A reanalysis of the surface winds for hurricane Donna of 1960

Jason P. Dunion, Christopher W. Landsea, Samuel H. Houston, Mark D. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Hurricane Donna, the only major hurricane to strike the United States during the 1960 Atlantic hurricane season, passed over the middle Florida Keys near Sombrero Key before making landfall southeast of Naples, near Goodland, Florida, on 10 September at approximately 1600 UTC. This study makes detailed retrospective surface wind analyses of Hurricane Donna utilizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division's (HRD) H*Wind surface wind analysis system. Analyses were produced at intervals of 6 h between 1800 UTC 9 September and 1200 UTC 11 September 1960 while the hurricane was close to and over Florida. These analyses depict the storm track as well as the distribution and extent of tropical storm force. 50 kt (25.7 m s 1), and the hurricane-force wind radii throughout this time period and include new methodologies for adjusting aircraft flight-level data to the surface in the tropical cyclone core environment. Algorithms were developed to account for the effects of eyewall tilt and the warm core structure typical of tropical cyclones. Additional methods were developed using global positioning system (GPS) dropwindsondes (sondes) to more accurately adjust boundary layer winds to equivalent surface winds. The Kaplan-DeMaria Inland Wind Decay Model was also used for the first time to adjust landfall data being input into the H*Wind system. These data were used to generate low-weighted background fields that helped generate postlandfall wind field analyses of Hurricane Donna. Finally, swaths of peak winds, duration of hurricane- and major hurricane-force winds, and wind steadiness were produced to facilitate damage assessment. The information provided by these objective analyses is significantly more detailed than the more limited descriptions of peak winds, storm position, and minimum central pressure available in the National Hurricane Center's (NHC) hurricane database archive (HURDAT).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1992-2011
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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