The Atlantic Basin Hurricane Database Re-Analysis for the Decade of the 1940s

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 11:30 AM
Room C102 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Christopher W. 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 1940s, the reanalysis relies upon station observation records, historical weather maps, ship reports, and written journalistic and private accounts of the tropical storms and hurricanes. Additionally, the 1940s mark the advent of aircraft reconnaissance into tropical storms and hurricane, which quickly heralded a dramatic improvement in monitoring and prediction of these cyclones. An overview of the official revisions to HURDAT for this decade 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 for this decade are made against both the original HURDAT record as well as to the modern climatological averages. Special attention is given to the reanalysis of some of the catastrophic hurricanes of the era including the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane, which affected North Carolina, the mid-Atlantic states, and New England, killing 390 people; a late season Caribbean hurricane in 1944 that struck Cuba causing 315 fatalities; a major hurricane that struck Homestead, Florida in 1945 - bearing many similarities in size, track, and impact to 1992's Hurricane Andrew; and a large major hurricane that made landfall in Ft. Lauderdale and then made a second devastating strike in Louisiana in 1947.