- Click on a year for storm path and damage information.
- Roll over track points for time (GMT), category, and wind speed of hurricane.
While heavy rainfall and powerful winds pose serious dangers to life safety and property, storm surge is the greatest hurricane-related hazard. New York City is particularly vulnerable to storm surge due to a geographic characteristic called the New York Bight. A bight is a curve in the shoreline of an open coast that funnels and increases the speed and intensity of storm surge. The New York Bight is located at the point where New York and New Jersey coastlines meet, creating a right angle in the coastline. A storm surge moving up through New York Harbor and amplified by the New York Bight could devastate susceptible areas of New York City.
Hurricane season lasts from June to November, averaging six hurricanes per year in the Atlantic. During the season, New York City is at highest risk between August and October because water temperatures are warm enough in the Northern Atlantic to develop and sustain a hurricane. According to a 1998 Colorado State University study on hurricane landfall probability, New York City has a 0.9% chance of being hit by a Category 3 hurricane. The same study assigns a 2.4% chance for New Orleans and a 2.5% chance for Houston.