Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Science (MS)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



This study presents a novel geospatial analysis of hurricane inland track lengths in the Gulf of Mexico from 1851 to 2022. Utilizing Generalized Linear Models (GLMs), the research investigates relationships between various meteorological and temporal factors and the post-landfall trajectories of hurricanes. Key variables such as landfall wind speed, translation speed, heading direction, month, year, Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI), and minimum pressure are examined. The analysis begins with exploratory data assessment through correlation matrices and descriptive statistics, followed by the development of two distinct GLMs - one for the 1851-2022 period and another for the 1951-2022 period, with the latter accommodating additional climatic indices.

The study's significant findings include the positive influence of landfall wind speed and translation speed on track length, with more intense and faster-moving hurricanes covering greater distances inland. Interestingly, the analysis reveals a potential regional deviation in the Gulf of Mexico from global trends, suggesting a decrease in hurricane track lengths over time, contrary to the expected increase in decay times due to rising sea surface temperatures. This discrepancy highlights the importance of regional studies in understanding hurricane activity and may have implications for hurricane preparedness and impact assessment in the Gulf Coast region.

In comparing these results with existing models, the study acknowledges both consistencies and differences, underlining the complexity of hurricane dynamics and the influence of regional climatic patterns. This research contributes to the field of hurricane studies by offering a more comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing hurricane trajectories post-landfall, particularly in the context of the Gulf of Mexico.



Committee Chair

Keim, Barry

Available for download on Monday, April 05, 2027