Skip to content
For WHOI personnel: COVID-19 Guidelines and FAQs

Hurricanes and the Coastal Zone


June 1, 2005

With hurricane season arriving June 1, along with predictions of an above normal
number of major storms in the Atlantic and Gulf States, understanding how the
ocean and atmospheric interact and what role changing climate has on the
formation of hurricanes is critical. The 2004 hurricane season resulted in many
deaths and tremendous destruction in Florida and other coastal states along the
Gulf of Mexico and East Coast but also to many states inland. Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists conduct research on a variety of
topics related to hurricanes, from ocean circulation patterns and changing
climate, the effects of hurricanes on coral reefs and environmental impacts in
the coastal zone, to coastal erosion and storm surges. Historical records from
hurricanes decades and centuries ago hidden deep below the surface in coastal
areas are providing insight into what we might expect in the future. Further
information about some of these projects is available from the Institution’s Coastal
Ocean Institute
and Ocean and Climate Change