Student enquiry hurricanes in the caribbean



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STUDENT ENQUIRY – HURRICANES IN THE CARIBBEAN
Note this data is based on the period1900 – 2000. If you wish to update this with 21st century data visit the NOAA Coastal Services Centre Historical Hurricane Tracks web site
Which hurricanes had the greatest impact in the Caribbean?
1. The table ranks the top 30 Hurricanes by their category and intensity.
Try this!

In the table below, the capital letters represent the US state where the hurricane path came from the sea to the land [made landfall]. E.g. FL = Florida. Look these up in an atlas.

On an outline map of the States of southern USA name and label these States.
Draw a bar graph using the following table. [You could use the computer.

Make the dates from 1900 to 2000 the divisions along the horizontal axis

and have divisions 1-5 up the vertical axis for the different categories.

Use a different colour for each of Categories 1-5.
Research the intensity of hurricanes since 2000 and add these to your graph.
Are hurricanes getting more common? Are hurricanes getting more intense? Answer the question by describing your graph.


RANKING

HURRICANE
(landfall)

YEAR

CATEGORY




(millibars)

1

"Labor Day"
(FL Keys)

1935

5

892

2

Camille
(MS,SE LA,VA)

1969

5

909

3

Andrew
(SE FL,SE LA)

1992

5

922

4

(FL Keys,South TX)

1919

4

927

5

"Lake Okeechobee"
(S FL)

1928

4

929

6

Donna
(FL,Eastern U.S.)

1960

4

930

7

(New Orleans, LA)

1915

4

931

7

Carla
(North & Central TX)

1961

4

931

9

Hugo
(SC)

1989

4

934

10

"Great Miami"
(FL,MS,AL,NW FL)

1926

4

935

11

"Galveston"
(North TX)

1900

4

936

12

Hazel
(SC,NC)

1954

4

938

13

(SE FL,SE LA,MS)

1947

4

940

14

(North TX)

1932

4

941

15

Gloria
(Long Island, NY)

1985

3

942

16

Opal
(NW FL,AL)

1995

3

942

17

Audrey
(SW LA,N TX)

1957

4

945

18

(Galveston, TX)

1915

4

945

18

Celia
(South TX)

1970

3

945

18

Allen
(South TX)

1980

3

945

21

"New England"
(NY,RI)

1938

3

946

21

Frederic
(AL,MS)

1979

3

946

23

"Great Atlantic"
(Long Island, NY)

1944

3

947

24

Betsy
(SE FL,SE LA)

1965

3

948

25

(SE FL,NW FL)

1929

3

948

25

(SE FL)

1933

3

948

25

(South TX)

1916

3

948

25

(MS,AL)

1916

3

948

29

Diane (NC)

1955

3

949

29

(S TX)

1933

3

949

2. The following table gives the greatest impact according to the cost of the damage of a hurricane. (the values are adjusted to 2003 prices and level of population, building and structures)



Try This!

Using the video/photographic resources in the two case study impacts files xxx [make a link] give five types of damage the money would be spent on.


Do the highest category hurricanes always cost the highest amount? Use values from the table to illustrate your answer.

Though the major hurricanes make up only 21% of the US tropical storms and hurricanes hitting land, they cause an estimated 83% of the total damage.

Most of the very destructive Category 1 and 2 hurricanes caused their flooding damage through rainfall, often well away from the coast.

Top 10 Damaging Hurricanes - From 1900-2003

RANK

HURRICANE
(landfall)

YEAR

CATEGORY

DAMAGE COST(m$ US)

1

"Great Miami"
(SE Florida,Alabama)

1926

4

$98,051

2

ANDREW
(SE FL,LA)

1992

5

44,878

3

"Galveston"
(N Texas)

1900

4

36,096

4

(North Texas)

1915

4

30,585

5

(SW Florida)

1944

3

22,070

6

"New England"
(NY,RI)

1938

3

22,549

7

"Lake Okeechobee"
(SE Florida)

1928

4

18,708

8

BETSY
(SE FL,LA)

1965

3

16,863

9

DONNA
(FL,Eastern U.S.)

1960

4

16,339

10

CAMILLE
(MS,LA,VA)

1969

5

14,870

3. The table below shows the top 10 USA hurricanes according to the number of people that died.



Try this!

Did hurricanes have more impact at the early or later part of the last century? Use values from the table to illustrate your answer. Think of the reasons for this trend.
Look up information on the death toll for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita 2005. Do these figures agree with the trend you have noted above?
Hurricane Stan hit C America in 2005. Find the death toll for this lower category storm. Why do you think the figures are so different?


10 Deadliest USA (continental) hurricanes from 1900-1998

RANKING

HURRICANE
(location)

YEAR

CATEGORY

DEATHS

1

"Galveston"
(TX)

1900

4

8000+

2

"Lake Okeechobee"
(S FL)

1928

4

2500+

3

Unnamed
(Fl Keys,S TX)

1919

4

600

4

"New England"
(NY,RI)

1938

3

600

5

"Labor Day"
(FL Keys)

1935

5

408

6

Audrey
(SW LA,N TX)

1957

4

390

7

"Great Atlantic"
(NE U.S.) NB NOT Caribbean

1944

3

390

8

"Grand Isle"
(LA)

1909

4

350

9

Unnamed
(New Orleans, LA)

1915

4

275

10

Unnamed
(Galveston, TX)

1915

4

275



Decision Time!

Which is the best method of describing the impact of a hurricane – its intensity [category], its cost, its deadliness? Give the pros and cons for each method and then your opinion saying why.





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