1960 U.S. Weather Bureau Hurricane Tracking Chart

Hurricane Tracking Chart. - Main View

1960 U.S. Weather Bureau Hurricane Tracking Chart


Bringing hurricane mapping to the general public.


Hurricane Tracking Chart.
  1960 (undated)     18.25 x 21.5 in (46.355 x 54.61 cm)     1 : 12800000


An interesting c. 1960 chart devised by the U.S. Weather Bureau, forerunner to the National Weather Service. The map was created to track hurricanes through the Atlantic and Caribbean. The map is significant as part of a national effort to leverage the general public in weather recording and prediction.
A Closer Look
The map covers from Maine and Nova Scotia down the East Coast of the United States and to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, with cities, state and international borders, and countries labeled. Latitude and longitude lines are drawn at five-degree intervals, with dots noting the intervening degrees, forming a sort of grid helpful in locating a hurricane. The chart was meant to be used in conjunction with U.S.W.B. radio and television advisories and would allow the user to visualize the projected or actual path of a hurricane. Text appears below and to the right of the map, mostly consisting of warnings and guidelines for emergency preparedness and avoiding bodily harm during a hurricane.
Publication History and Census
This chart was issued by the U.S.W.B., most likely around the year 1960, when the bureau began distributing hurricane tracking charts to the public. We are unable to locate any other examples of this map in institutional collections or on the market. Similar types of maps were issued around the same time by insurance companies and other businesses using data and maps from the U.S.W.B. (for example, a 1946 'Hurricane Map,' previously sold by us as HurricaneMap-mcgregor-1946), but we do not locate any hurricane-related maps issued directly by the U.S.W.B. in the OCLC.


United States Weather Bureau (1890 - 1970), the primary U.S. government agency tasked with weather-related research and forecasting, was the predecessor to today's National Weather Service. The bureau grew out of the Weather Bureau of the United States, originally created in 1870 and placed under the U.S. Signal Service within the Department of War. It grew and developed in the following years, going through name changes and being reassigned to the Department of Commerce, then the Department of Agriculture (in 1890, adopting its ultimate name), and returning to the Department of Commerce (in 1940). Over the course of its existence, the bureau became increasingly focused on and adept at providing warnings and forecasts, the basis for present-day hurricane, wildfire, flood, and other weather related warning systems (it only developed tornado warning systems relatively late, in the 1950s). In 1966, the bureau was placed under the Environmental Science Services Administration, which in 1970 became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at which point the bureau was renamed the National Weather Service. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Light wear along original folds.