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The Reanalysis of Three Catastrophic Hurricanes that Impacted Florida During the 1920’s Steve Feuer, Chris Landsea, Jamese Sims, and Lenworth Woolcock NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division Miami, Florida Acknowledgements: NOAA/OGP grant ( GC02-093 ) OUTLINE

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the reanalysis of three catastrophic hurricanes that impacted florida during the 1920 s

The Reanalysis of Three Catastrophic Hurricanes that Impacted Florida During the 1920’s

Steve Feuer, Chris Landsea, Jamese Sims,

and Lenworth Woolcock

NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division

Miami, Florida

Acknowledgements: NOAA/OGP grant (GC02-093)

slide2

OUTLINE

• Background on the HURDAT reanalysis project

• Reanalysis of 1921 Atlantic basin hurricane season

• Examination of 3 major hurricanes to strike FL in the 1920’s:

► 1921 Tampa Bay

► 1926 Great Miami

► 1928 Okeechobee (a.k.a. San Felipe)

hurdat reanalysis project
HURDAT REANALYSIS PROJECT
  • Goal is to improve the quality of the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) original North Atlantic best track and intensity database (HURDAT) from 1851 to the present.
  • By employing consistent analysis methods and modern interpretations, the project is helping to:
    • correct several errors and biases
    • determine better landfall attributes
    • provide additional track and intensity data

for TCs in the database (Landsea et al. 2002).

  • Previously unknown TCs are also identified after thorough inspection of historical meteorological records and accounts and are considered as candidate storms to be added to HURDAT.
  • Recommended changes are submitted to the NHC Best Track Change Committee for approval.
slide4

Applications of HURDAT

  • provide meteorological community, emergency managers, engineers, and government officials with a high-quality historical database of TC track and intensity data every 6 hours
  • aid in development and verification of operational forecasts and models
  • document climate studies, such as long-term trends (e.g., global warming), multidecadal activity, seasonal forecasts, etc.
  • set building code standards and insurance rates for coastal communities
  • provide an understanding of TC variability
data sources for the reanalysis of the 1920 s
Data Sources for the Reanalysis of the 1920’s

PRIMARY

  • marine and land station observations from the Historical Weather Map series
  • ship observations included in COADS
  • individual surface station records (Original Monthly Records)
  • archived ship reports and logs from NCDC
  • articles and records published in Monthly Weather Review

SUPPLEMENTARY

  • books with historical retrospectives
  • technical memoranda
  • journalistic accounts
slide6

Historical Weather Map Series

12 UTC

25 October 1921

slide7

Using Ship

Observations to

Estimate the

Hurricane’s

Location

slide8

The Beaufort Scale

Beaufort Knots Description

Number

0 < 1 Calm

1 1-3 Light air

2 4-6 Light breeze

3 7-10 Gentle breeze

4 11-16 Moderate breeze

5 17-21 Fresh breeze

6 22-27 Strong breeze

7 28-33 Near gale

8 34-40 Gale

9 41-47 Strong gale

10 48-55 Storm

11 56-63 Violent storm

12 > 63 Hurricane

slide9

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale

Category Wind Speed (knots)

1 64-82

2 83-95

3 96-113

4 114-135

5 135+

slide10

Atlantic Pressure-Wind Relationships

1) GLFMEX Vmax(kt) = 10.627*(1013-p)**0.5640 n = 664; r = 0.991

2) <25N Vmax(kt) = 12.016*(1013-p)**0.5337 n =1033; r = 0.994

3) 25-35N Vmax(kt) = 14.172*(1013-p)**0.4778 n = 922; r = 0.996

4) 35-45N Vmax(kt) = 16.086*(1013-p)**0.4333 n = 492; r = 0.974

5) For Kraft Vmax(kt) = 14.000*(1013-p)**0.5000 n = 13; r = ??

P(MB) GLFMEX <25N 25-35N 35-45N KRAFT P(MB) P(IN)

960 100 100 94 90 102 960 28.35

Estimating the Central Pressure:

(Pr – Pc) / (Pe – Pc) = exp(-RMW/R)

hurdat reanalysis status
HURDAT Reanalysis Status
  • 1911 through 1914 reanalysis submitted to NHC
  • remainder of 1910’s, 1920’s and 1930’s currently being reanalyzed
  • pre-reconnaissance era completed by summer 2005

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/data_sub/re_anal.html

(Picture from: "Florida's Hurricane History", by Jay Barnes)

1921 hurricane season revised
1921 HURRICANE SEASON (REVISED)

Storm #

Storm #

Dates

Dates

Original Peak Intensity

Original Peak Intensity

Revised Peak Intensity

Revised Peak Intensity

Track Revisions

Track Revisions

Intensity Revisions

Intensity Revisions

Significant Storm History Revisions

Significant Storm History Revisions

1

1

16-26 Jun.

