26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology

Wednesday, 5 May 2004
Re-Analysis of the September 18, 1936 and Great Atlantic Hurricane of September 14, 1944 in Virginia
Richelieu Room (Deauville Beach Resort)
Hugh D. Cobb III, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/TPC, Miami, FL
Poster PDF (80.5 kB)
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) HURDAT Best Track database includes two kinds of information - the location and intensity of the storm throughout its lifetime, and the estimated winds affecting particular states. In some cases the landfall information makes an assumption that might not always be correct. HURDAT indicates that the September 18, 1936 hurricane was a Category 2 hurricane for North Carolina and had no impact as a hurricane in Virginia. A re-analysis of the 1936 hurricane utilizing surface observations and storm surge information in the lower Chesapeake Bay indicates that the storm also had Category 1 hurricane impacts for the Virginia coast as well. The re-analysis agrees with HURDAT on the intensity of the 1936 hurricane at its closest approach to North Carolina and Virginia.

Conversely, HURDAT indicates that the Great Atlantic hurricane of September 14, 1944 was a Category 3 hurricane for Virginia. Based on a re-analysis of sustained winds at Cape Henry, VA and an accepted wind speed reduction to a standard 10-meter wind, additional surface observations and storm surge information, It is now estimated Category 1 hurricane effects occurred on the Virginia coast even though the hurricane was a Category 3 hurricane at its closest approach to Virginia.

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