92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Thursday, 26 January 2012: 11:00 AM
The Atlantic Basin Hurricane Database Re-Analysis for the Decade of the 1930s
Room 355 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Christopher Landsea, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/National Hurricane Center, 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 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 climatological 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 the Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in Texas in 1932, the Category 5 hurricane that devastated parts of Cuba in 1932, the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida Keys as a Category 5 and the 1938 New England major hurricane.

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