Jun. 16-26

85 kt/Cat. 2

85 kt/Cat. 2

80 kt/Cat. 1

80 kt/Cat. 1

Major

Major

Major

Major

Genesis delayed 1 day

Genesis delayed 1 day

2

2

Sep. 4-8

4-8

Sep.

70 kt/Cat. 1

70 kt/Cat. 1

70 kt/Cat. 1

70 kt/Cat. 1

Major

Major

Major

Major

Genesis 2 days earlier

Genesis 2 days earlier

3

3

6-17

Sep.

Sep. 6-17

105 kt/Cat. 3

105 kt/Cat. 3

100 kt/Cat. 3

100 kt/Cat. 3

Major

Major

Major

Major

Genesis 2 days earlier

ET additional day

Genesis 2 days earlier

ET additional day

4

4

Sep. 8-14

8-14

Sep.

60 kt/TS

60 kt/TS

80 kt/Cat. 1

80 kt/Cat. 1

Major

Major

Major

Major

Genesis 2 days earlier

Genesis 2 days earlier

5

5

Sep. 9-13

9-13

Sep.

------------

------------

55 kt/TS

55 kt/TS

--------

--------

--------

--------

New TC (from front)

New TC (from front)

6

6

15-24

Oct.

Oct. 15-24

50 kt/TS

50 kt/TS

60 kt/TS

60 kt/TS

Major

Major

Major

Major

Genesis 1 day early

Genesis 1 day early

7 -Tampa Bay

7 -Tampa Bay

Oct. 20-30

20-30

Oct.

120 kt/Cat 4

120 kt/Cat 4

120 kt/Cat. 4

120 kt/Cat. 4

Minor

Minor

Major

Major

ET delayed by 2 days

ET delayed by 2 days

slide15

1921 U.S. Landfalling Hurricanes

#/Date Time Lat. Lon. Max. S-S RMW Cent. Envir. Rad. States/Areas Wind Cat. Press. Press. OCI Affected

1-6/22/1921 1800Z 28.6N 95.9W 80kt 1 17nmi 980mb 1011mb 215nmi BTX1,CTX1

7-10/25/1921 2000Z 27.9N 82.8W 110kt 3 18nmi 952mb 1009mb 375nmi BFL3,AFL2,DFL1

1921 tampa bay hurricane
1921 TAMPA BAY HURRICANE
  • formed as TD on 20 October in vicinity of persistent surface trough in the SW Caribbean
  • intensified into a hurricane early on the 22nd as it tracked steadily NNW around the western periphery of a large anticyclone
  • reached peak intensity of a Category 4 on the 23rd and then began to turn to the north as ridge over SE U.S. started to weaken
  • turned to the NNE and then NE and weakened slightly to a high-end Category 3 storm before making landfall at Tarpon Springs during the afternoon on the 25th
  • crossed central FL and moved offshore at Ponce de Leon Inlet early on the 26th as a substantially weaker Category 1 storm
  • moved to the east then to the ENE during the next three days, weakened to a TS, and was absorbed by a large extratropical system on the 30th
impacts of 1921 tampa bay hurricane
Impacts of 1921 Tampa Bay Hurricane
  • worst hurricane to affect Tampa Bay region in 70 years
  • damage mainly from high storm surge and both coastal and inland flooding
  • storm tide of 3.2 m (10.5 ft.) reported in Tampa on the 25th, which was the highest since the flood of 1848
  • Tampa U.S. Weather Bureau office reported over 215 mm (8.5 in.) nearly continuously from the 23rd-26th
  • $3M losses from structural damage to residences, commercial buildings, ships, ports, marinas, piers, bridges, agricultural interests, citrus crops, and public infrastructure and property
  • total number of fatalities is at least eight deaths
  • hurricane likely to cause around $4B in damage today due to vastly increased population and development
slide18

1921

Tampa Bay

Hurricane

revised best track data hurdat for tampa bay hurricane
Revised “Best Track” Data (HURDAT) for Tampa Bay Hurricane

