Monday, June 01, 2015

Hurricane Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

GIS Story Maps of Top Ten U.S. Hurricanes

Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through November 30.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting six to 11 named storms, which is considered below average for the season.  Hurricane Ana already impacted the Carolinas in May and counts toward that total number of named storms.  NOAA predicts up to two Category 3 or higher major hurricanes this season.

ESRI, the leading producer of GIS software, has created a Story Map depicting the top ten most damaging U.S. hurricanes of all time based on an NOAA study.  The most damaging hurricane in U.S. history was the “Great Miami Hurricane” of 1926 where 372 people were killed and cost $157 billion in damages in today’s dollars.  Hurricane Katrina is the second-most damaging hurricane with $81 billion in damages.  But Hurricane Katrina was responsible for 1,836 deaths.  According to the study, “because the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 traveled through the heart of Miami as a Category 4 storm, its damage level would have been nearly double that of Hurricane Katrina.”

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources depicting the impact of hurricanes in the United States.  One of the maps in the GRMC was published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2005 and shows the relative water depth for the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina.  The GRMC also includes a collection of maps showing the most intense tropical storms over time.

For more information about using cartographic resources in research and learning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

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