New England, killing 390 people. This hurricane was downgraded from a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale Category 3 at landfall in New York to a Category 2. Also in 1944 a late season Caribbean hurricane that struck Cuba causing 315 fatalities has been upgraded from a Category 3 to a Category 4 major hurricane at landfall. Additionally, in September 1945 a major hurricane struck Homestead, Florida - bearing many similarities in size, track, and impact to 1992's Hurricane Andrew - and was upgraded from a Category 3 to a Category 4 at landfall. Details of the data and methodology of the reanalysis is available here.
April 2013 - The 2013 Northeast and North Central Pacific Basin Tropical Cyclone Best Tracks have been finalized and made available in the Data page. A revised HURDAT 2 for this basin has been developed that includes asynoptic time data, landfalling data, wind radii data, and non-developing tropical depressions. Some minor typographical errors have been identified, corrected and noted in the Metadata files.
February 2013 - A new paper by Landsea and Franklin has just been published in Monthly Weather Review. This paper estimates the uncertainty (average error) for Atlantic Basin best track parameters through a survey of the Hurricane Specialists who maintain and update the Atlantic Hurricane Database. A comparison is then made with a survey conducted over a decade ago to qualitatively assess changes in the uncertainties. Finally, we discuss the implications of the uncertainty estimates for NHC analysis and forecast products as well as for the prediction goals of the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program.
February 2013 - The 2012 Atlantic basin tropical cyclone best tracks have been finalized and made available in the Data page.
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