For this Top 3 on 3 report, we crunched every latitude/longitude plot of every storm in the Atlantic Basin since 1915, logging the wind intensity at each point. This consisted of some 248,000 data points.
To calculate the proximity of each storm to our coast, we chose the latitude/longitude location of the Tybee Lighthouse as our anchor point, then used the Pythagorean theorem (remember that from algebra class? a2+b2=c2) to triangulate the exact distance of each storm’s location plot to the lighthouse.
Then, to control for intensity, we divided this proximity by the wind speed, in miles per hour, registered at each respective plot in the storm’s track.
Finally, we threw out any data points that did not register at least Category 3 in intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Scale – characterized as a major storm by the National Hurricane Center of 111mph+ in sustained winds and causing devastating damage.