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August 29, 2007

Contacts: Donna McCaskill, NOAA Coastal Services Center

David Hall, NOAA Public Affairs
301-713-3066, ext. 191

NOAA Provides Easy Online Access to Historical Hurricane Tracks

Visitors to NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks Web site and mapping application can easily generate customized maps based on more than 150 years of Atlantic hurricane data. The recently updated Web site includes historical tropical cyclone data and information on coastal county hurricane strikes through 2006.

Developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center in partnership with the National Hurricane Center, the site allows users to search by U.S. ZIP code, state or county, or latitude and longitude points. Visitors can also search the site,, using a storm’s name or year. From this information, they can generate a map showing the track of the storm or storms along with a table of information. Searches can be narrowed to specific storm categories, years, or months.

“Understanding the history of hurricane landfalls in your community is an important step toward assessing your vulnerability to these potentially devastating storms,” said Ethan Gibney, a senior geospatial analyst for NOAA and one of the site’s developers. “The Historical Hurricane Tracks Web site allows visitors to quickly and easily conduct highly customized searches of historical hurricane data.”

The site also features a searchable database of population changes from 1900 to 2000 for U.S. coastal counties versus hurricane strikes, as well as links to detailed text reports on the life history and effects of U.S. tropical cyclones since 1958.

“The increasing coastal population means more people are at risk when the next big storm approaches," said Margaret Davidson, director of the NOAA Coastal Services Center in Charleston, S.C. "And in many cases, the majority of these residents have never experienced a hurricane. With the coastal population tool found on the site, emergency managers can get a quick picture of which counties face the greatest potential risk and then plan outreach and education efforts accordingly.”

For municipalities or individuals who use geographic information systems, the data can also be downloaded as a GIS file, along with accompanying metadata.

NOAA is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation in 2007. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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On the Web:


NOAA Ocean Service:

NOAA National Weather Service:

Historical Hurricane Tracks Web site:



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