The first step in establishing the Hurricane Network was to develop and execute a plan for the appropriate location and density of stations. The objective was to capture a hurricane’s spatial variability and overall impact in the areas where an event is most likely and where it will have the greatest impact. This process incorporated a combination of coastal geography, hurricane climatology, hurricane structure, and economics, with the 100 stations being placed so as to allow for a dramatic improvement in the recording of events along the Gulf and East coasts, with an emphasis on the regions that have the greatest economic and population vulnerability.
Once general locations were identified, specific sites were then investigated to optimize our ability to capture the profound structural changes (e.g. frictional decay, loss of energy source, etc.) that hurricanes experience as they approach or cross the coast. To best capture this spectrum of effects, most stations were placed extremely close to the coast line, augmented by selected stations placed further inland to better capture the changes seen in the storm as it moves inland.