Aug 31, 2010

Hurricane history "cheat sheet"

Confused by Florida's convoluted hurricane history?

If so, this interactive graph may come in handy.

JupiterCape SableKey WestKey WestKey WestPensacolaApalachicolaPensacolaKeysOff Ft WaltonKey WestSt PetePanama CityNaplesSarasota 1926 Nassua Hurricane, Jupiter1926 Miami Hurricane, MiamiKeysStuart1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, Palm BeachMarathonJupiterOff the KeysJupiterKeysLabor Day Hurricane of '28, KeysOff MiamiMiamiFt WaltonFt PierceMiamiSarasotaSarasotaCape SableCedar KeyHomestead1947 Ft Lauderdale Hurricane, Pompano BeachKey WestKey WestPalm BeachBaker, PensacolaEasy, Tarpon Springs
King, MiamiFlorence, Panama CityFlossy, Ft WaltonDonna, KeysCleo, MiamiBetsy, MiamiDora, St AugustineInez, Upper KeysIsbell, NaplesGladys, Cedar KeyAlma, Alligator PointAgnes, Port St JoeEloise, Ft WaltonDavid, JupiterFrederic, West of PensacolaElena, Off Port St JoeKate,Port St JoeFloyd, Key WestEarl, Panama CityErin, MelbourneDanny, PensacolaAndrew, MiamiGordon, Off Cedar KeyGeorges, Key WestOpal, NicevilleIrene, Cape SableDennis, PensacolaCharley, Punta GordaKatrina, MiamiFrancis, StuartJeanne, StuartWilma, Naples

There's more to this graph than meets the eye:

The dots show the year, month, and strength of each storm which made Florida landfall over the past 110 years. Clicking on each dot transports you to a detailed write-up of each storm. The "outer" dot plots each storm's intensity at peak strength and the "inner" dot at the time it made landfall.

Major patterns?

September is Florida's big month. Late August and October also light up the chart. And three is the most hurricane-strength storms that have made landfall in the peninsular state in any one year. We almost had four in 2004 but the eye of Ivan made its way into land on Alabama shores.

That leads me to one caveat, and its a big one:

The graph only includes "hurricane strength" storms that made "Florida" landfall. That rules out many a monumental rainmaker (i.e., Fay) and any storms whose eye crossed just across state lines.

It's not like those winds and waves stop at county lines.


Robert V. Sobczak said...

If you click on the bottom two figures, it will take you to where I found them on the NOAA website.

The Florida Blogger said...

Wow! Great graphs. The first graph looks like a Hans Rosling graph when he presents at TED Talks.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Correction: Hurricane Andrew officially made landfall as a Category 5, not a 4 as listed. Although it should be pointed out that discrepancy is somewhat a point of confusion in the literature. Originally it was classified as a 4, and is still stated that way in some older books on my shelf.

Mike Clay said...

There doesn't seem to be a mention of Hurricane 5 in 1946 which made landfall on the coast of Manatee County and moved into Pinellas County.