Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-29-2016

Department

Geography and Geology

Abstract

Observations of pre-1950 tropical cyclones are sparse due to observational limitations; therefore, the hurricane database HURDAT2 (1851–present) maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may be incomplete. Here we provide additional documentation for HURDAT2 from historical United States Army fort records (1820–1915) and other archived documents for 28 landfalling tropical cyclones, 20 of which are included in HURDAT2, along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. One event that occurred in May 1863 is not currently documented in the HURDAT2 database but has been noted in other studies. We identify seven tropical cyclones that occurred before 1851, three of which are potential tropical cyclones. We corroborate the pre-HURDAT2 storms with a tree-ring reconstruction of hurricane impacts from the Florida Keys (1707–2009). Using this information, we suggest landfall locations for the July 1822 hurricane just west of Mobile, Alabama and 1831 hurricane near Last Island, Louisiana on 18 August. Furthermore, we model the probable track of the August 1831 hurricane using the weighted average distance grid method that incorporates historical tropical cyclone tracks to supplement report locations.

Publication Title

PLoS ONE

Volume

11

Issue

11

First Page

1

Last Page

9

S1 Table.pdf (78 kB)
S2 Table.pdf (39 kB)

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