NOAA 2002-121
Contact: David Miller
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Emergency preparedness managers, meteorologists, and the general public now have a powerful new instrument to explore more than 150 years of information about tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Services Center in partnership with NOAA’s Tropical Prediction Center, the Historical Hurricane Tracks tool is an internet-based application that allows the search and display of detailed tropical cyclone data and coastal population trends.

Found at, searches can be made using criteria such as storm name, U.S. ZIP code, U.S. state, county, or latitude and longitude. Tropical cyclone activity is archived as far back as 1851. The site also provides a searchable database of population changes from 1900 to 2000 for U.S. coastal counties affected by hurricanes and detailed text reports on the life history and impact of Atlantic tropical cyclones from 1958 to 2001. This is the first NOAA site that provides storm and population data side by side.

“To make informed decisions, emergency managers need to know how many people live, work, and vacation in coastal areas,” said Margaret Davidson, acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Having simultaneous access to population figures and storm data is a significant improvement, since the more you know about past tropical cyclones the better you can prepare for the future.”

NOAA National Hurricane Center director, Max Mayfield also praised the initiative for bringing together useful information to a wide range of users—from those in the hurricane “business” to retirees planning to move to the coast.

“Now that the Historical Hurricane Tracks tool is available you have one, easy to navigate site that can answer many questions about tropical cyclone history,” he said.

The NOAA Coastal Services Center works to support the environmental, social, and economic well being of the coast by linking people, information, and technology. To learn more about the Center, please visit

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events. NOAA provides environmental leadership of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. For more information about NOAA please visit