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Georgia’s Historical Hurricane Record from 1750 Forward
Paper Session at AGM of the AAG (2013)
  • Mark R. Welford, Georgia Southern University
  • Brian H. Bossak, Georgia Southern University
Although the U.S. state of Georgia has been recently spared from devastating hurricanes, historical records suggest periods of heightened tropical cyclone activity have occurred, such as from 1851-1900. For example, The Sea Islands Hurricane of 1893 is still regarded as one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. The estimated track of this storm resembles the pre-landfall track of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which caused an extensive shadow evacuation event. Given Floyd's troublesome evacuation, anecdotal evidence of hurricane preparedness complacency, and the lack of recent hurricane impacts, we were motivated to follow prior regional-to-local scale hurricane record analyses. We utilized the North Atlantic Hurricane Database (HURDAT) to examine trends in landfall between 1851 and 2000, and examined Georgia hurricane impacts between 1750 and 1850 using historical records include diaries, newspapers, and ship records. The pre-HURDAT portion of the project is currently ongoing; however, we have analyzed coastal Georgia's fourteen HURDAT hurricanes and conducted a regional analysis (with South Carolina and Northeast Florida) to compare trends in hurricane landfall between 1851 and 2000. The dataset is divided into three 50-year periods consisting of 1851-1900, 1901-1950, and 1951-2000 to investigate temporal, seasonal and hurricane intensity trends in landfall both in Georgia and neighboring coastal zones (South Carolina and Northeast Florida). At least for the HURDAT (1851-2000) time frame, both the number of Category 1 storms and frequency of hurricane landfalls decreases for coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and Northeast Florida, while most storms in Georgia made landfall in the more northerly coastal counties.
  • Hurricane,
  • Georgia,
  • GIS
Publication Date
Citation Information
Mark R. Welford and Brian H. Bossak. "Georgia’s Historical Hurricane Record from 1750 Forward" Paper Session at AGM of the AAG. LA. Jan. 2013.