This R package currently aims to reorganize the NOAA HURDAT2 dataset for Atlantic, East Pacific and Central Pacific-basin tropical cyclones and present it in a cleaner format.


The Atlantic basin dataset covers all cyclones that have developed in the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern Pacific datasets cover cyclones in the Pacific from the United States/Mexico coastlines to -140°W where the cyclone entered what is referred to as the central Pacific basin. The central Pacific basin extends westward to -180°W.

Named Cyclones

Cyclones were not named until 1950 and used names of the international phonetic alphabet. For example, Able, Baker, Charlie, etc.

In 1953, the National Hurricane Center began using female names and by 1954 the NHC would retire some names for storms of significance. Currently the World Meteorological Organization is responsible for maintaining the list of names, retiring names and assigning replacement names.

In this dataset, cyclones not named are simply referred to as "UNNAMED". To aid with identification, cyclones will be referenced by their `Key`, a string of alphanumeric characters identifying basin, the number of the storm for the year, followed by the four-digit year.

For example, *AL011851*:

  • AL = Atlantic Basin (`Basin`)

  • 01 = First storm of the year (`YearNum`)

  • 1851 = Year of the storm (`Year`)

Meteorological Definitions

It is useful to understand definitions and classifications of tropical cyclones.

  • Cyclone: a system of winds rotating inward to an area of low pressure. This system rotates counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

  • Tropical depression: a tropical cyclone with winds less than 35 mph (34 kts).

  • Tropical storm: a tropical with winds between 35 mph (34 kts) but less than 74mph (64 kts).

  • Hurricane: a tropical cyclone with winds greater than 74 mph (64 kts).

  • Extratropical Cyclone: a cyclone no longer containing tropical characteristics (warm-core center, tight pressure gradient near the center)

  • Subtropical Cyclone: a cyclone containing a mix of tropical and non-tropical characteristics.

  • Tropical cyclone: a warm-core surface low pressure system

  • Tropical Wave: An open area of low pressure (trough) containing tropical characteristics

  • Disturbance: An area of disturbed weather; a large disorganized area of thunderstorms.

Error Reporting

Please submit any errors, discrepancies or issues through the timtrice/HURDAT repository.

Errors in the raw data may also be reported to Chris Landsea or the National Hurricane Center Best Track Change Committee as explained on the HRD website.