22585 10/20/1921 M=11 6 SNBR= 510 NOT NAMED XING=1 SSS=3

22585 10/20/1921 M=11 7 SNBR= 510 NOT NAMED XING=1 SSS=3

*

22590 10/20*123 801 35 0*131 804 35 0*137 806 35 0*143 809 40 0

22590 10/20*127 801 30 0*131 804 30 0*135 806 30 0*138 809 35 0

*** ** ** *** ** *** **

22595 10/21*148 812 45 0*153 815 50 0*158 818 50 0*162 821 55 0

22595 10/21*142 812 40 0*146 815 45 0*150 818 50 0*155 822 55 0

*** ** *** ** *** *** ***

22600 10/22*166 824 65 0*170 827 70 0*175 830 75 0*181 834 80 0

22600 10/22*160 826 65 0*165 830 70 0*170 835 75 0*176 840 80 0

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

22605 10/23*187 838 85 0*194 843 90 0*202 848 95 0*210 854 100 0

22605 10/23*183 845 90 0*191 850 100 0*200 853 110 0*209 854 120 941

*** *** ** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

22610 10/24*218 858 110 0*226 860 115 0*234 860 120 0*243 857 120 0

22610 10/24*218 855 120 0*228 855 120 0*238 855 120 0*247 852 120 0

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

22615 10/25*251 852 120 0*260 846 115 0*269 840 105 0*278 831 90 952

22615 10/25*256 848 120 943*264 844 115 0*271 839 115 0*277 831 110 952

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

metadata file for the tampa bay hurricane track example of one day
Metadata File for the Tampa Bay HurricaneTrack – Example of One Day

“October 23: HWM indicates a closed low of at most 995 mb at 20N, 84.5W. HURDAT listed this as a Category 2 hurricane at 20.2N, 84.8W at 12 UTC. The MWR "Summary of the Hurricanes of 1919, 1920, and 1921" shows a center at 20N, 85.5W (a.m.). The MWR Tracks of Lows indicates a center at 20N, 85W (a.m.) and 21.5N, 85W (p.m.). Available observations suggest that the MWR "Summary" position is more accurate than HURDAT's estimate. Ship highlights: Calm and 941 mb at 27.5N, 85.6W at ~22 UTC (MWR); 50 kt reported three times (MWR and COA).”

metadata file for the tampa bay hurricane intensity example at landfall
Metadata File for the Tampa Bay HurricaneIntensity – Example at Landfall

“At landfall, the central pressure of 952 mb measured in Tarpon Springs between 1940 and 2040 UTC on the 25th suggests winds of 108 kt from the Gulf of Mexico pressure-wind relationship. Ho et al. analyzed a landfall position at 27.9°N, 82.8°W also with a 952 mb central pressure and a radius of maximum winds (RMW) of 33 km. This RMW value is close to average for the nominal latitude and central pressure (Vickery et al. 2000). Thus 110 kt was assigned for the landfall intensity, making it a high-end Category 3 hurricane. This is in agreement with the HURDAT and Jarrell et al. The highest observed wind at Tampa was 59 kt at 1918 UTC, which converts to 49 kt after adjustment.”

slide30

Landfall of 2004 Hurricane Charley

(Map courtesy of National Weather Service Tampa Bay Forecast Office)

slide31
1921 HURRICANE

Category 3 storm at landfall

Landfall at Tarpon Springs at 1940 UTC

Minimum central pressure of 952 mb measured by barometer of Dr. A. P. Albaugh (Bowie 1921)

Estimated maximum sustained winds of 110 kt using Gulf pressure-wind relationship

Estimated RMW of ~18 nmi

Moving 40º at 9 kt

Underwent rapid intensification 66-72 h prior to landfall; stayed at Cat. 4 intensity for nearly two days before weakening to a strong Cat. 3 at landfall

Storm tides of up to 10.5’ at Tampa and extensive coastal flooding/storm surge and rainfall throughout Tampa Bay region and the entire Southwest Coast of Florida (Bowie 1921)

CHARLEY

Category 4 storm at landfall

Landfall in Charlotte Harbor at 2035 UTC

Minimum central pressure of 941 mb measure by dropsonde from AFRES WC-130 aircraft

Estimated maximum sustained winds of 125 kt using reduction algorithm of flight-level winds

Estimated RWM of ≤ 5 nmi

Moving 15º at 19 kt

Cat. 2 intensity prior to passage over Cuba about 24 h prior to landfall; did not experience rapid intensification to Cat. 4 until < 6 h prior to landfall

