21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change


The Atlantic basin hurricane database re-analysis for the decades of the 1920s and 1930s

Christopher W. Landsea, NOAA/NWS/TPC/NHC, Miami, FL

The Atlantic basin hurricane database re-analysis project is to extend

and improve the quality of the National Hurricane Center's North

Atlantic best track and intensity hurricane database, HURDAT, from 1851

to the present. This effort is helping to correct several errors and

biases, apply more consistent analysis techniques and modern

interpretations, and better determine tropical cyclone (TC) landfall

attributes associated with HURDAT. For the efforts during the 1920s to

the 1930s, the reanalysis relies upon station observation records,

historical weather maps, ship reports, and written journalistic and

private accounts of the tropical storms and hurricanes. An overview of

the proposed revisions to HURDAT for these early decades of the 20th

Century is presented along with an updated assessment of the frequency

and impact of various intensity TCs for the individual years.

Statistical comparisons of the total number of TCs, hurricanes, major

hurricanes, and landfalling storms are made to the modern


record. Additionally, the period is re-assessed to see how it fits into

the earlier notions of multidecadal swings of TC activity during the

period. Special attention is given to the reanalysis of some of the

catastrophic hurricanes of the era including the

1926 Great Miami hurricane, the 1928 San Felippe/Lake Okeechobee

hurricane, the Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in Texas in


the Category 5 hurricane that devastated parts of Cuba in 1932, the


Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida Keys as a Category 5 and the

1938 New England major hurricane.

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 7B, Tropical cyclones
Tuesday, 13 January 2009, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM, Room 129B

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