Archive of past updates to the Re-Analysis Project
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.
December 2012 - A reanalysis of the 1936 to 1940 hurricane seasons has been conducted. All of the existing 46 tropical storms and hurricanes were revised (one of which - original storm #7 in 1938 - was removed from the database as it was extratratropical throughout its lifetime). Additionally, seven new tropical storms (three of which reached hurricane intensity) were discovered and added into the database. The biggest impact hurricane of these five seasons was, by far, the Great New England hurricane of 1938. This cyclone was retained as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale at its landfall in New York and New England, though the peak sustained winds at landfall in New York were increased from 85 kt (100 mph) in the original database to 105 kt (120 mph) in the revision.
November 2012 - A revised HURDAT2 (Atlantic hurricane database) format has been developed that includes asynoptic time data, landfalling data, wind radii data, and non-developing tropical depressions. The original HURDAT format will be retired after the 2012 Atlantic hurricane database becomes available.
July 2012 - Two peer-reviewed papers from the reanalysis project have just been published in the July 2012 edition of the Journal of Climate. In Hagen et al., documentation is provided on the methodology, original observations available, and preliminary reanalysis results obtained for 1944-1953. This is the first decade of aircraft reconnaissance for the Atlantic basin. Hagen and Landsea investigate how improvements in observing capabilities and technology may have affected our ability to detect and monitor Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale Category 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic basin during the mid-twentieth century.
May 2012 - A complete reanalysis of the Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) was conducted for the 1931 to 1935 seasons. All 58 tropical storms and hurricanes were revised in their tracks and intensities. 15 new tropical storms were discovered and added into HURDAT, while four existing systems were removed from the database. This era also recorded one of the busiest hurricane seasons on record with 20 tropical storms observed in 1933, 11 of which became hurricanes. (Originally, HURDAT listed 21 tropical storms, 10 of which were hurricanes. In that season, there were two new tropical storms discovered, two existing cyclones were removed from the database as they did not reach tropical storm intensity, and two existing storms were actually one continuous system.)
The years of 1931 to 1935 recorded four of the 25 most deadly hurricanes in the historical record for the Atlantic basin. A Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale struck Belize (then British Honduras) in 1931 and killed around 2,500 people. In November 1932, the "Huracán de Santa Cruz del Sur" struck Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane and killed about 3,500 people primarily in a storm surge that reached about 20 feet. In June 1934, a tropical storm (which later became a hurricane) caused torrential rainfall, flashfloods and mudslides, killing about 3,000 people in Honduras and El Salvador. In October 1935, a Category 1 hurricane killed around 2,150 people in Haiti and Honduras due to extreme rains and flashfloods.
The 1931 to 1935 hurricane seasons were an active period for the continental United States as well, as it was struck by twelve hurricanes (eleven previously listed in HURDAT). Of these twelve, four were major hurricanes (five previously listed in HURDAT): a Category 4 hurricane in Texas in 1932, a Category 3 hurricane in Texas in 1933, a Category 3 hurricane in Florida also in 1933, and a Category 5 hurricane in Florida in 1935. This last hurricane, known as the "Labor Day Hurricane" because of its landfall on that date in September, was the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States, based upon its central pressure of 892 mb. The maximum sustained winds at landfall in the Florida Keys are estimated to have been around 185 mph. This is second only to the 190 mph currently listed for 1969's Camille at landfall. 408 people were killed by the "Labor Day Hurricane", which was the 8th most deadly in the continental United States history.
Andrew Hagen, David Glenn, William Bredemeyer, Cristina Carrasco, Sandy Delgado, Daniel Gladstein, Ramon Perez, Adrian Santiago, and the NHC Best Track Change Committee all made substantial contributions toward the reanalysis of these hurricane seasons.
February 2012 - New paper has been published in the Journal of Climate documenting the reanalysis methodology and results for 1921-1930 decade.
August 2011 - Multiple changes are introduced to HURDAT: 1) Four new tropical cyclones were added: 1899 (tropical storm), 1901 (hurricane), 1904 (hurricane), and 1909 (tropical storm); 2) Alterations to the track and/or intensity of some tropical cyclones in 1857, 1859, 1866, 1882, 1885, 1887, 1900, 1901, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1915, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1927, and 1930; 3) Significant changes for U.S. hurricanes: 1857 North Carolina hurricane - upgraded from Category 1 to Category 2, a new 1859 Florida Category 1 hurricane, 1882 Louisiana hurricane - downgraded from a Category 2 to a tropical storm, 1885 South Carolina hurricane - downgraded from Category 3 to Category 2, 1887 Texas hurricane - downgraded from Category 2 to Category 1, and 1925 Florida hurricane - downgraded from a Category 1 to a tropical storm; 4) Minor intensity changes for Georges (1980), Floyd (1981), Helene (1988), and Keith (1988). These all contained original best track windspeeds to the overly precise nearest 1 kt. Values are adjusted to the nearest 5 kt currently used.
