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Coastal Georgia is Not Immune: Hurricane History, 1851-2012
Poster Session at AGM of the AAG (2012)
  • Brian H. Bossak, Georgia Southern University
  • Sarah S. Keihany, Georgia Southern University
  • E. J. Gibney, Georgia Southern University
  • Mark R. Welford, Georgia Southern University
Along the U.S. East Coast, the coastline of Georgia has experienced infrequent landfalls in recent decades. However, NOAA's North Atlantic Hurricane Database (HURDAT) data indicate temporal non-stationarity in Georgia's hurricane activity. Moreover, evacuation routes and emergency planning in the state's coastal counties are issues of public health preparedness. In order to demonstrate the risk of hurricane landfall in Georgia, we utilize HURDAT data to analyze coastal Georgia's 14 recorded hurricane landfalls. We also conducted a regional analysis (with South Carolina and Northeast Florida) to compare trends in hurricane landfall over the time period from 1851-2000. We developed track maps of hurricanes making direct landfall or impact along coastal Georgia. We divided the overall dataset into three 50-year time periods (1851-1900, 1901-1950, and 1951-2000) to investigate temporal trends in landfall both in Georgia and neighboring coastal regions. We also examined the seasonality of hurricane landfalls in the same regional space, and explored hurricane intensity at landfall. We find that there is a decreasing trend in the frequency of hurricane landfalls for coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and Northeast Florida, and that coastal Georgia's climatological "ramp up" of the season begins in late August. Most storms striking Georgia's coast made landfall or direct impact in the more northerly counties of the state. Results also suggest a decrease in Category 1 storms over time. These findings are of great significance for coastal managers and emergency preparedness officials and may eventually be utilized in efforts to diminish preparedness and evacuation complacency among Georgia's coastal residents.
  • Hurricanes,
  • Coastal Georgia
Publication Date
Citation Information
Brian H. Bossak, Sarah S. Keihany, E. J. Gibney and Mark R. Welford. "Coastal Georgia is Not Immune: Hurricane History, 1851-2012" Poster Session at AGM of the AAG (2012)
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