Semester of Graduation

Spring 2023


Master of Science (MS)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Cameron Parish is a large coastal parish in southwest Louisiana that has been impacted by several powerful tropical cyclones. In 2020, the strongest hurricane in recorded history to ever hit this region, Hurricane Laura, set a state record for the highest storm surge measurement at 6.34 meters. I examine the climatology of tropical cyclone landfalls in this parish, looking for trends in intensity and frequency with time. I then compare the extreme surge of Hurricane Laura with a dataset of 645 synthetic tropical cyclones generated and used by the Coastal Hazards System for Louisiana. Plots comparing various meteorological statistics to the surge heights are generated for three locations in the Parish. Hurricanes Audrey, Rita, and Ike are also used in these plots. The most extreme surges of these events are then examined for patterns amongst meteorological statistics and observed surge distributions. Trend analysis of intensity and frequency of tropical cyclone landfalls in Cameron Parish yielded no statistically significant results. The variables of direction of motion at landfall and minimum central pressure at landfall were where Laura’s surge most noticeably outperformed storms in the synthetic storm dataset. Additionally, Laura’s surge envelope did not have as widespread high surge values as the other most extreme storms in the dataset. The goal of this study is to better understand the factors that most contribute to extreme surges in the dataset and ways the dataset could potentially be improved by using the real-world example of Laura in this area.



Committee Chair

Keim, Barry D