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HURRICANES & TROPICAL EVENTS

Hydrology Sub-Committee hydrology@hydrologicwarning.org George Smith, Coordinator

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HURRICANE FACTS
(courtesy the U.S. Census Bureau)

2010 Hurricane Season Begins

The north Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts through November 30. The U.S. Census Bureau produces timely local data that are critical to emergency planning, preparedness and recovery efforts. This edition of Facts for Features highlights the number of people living in areas that could be most affected by these dramatic acts of nature.

In the Hurricane’s Path

36.2 million
Estimated July 1, 2009, population most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes: the coastal portion of states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Approximately 12 percent of the nation’s population lived in these areas.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php>

14.0 million
1960 coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas. Eight percent of the nation’s population lived in these areas at that time.
Source: 1960 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts.html

158%
Percentage growth of the coastal population of the states stretching from North Carolina to Texas between 1960 and 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php> and 1960 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/cencounts.html

6
Number of the 50 most populous metro areas in 2009 that were within Atlantic or Gulf coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas. These areas are Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, Texas (sixth); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla. (seventh), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (19th), Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. (27th), Jacksonville, Fla. (40th) and New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La. (46th).
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/CBSA-est2009-annual.html

179,015
Collective land area in square miles of the coastal areas from North Carolina to Texas.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php

Hurricane Impact

Number of Hurricanes Making Landfall on U.S. Mainland: 1851 - 2009

AREA HURRICANES MAJOR
Texas 63 19
Louisiana 55 20
Mississippi 16 9
Alabama 26 6
Georgia 23 3
Florida 113 37
South Carolina 30 6
North Carolina 50 12
Virginia 10 1
Maryland 2 0
Delaware 2 0
New Jersey 2 0
Pennsylvania 1 0
New York 12 5
Connecticut 11 3
Rhode Island 9 4
Massachusetts 11 3
New Hampshire 2 0
Maine 6 0

Table: Hurricanes strikes 1851-2009 on the mainland U.S. coastline and for individual states by Saffir-Simpson category. Category 3-strength or higher, with sustained winds in excess of 110 miles per hour, is considered major. Updated and modified from Blake et al. (2006). Note: State totals will not equal U.S. totals. Gulf Coast state totals will likely be underrepresented because of lack of coastal population before 1900.
Source: National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/Deadliest_Costliest.shtml

3
The number of hurricanes during the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, two of which were major hurricanes at Category 3-strength or higher. The below-average year has been linked to El Niño, which increases wind shear in the Atlantic Basin, inhibiting tropical storm formation. None of these storms made landfall in the U.S. as hurricanes.
Source: National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2009atlan.shtml

1950
The year the Weather Bureau officially began naming hurricanes.
Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/J6.html

Alex
The name of the first Atlantic Basin storm of 2010. Hurricane names rotate in a six-year cycle with the 2010 list being a repeat of the 2004 names. The World Meteorological Organization retired the names of four major hurricanes that made landfall in Florida during 2004: Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne. They have been replaced on the list by Colin, Fiona, Igor and Julia.
Source: National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml

2005
In one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, 28 named storms formed, forcing use of the alternate Greek alphabet scheme for the first time. When the National Hurricane Center’s list of 21 approved names runs out for the year, hurricanes are named after Greek letters. Of the 28 named storms in 2005, 15 were hurricanes, with four storms reaching Category 5 status (Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma) and three more being considered major. Hurricane Dennis earned distinction as the earliest-forming major hurricane in the Atlantic Basin during a hurricane season in recorded history.
Source: Atlantic Oceanography and Meteorological Laboratory http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/J6.html

75th Anniversary of the Labor Day Storm

1935
The Labor Day storm forms in the Atlantic and makes landfall in the Florida Keys on Sept. 2, 1935, leaving a path of death and destruction in its wake. This was the most intense hurricane on record in the U.S. at landfall. Damage in the United States was estimated at $6 million.
Source: National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml

408
The number of deaths in the Florida Keys attributed to the Labor Day storm, primarily among World War I veterans, many of whom were washed away in an evacuation train heading toward Miami.
Source: National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml

13,624
Population of Monroe County, Fla., in the 1930 Census. Monroe County includes the Florida Keys and parts of the Everglades National Park on mainland Florida. More than 99 percent of the county population is found in the Florida Keys.
Source: 1930 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1930.html

73,165
Estimated population of Monroe County, Fla., on July 1, 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/counties.html

437%
Percentage growth of the population in Monroe County, Fla., between 1930 and 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php> and 1930 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1930.html

-8%
Percentage decline of the population in Monroe County, Fla., between 2000 and 2009. The population of Monroe County in the 2000 Census was 79,589. Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php> and 2000 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html

$538,000
Median home value of owner-occupied units in Monroe County, Fla., in 2008.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/index.html

$52,443
Median household income in Monroe County, Fla., in 2008.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/index.html

106
Length in miles of the Overseas Highway connecting Key West to mainland Florida.
Source: Florida Department of Transportation http://www.dot.state.fl.us/emo/scenichwy

50th Anniversary of Hurricane Donna

1960
Hurricane Donna forms in the Atlantic Ocean and makes landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm. This was the fifth most intense hurricane on record in the U.S. at landfall. Donna is the only hurricane on record to produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Hurricane Donna made landfall in North Carolina and on Long Island, N.Y., as a Category 3 storm.
Source: National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml

130,807
Population of four counties in southwest Florida in the 1960 Census where Hurricane Donna caused severe damage: Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Monroe.
Source: National Weather Service http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/?n=donna> and 1960 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1960.html

1,135,562
Estimated population of the same four Florida counties on July 1, 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/counties.html

768%
Percentage growth of the population of the four counties in southwest Florida between 1960 and 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php> and 1960 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1960.html

6,403,852
Population in the 1960 Census of Long Island, N.Y., which consists of four counties: Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, Queens and Suffolk.
Source: 1960 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1960.html

7,749,714
Estimated population of Long Island, N.Y., on July 1, 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/counties.html

21%
Approximate percentage growth of the population of Long Island, N.Y., between 1960 and 2009.
Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php> and 1960 Decennial Census http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1960.html

$433,800
Median home value of owner-occupied units in Suffolk County, N.Y., in 2008.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/index.html

$85,560
Median household income in Suffolk County, N.Y., in 2008.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/index.html

Note: Coastal counties include those with at least 15 percent of their total land area within the nation’s coastal watershed. http://www.census.gov/geo/landview/lv6help/coastal_cty.pdf

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