Where Do Hurricanes Strike Florida? (110 Years of Data)


Robert Allison, The Graph Guy!, SAS

Robert Allison has worked at SAS for more than 20 years and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in computer science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from North Carolina State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book calledSAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics.

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Re: Better visual but still missing some important data
  • 9/20/2017 4:53:33 PM
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Building codes get upgraded as more is learned from each passing occurance, but it only applies to new construction. The old structures if not too badly damaged get patched up and out of mind until the next time. I'm in California so no hurricane worries here, but earthquakes are our game. Same senerio. Florida tracks paths, we monitor fault lines. Pick your poison.

Re: Better visual but still missing some important data
  • 9/19/2017 8:30:43 AM
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@Lyndon_Henry, I could see my wants as the focus of a different map, I just see the impact of a hurricane as more than the landfall.  Your comment about building bunkers rather than parking a mobile home is obvious but if you look at the keys or any of the coastal communities you'd be surprised how many homes even if not mobile were built in the 50s -70s, wood framed and are still standing.  They take a beating every decade or so and someone puts them back together.  There are areas where those smaller, older beach houses are being replaced with block or poured concrete homes but what amazes me is that many of them are being built two or three stories high with lots of glass.  

Re: Better visual but still missing some important data
  • 9/19/2017 8:25:55 AM
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@Joe Stanganelli, Central FL actually, Charley, Frances and Jeanne all rolled through.  We had some nasty tornados spawn out of them and had quite a bit of flooding in my area because the water didn't have time recede before the next storm rolled through.  The wind damage to roofs was obvious all around the area so some of the building code changes weren't bad. The area had avoided major storms for more than a decade and the damage was unexpected.  When the storms were coming I kept hearing "only the coast has to worry about hurricanes" and I heard a little bit of that this time with Irma, yet central FL is still dealing with flooding issues, I see a whole lot of roofs missing singles and a week later I still see a lot of trees down.

Re: Better visual but still missing some important data
  • 9/19/2017 7:18:42 AM
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..

SaneIT writes that "Strikes are nice to know but the path of the storm is just as important when it comes to FL since the peninsula is so narrow. "

I agree, but in my opinion that should be a focus of a different map, perhaps showing cumulative color-coded hurricane paths up the peninsula.

I find it interesting and informative to readily see the intensity of hurricane strikes along the Florida coast. This is where hurricanes make landfall with the greatest force, and where you might want to construct your house as a massive reinforced concrete bunker rather than, say, a mobile home.

The second map, with more useful info, is definitely my preference, but I'd suggest the use of "transparent" colors to let the city names peek through has not worked so well. I'd suggest just overlaying the city names in plain print over the colored areas. I think they'd be a lot more readable, wouldn't increase clutter, and the map would actually come out looking sharper and cleaner.

..

Re: Better visual but still missing some important data
  • 9/18/2017 1:30:11 PM
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@SaneIT:

> 2004

I presume you're on the West Coast, then? Charley was pretty nasty, depending upon where you were, and pretty benign, also depending upon where you were.

It's interesting that after Charley and Wilma, the state legislature leapt to make new laws (and badly written ones, IMHO; I know because I analyzed the bill at the time) on BC/DR and building codes for high rises. A bit reactionary, though. 

Where and how
  • 9/18/2017 1:26:09 PM
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Thanks for doing this analysis. FL gets a bad rap on hurricanes but it's really only certain areas that are prone to them. (FL is a pretty big state, after all.)

Moreover, it's HOW the hurricane hits. Some counties may have small to medium numbers of hurricanes, but even those numbers are mitigated further by the fact that most of the hurricanes to impact that area "grazed" those areas -- thus doing very little damage beyond coastal areas.

Better visual but still missing some important data
  • 9/18/2017 8:40:48 AM
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Strikes are nice to know but the path of the storm is just as important when it comes to FL since the peninsula is so narrow.  I've been in central FL about 14 years and in 2004 we were hit hard by 3 storms.  They took turns on which coast they came from but they walked right through the middle of the state.  The point that a hurricane makes landfall is important but in the terms of property damage and casualties that is only part of the story.  A storm that hits Miami and turns back out to the Atlantic will do much less damage than one that runs up the coast and stays on land until it dissipates or one that turns and runs up the spine of the peninsula. 

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