Storm tides of 7’ in Charlotte County and 8’ in Lee County—area impacted by storm surge is small and rainfall was only 3-5”, confined to a radius of 20 nmi from the center (NWS TBW)

1921 Tampa Bay Hurricane vs. 2004 Charley

slide33

1926 HURRICANE SEASON

  • 11 storms in original HURDAT; 9 recommended to be retained after reanalysis
  • 5 landfalling storms
    • Storm 1: Cat 2 - Florida, Cat 1 - Puerto Rico
    • Storm 3: Cat 3 - Louisiana
    • Storm 6: Cat 4 - Florida (SE), Cat 3 - Florida (SW)

Cat 3 - Florida (NW), Cat 3 - Alabama,

Cat 1 - Mississippi (new)

    • Storm 7: Tropical Storm - Cuba
    • Storm 10: Cat 4 - Cuba,

Cat 3 - Bermuda

  • 5 storms occurred during September
1926 great miami hurricane
1926 GREAT MIAMI HURRICANE
  • formed as TD in tropical Central Atlantic during the afternoon of 11 September from an easterly wave
  • intensified into a hurricane during the afternoon on the 14th as it meandered on a WNW - NW track
  • passed north of Puerto Rico and became a major hurricane by 00 UTC on the 16th, intensifying into a Category 4 storm later during the day and reaching a peak intensity of 125 kt by the evening
  • maintained same intensity for the next 36 h as it moved WNW over the Turks Islands and the Bahamas--center passed nearly over Grand Turk and very close to Nassau (Mitchell 1926)
  • made landfall in Miami just after 11 UTC on the 18th, in which the wind center appeared to cross just south of downtown--minimum central pressure of 933 mb was recorded
  • crossed the Everglades and exited into the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 storm at 2030 UTC at Punta Rassa, which recorded a minimum central pressure of 950 mb
  • turned to the NW and quickly re-strengthened back into a Category 3 storm by 00 UTC on the 19th
  • reached second peak intensity of 110 kt 24 h later and maintained this intensity before hooking left, decelerating, and making a second U.S. landfall at Perdido Beach, AL near FL/AL border at 2030 UTC on the 20th
  • tracked west right along the Gulf coast, decreasing in intensity but still maintaining hurricane strength through 15 UTC on the 21st when it finally went inland for good at Bay St. Louis, MS
  • weakened to a TS and then a depression over southern LA and finally dissipated near the LA/TX border by the morning of the 22nd
slide37

Impacts of 1926 Great Miami Hurricane

  • total number of fatalities was at least 262 in Miami and the surrounding area and an estimated 6,381 people were injured
  • storm greatly affected other parts of the state, particularly the Panhandle, including an estimated 18,000 families
  • $80-100 M losses resulted from wind, rain, and storm surge damage
  • storm surge was measured at 11.7’ above mean low water along Biscayne Blvd. and estimated as high as 14-15’ in Coconut Grove—also high further up East Coast and along Gulf Coast
revised hurdat for great miami hurricane
Revised HURDAT for Great Miami Hurricane

