Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Repurposing a hindcast simulation of the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, south Florida

August 10, 2020

Hydrodynamic model hindcasts of the surface water and groundwater of the Everglades and the greater Miami, Florida, area were used to simulate hydrology using estimated storm surge height, wind field, and rainfall for the Great Miami Hurricane (GMH), which struck on September 18, 1926. Ranked estimates of losses from hurricanes in inflation-adjusted dollars indicate that the GMH was one of the most damaging tropical cyclones to make landfall in the United States, but little hydrologic data were collected because many types of field stations did not exist at the time. Several techniques were used to estimate previously unknown critical storm variables for model input, demonstrating the value of reanalyzing historical storm events using modern hydrodynamic modeling. This representation of the 1926 GMH was then used to develop a hypothetical simulation of the hydrologic effects of a similar hurricane occurring in contemporary (1996) times. Results indicate that the 18-centimeter sea-level rise between 1926 and 1996 had a greater effect on salinity intrusion than climatic differences or the development of modern canal-based infrastructure. Moreover, the post-1926 canal infrastructure does not seem to substantially mitigate the deleterious effects of sea-level rise.

Publication Year 2020
Title Repurposing a hindcast simulation of the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, south Florida
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201010
Authors M. Dennis Krohn, Eric D. Swain, Catherine A. Langtimm, Jayantha Obeysekera
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2020-1010
Index ID ofr20201010
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center; Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center