July 2011 - A paper has been submitted to the Journal of Climate regarding the 1944-1953 preliminary reanalysis methodology and results: Hagen et al. (2011). This is notable for being the first decade of aircraft reconnaissance. A second, companion paper - Hagen and Landsea (2011) - has also been submitted to the Journal of Climate: "On the Classification of Extreme Atlantic Hurricanes Utilizing Mid-20th Century Monitoring Capabilities".
April 2011 - New paper has been submitted to the Journal of Climate documenting the reanalysis methodology and results for 1921-1930 decade.
December 2010 - ?A complete reanalysis was conducted for the years of 1926 to 1930. All 29 tropical storms and hurricanes were revised in their tracks and intensities. Four new tropical storm were discovered and added into HURDAT. Most significant hurricanes of this era were the 1926 Category 4 hurricane in the Bahamas, the 1926 Category 4 Great Miami hurricane, the 1926 Category 4 Hurricane in Cuba (these three major hurricanes in 1926 were separate systems), the 1928 Category 5 San Felipe (Puerto Rico)/Category 4 Lake Okeechobee hurricane, the 1929 Category 4 hurricane in the Bahamas, and the 1930 Category 4 hurricane in the Dominican Republic."
December 2010 - New Master's Thesis by Andrew Hagen on "A Reanalysis of the 1944-1953 Atlantic Hurricane Seasons- The First Decade of Aircraft Reconnaissance."
June 2010 - New Publication on "Impact of Duration Threshold on Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Counts" in Journal of Climate.
March 2010 - The 2009 Atlantic and Northeast Pacific hurricane databases (HURDAT) are now available via the Data page .
September 2009 - A new atlas - "Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Ocean" has just been published. The book - featuring annual track maps for the Atlantic basin from 1851 to 2008 - also goes into detail about the data sources utilized to compose the "best track" for the basin. Additionally, the atlas provides analyses about the basin's climatology, including the annual cycle, duration, and occurrence locations. Of note to climate researchers are the time series of tropical storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes, and United States hurricanes, as well as the caveats on the reliability of the dataset going back in time.
The atlas also includes the results of the hurricane database reanalysis for the years of 1851 through 1920. This has been the result of many folks contributing toward the improvements in the dataset including: Craig Anderson, William Bredemeyer, Cristina Carrasco, Noel Charles, Michael Chenoweth, Gil Clark, Jason Dunion, Ryan Ellis, Jose Fernandez-Partagas, John Gamache, David Glenn, Andrew Hagen, Lyle Hufstetler, Paul Hungerford, Cary Mock, Charlie Neumann, Ramon Perez, Ricardo Prieto, Jorge Sanchez-Sesma, Adrian Santiago, Donna Thomas, Lenworth Woolcock, Mark Zimmer, and the NHC Best Track Change Committee."
June 2009 - Minor changes made to HURDAT. 1)Small adjustments made in HURDAT (both 80 column data and Easy-to-read) for all of the 2008 tropical cyclones near time of landfall (error in converting from individual files to HURDAT); 2)Easy-to-read file cleaned up for extraneous entries in 1989 hurricane season; 3) Minor revisions made to HURDAT for 1888/03,1895/02, and 1896/01. Details on these revisions are in the metadata files.
April 2009 - The 2008 hurricane season database was appended to HURDAT. This data is based upon the Tropical Cyclone Reports (TCR) written by the hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center/ Tropical Predition Center (NHC/TPC).
March 2009 - A complete reanalysis was conducted for the years of 1921 to 1925. All 27 tropical storms and hurricanes of the era were revised in track and intensity (with one in 1923 removed from HURDAT). 10 new tropical cyclones were added for these five years. Most significant hurricanes of this era were the 1921 Tampa Bay hurricane that struck as a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Category 3, the 1922 Bermuda hurricane that struck the Bermuda islands as a Category 3, and the 1924 Cuba hurricane that struck as a Category 5 (and is now the first recorded Category 5 hurricane in the database). Co-authors on the reanalyses for 1921 to 1925 are Steve Feuer, Ramon Perez Suarez, Ricardo Prieto, and Jorge Sanchez-Sesma. Special thanks also to James Belanger, Auguste Boissonnade, Emery Boose, Cristina Carrasco, Michael Chenoweth, Gil Clark, Jose Colon, Joan David, Neal Dorst, John Gamache, Daniel Gladstein, Mark Guishard, Mark Jelinek, Cary Mock, Charlie Neumann, Adrian Santiago, and the NHC Best Track Change Committee (Jack Beven - chair, Lixion Avila, Eric Blake, Hugh Cobb, Richard Pasch, and Colin McAdie [past-member]).