Florida landfalls

A new Hurricane Season officially goes on the books on June 1st:

Here’s a historical calendar showing 110 years of storms that made landfall in Florida at hurricane strength. The color coding of the interior dot shows each storms strength at landfall, and the outer dot the strength at its height.

If you click HERE, it will take you to an html-empowered version of the same graph, which, upon clicking on the dots, will transport you to Wikipedia summaries for each storm. They are fun to read (if you have time).

The calendar shows that most of the powerful storms are clustered between the months of August and October.

Hurricane-strength landfalls after November and before mid July are much rarer, but also keep in mind that’s an incomplete metric:

Tropical storms and waves that (though not hurricane strength) can be just as big rain makers, and also rough up the coast with their swales.

Case in point is Alma (1966).

It’s Florida’s earliest landfalling hurricane … and it made Florida landfall twice, once on the Keys and again in Apalachee Bay, way on the west side of the peninsula, but quixotically dumped 10 inches of rain over on the Gold Coast east near Miami.

Thus, landfalls – let alone hurricane-strength landfalls – only tell a fraction of the story.

But it’s an interesting way to keep track, and look back into time. As for what this season will bring, that’s anyone’s guess!

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