Earth's Hurricanes Since 1851

by / August 28, 2012

Using publicly available data from organizations like NASA, NOAA and USGS, data visualization expert John Nelson created a map for more than 150 years of recorded tropical storms and hurricanes, reported

This view of the tropical storms and hurricanes, called a polar projection, has Antarctica at the map's center; the Americas are to the right, Australia and Asia are to the left; and Africa is toward the bottom.

Nelson said in his blog that this "bottoms up" view showed off some of the features of the data, such as:

1.) Structure. "Hurricanes clearly abhor the equator and fling themselves away from the warm waters of their birth as quickly as they can. Paging Dr. Freud," Nelson writes. "The void circling the image is the equator. Hurricanes can never ever cross it."

2.) Detection. "Detection has skyrocketed since satellite technology but mostly since we started logging storms in the eastern hemisphere.  Also the proportionality of storm severity looks to be getting more consistent year to year with the benefit of more data."

To see a larger version of this map, visit Nelson's Flickr page

Image by John Nelson