After the landfall of very strong hurricanes, NOAA contracted with Drs. Ted Fujita of the University of Chicago and Roger Wakimoto of the University of California Los Angeles to produce damage surveys of the affected areas. With the help of Duane J. Stiegler, survey teams visited the devastated areas to assess the wind effects using aerial and ground surveying techniques originally developed by Dr. Fujita for tornados. Dr. Fujita’s original F scale was used to estimate the peak wind speeds.
These surveys were used to define the surface wind fields based on tree fall and structural damage because so few surface observations were available. Once the analysis technique known as H*Wind became available in the early 1990s, these analyses were unnecessary and were discontinued after Hurricane Iniki.
The original analyses were printed as posters and made available to researchers. In each poster, the red arrows indicate the direction of the wind that caused the visible debris, and the estimated wind speed on the Fujita Scale was noted. Contours of the estimated wind speed and the track of the hurricane center are also shown.
The team produced maps of Hurricane Alicia (1983), Hurricane Diana (1984), Elena (1985), Hugo (1989), Andrew (1992) front and back, and Hurricane Iniki (1992). All of them can be found at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/flyers/.
More information on the techniques and findings can be found at:
Wakimoto, R. M., and P. G. Black, 1994: Damage survey of Hurricane Andrew and its relationship to the eyewall. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 75, 189-200.