23980 09/11/1926 M=12 6 SNBR= 537 NOT NAMED XING=1 SSS=4

23985 09/11* 0 0 0 0* 0 0 0 0*150 485 30 0*152 495 30 0

23990 09/12*154 505 30 0*157 515 30 0*160 525 35 0*163 534 35 0

23995 09/13*166 542 40 0*169 551 40 0*172 560 45 0*174 571 45 0

24000 09/14*176 584 50 0*179 598 55 0*182 611 60 0*186 621 65 0

24005 09/15*191 629 70 0*197 636 75 0*202 642 85 0*205 650 90 0

24010 09/16*207 660 95 0*209 670 100 0*210 680 110 0*213 693 120 0

24015 09/17*217 710 125 0*221 727 125 0*225 743 125 0*232 758 125 0

24020 09/18*242 773 125 0*251 788 125 0*257 803 125 933*262 816 90 950

24025 09/19*268 825 100 0*273 833 105 0*278 841 105 0*284 848 105 0

24030 09/20*290 855 110 0*296 862 110 0*301 868 110 0*303 873 110 0

24035 09/21*303 877 95 955*303 881 80 0*303 886 70 983*304 894 60 0

24040 09/22*305 905 35 0*306 917 25 0*307 929 20 0* 0 0 0 0

24045 HRCFL4BFL3AFL3 AL3 MS1

1928 okeechobee hurricane
1928 OKEECHOBEE HURRICANE
  • quickly formed as a TD and then became a TS shortly after emerging as an easterly wave off of Africa on 6 October
  • tracked just south of due west to the south of the Cape Verde Islands and then mostly west at a steady pace over the next few days
  • reached hurricane strength during the afternoon of the 10th in the tropical Central Atlantic based on observations of three ships
  • became a major hurricane by 00 UTC on the 12th and intensified to Category 4 status in the afternoon before passing over Guadeloupe
  • continued to intensify as it moved WNW near the Virgin Islands and made landfall as a Category 5 storm at 1830 UTC on the 13th
  • moved over the island the next 7 h with very heavy rainfall and exited back into the Atlantic as a 120 kt Category 3 storm early on the 14th
  • tracked NW over Bahamas and made landfall at West Palm Beach at 00 UTC on the 17th as a strong Category 4 storm
  • moved over Lake Okeechobee and then recurved east of Tampa, weakening to Category 1 storm
  • moved NNE just west of Jacksonville and then back over the Atlantic on morning of the 18th, passing east of Savannah, reintensifying slightly but still at Category 1 strength
  • made second U.S. landfall over Charleston around 12 UTC on the 18th and tracked inland near the coast, weakening to a tropical storm around Myrtle Beach in the evening
  • turned north and then NNW and continued up into VA, MD, and PA, where it became extratropical on the 20th
slide42

Impacts of 1928 Okeechobee HurricanePuerto Rico

  • 300 fatalities
  • $50 M in damages (several billion today)
  • over 25” rainfall in some areas of the island
  • 12 h of hurricane force winds were observed in San Juan
  • 936 mb recorded in Guayama (might not be central pressure)
  • 139 kt 1-min winds observed at San Juan (with new 3 cup anemometer but was 25 nmi from center – may not be 10 m wind and may have had poor exposure)
  • originally listed in HURDAT as Category 5 (140 kt) – may need to be downgraded
slide43

Impacts of 1928 Okeechobee HurricaneFlorida

  • 1836 fatalities officially (2500 estimate suggested by Rusty Pfost [BAMS 2003] based upon new books by Eliot Kleinberg [Black Cloud] and Robert Mykle [Killer ‘Cane])
  • $25 M in damages ($15-20 billion today)
  • hurricane warnings issued at 1530 UTC on the 16th even though pressure at West Palm Beach was already 997 mb
  • first gale observed at Miami at 19 UTC on the 16th (WPB ~1-2 hr earlier)
  • Landfall at West Palm Beach at 00 UTC on the 17th with 929 mb pressure
  • storm tide 10’ north of Palm Beach
  • lake surge of 10-15’ from Lake Okeechobee
  • originally listed in HURDAT as Category 4 (130 kt)
revised hurdat for okeechobee hurricane
Revised HURDAT for Okeechobee Hurricane

24775 09/06/1928 M=16 4 SNBR= 553 NOT NAMED XING=1 SSS=4

24780 09/06*142 170 30 0*141 185 30 0*140 200 35 0*138 216 35 0

24785 09/07*137 232 40 0*136 248 45 0*135 265 50 0*135 282 50 0

24790 09/08*135 300 50 0*136 317 50 0*137 335 50 0*138 352 50 0

24795 09/09*139 370 50 0*140 387 50 0*142 405 50 0*143 422 55 0

24800 09/10*144 440 55 0*145 457 60 0*147 475 60 0*149 492 65 0

24805 09/11*152 509 70 0*155 526 75 0*158 542 80 0*159 558 85 0

24810 09/12*159 573 95 0*159 588 100 0*160 603 110 0*162 615 120 940

24815 09/13*165 626 130 0*170 636 135 0*175 648 140 931*180 660 140 0

24820 09/14*185 670 120 941*189 680 120 0*193 691 120 0*199 700 120 0

24825 09/15*207 708 120 0*215 717 120 0*222 727 120 0*229 738 120 941

24830 09/16*237 750 120 0*245 763 120 0*253 776 125 0*260 788 125 0

24835 09/17*267 800 125 929*272 811 100 0*278 820 85 0*286 822 75 0

24840 09/18*295 821 70 0*307 815 70 979*320 808 80 0*330 800 70 0

24845 09/19*338 792 65 0*348 783 60 0*358 775 60 0*368 773 50 0

24850 09/20E380 775 40 0E397 780 35 0E415 790 30 1008E435 792 30 0

24850 09/21E455 790 25 1002* 0 0 0 0* 0 0 0 0* 0 0 0 0

24855 HRCFL4BFL3AFL1DFL1 GA1 SC1