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ATLANTIC HURRICANE
RE-ANALYSIS PROJECT


Picture from "Florida's Hurricane History" by Jay Barnes

Principal Investigators:
Chris Landsea
Bob Hart (FSU)
Andy Solow (WHOI)

Collaborating scientists:

Charles Neumann (SAIC)
Lenworth Woolcock (FIU)
Lyle Hufstetler (UMiami)
David Roth (HPC)
Michael Chenoweth
Cary Mock (USoCarolina)
Donna Thomas (WFOR-TV Miami)
David Glenn (MSU)
Ramon Perez (IM Cuba)
Jose' Colon (NWS San Juan)
Ricardo Prieto (IMTA Mexico)
Jorge Sanchez (IMTA Mexico)

Previous Collaborators:

Noel Charles
Jason Dunion
Steve Feuer
John Gamache
Gilbert Clark (FIU)
Mark Zimmer (FIU)
Paul Hungerford (FIU)
Peter Dodge
Jimmy Franklin (NHC)
Jose' Fernandez-Partagas (UMiami)

Link to full Project description


Objective:
The Atlantic Hurricane Database Re-analysis Project is an effort led by the Hurricane Research Division to extend and revise the OAR'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 hurricane and analysis techniques.


Goals:
The primary goal for this project is to provide an extended and corrected Atlantic hurricane database of individual tropical cyclone tracks and intensities for both the entire Atlantic basin as well as U.S. landfalling storms. This fits in well with the goals of NOAA and HRD to better understand variability of extreme events, such as tropical storms.


Rationale:
HURDAT contains many systematic and random errors which need to be corrected. Additionally, as our understanding of tropical cyclones has developed, analysis techniques have changed over the years at NHC, leading to biases in the historical database that have not been addressed. Another difficulty in applying the hurricane database to studies concerned with landfalling events is the lack of exact location, time and intensity information at landfall. Finally, recent efforts into uncovering undocumented historical hurricanes in the late 1800s and early 1900s led by Jose Fernandez-Partagas have greatly increased our knowledge of these past events, which had not been incorporated into the HURDAT database. Because of these many issues, a re-analysis of the Atlantic hurricane database is needed.


Method:
Hurricane re-analysis requires the collection of all available original storm "raw" observations (ships, land stations, buoys, research and reconnaissance aircraft, radar and satellites), then addressing them in the context of today's best scientific understanding and analysis techniques. This allows for adjustment of the existing track and intensity estimates as well as occassionally adding a new tropical storm or hurricane to the database that was not previously recognized as being a tropical cyclone.


Accomplishments:

  • A major accomplishment in 2001 was the inclusion of the Fernandez-Partagas work for the years 1851-1885 into the database. Documentation, Data, and References for this work can be found by clicking on the word.
  • In 2002, Hurricane Andrew was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane striking south Florida.
  • Revisions for the 1886 to 1910 time period that Fernandez-Partagas analyzed were completed and approved by the OAR's Best Track Change Committee in 2003. Documentation, Data, and References for this work can be found by clicking on the word.
  • In 2004 additional changes for the 1851 to 1910 era were officially approved by the OAR. Documentation, Data, and References for this work can be found by clicking on the word.
Milestones:
  • Plans for 2005 through 2008 are to complete the re-analysis for the remainder of the 20th Century. Such revisions will be made sequentially in 5-year increments. To receive email updates about progress in the Atlantic Hurricane Re-analysis Project, send an email to Chris Landsea.
    1. Complete re-analysis for 1911-1940 by Spring 2005
    2. Complete re-analysis for 1941-1970 by Spring 2006
    3. Complete re-analysis for 1971-1999 by Spring 2007
    4. Investigate trends of resulting database and relationahip with long-term phenomenon (i.e. Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and global climate change) by Spring 2008


Resources:
The Atlantic Hurricane Re-analysis Project is supported by a NOAA Climate and Global Change Program grant through 2008.


Key references:


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Last modified: 12/08/2004

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