Spatial Association Between Origin and Landfall of Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Seongtae Kim


Applied Mathematics

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


Tropical storms such as hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons forming over warm areas near the equator in the ocean are studied by researchers since hurricanes can significantly impact physical and economical damages to communities and their inhabitants. Researchers study tropical storms for the prediction of path, intensity, and potential damage. Although advanced methods and technology allow researchers to track tropical storms in the ocean prior to its landfall, spatial dependency of hurricane paths remains little known. The purpose of this project is to study if there is a spatial dependency between the origin in the Atlantic Ocean and the landfall in the United States of hurricanes. To investigate spatial association between origin and landfall, we first define eight regions for the origin and five zones for the landfall. We map all historical hurricane data since 1851 on these defined regions using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data. We examine the spatial associations between the origin and landfall for the entire hurricane season and for each month from June to December using various statistical analysis techniques. The results will be presented through contingency tables and map visualization methods. Our study will have spatial and temporal patterns of the hurricane paths, which allows for predictability of hurricane landfall in the United States. This research will provide some data-driven clues to accurately predict and map out a hurricane path before considering the use of a complicated mathematical model.

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