Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Science (MS)


Department of Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Tropical cyclones, characterized by their high wind speeds and heavy rainfall, cause widespread devastation, affecting millions of people and leading to economic losses worldwide. Tropical cyclone-specific research in Georgia is scarce, likely due to the coast’s minimal geographical extent and the relative infrequency of direct landfalls. Research on Georgia tropical cyclones does not account for storms that make landfall in Florida and continue north, northeast, or northwest. In 2018, Hurricane Michael generated $4.7 billion in property, agriculture, and forestry damages across southwest Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane. With an increasing population, property development, and agriculture sector sensitive to tropical storms, it is imperative to update the state’s tropical cyclone climatology. This study seeks to understand the spatiotemporal patterns of direct and indirect landfalling Georgia tropical storms (≥ 17 ms-1) from 1851–2021 using data from the North Atlantic Basin hurricane database (HURDAT2). This study considers tropical cyclone-induced rainfall using daily rainfall (nClimGrid-Daily and nClimGrid) from 1951–2021 to estimate the proportion of annual rainfall that is attributed to these storms. Using a multi-methodological approach of statistics, archival resources, and mapping to assess the trends of Georgia tropical cyclones and their attributed rainfall. The study, concentrating on 113 tropical cyclones from May–November, found that Georgia averages 0.66 tropical cyclones annually, with the bulk occurring in September and October. The study found that tropical cyclone-induced rainfall contributes a notable amount of annual rainfall totals.



Committee Chair

Trepanier, Jill