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Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 10:16 PM
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Hebert Hurricane Box


Paul Hebert Many people visiting HurricaneCity have asked "What is this Hebert box I keep hearing about"?. The Hebert Box was "discovered" in the late 1970s by Paul Hebert (pictured at left). This former NWS & NHC forecaster found many major hurricanes that hit South Florida had to first pass through these boxes. The first box is located east of Puerto Rico and the second box is located over the Cayman Islands. Every major hurricane that passed through Box 2 late in the year, hit the Florida Peninsula prior to 1950. Hebert says that a hurricane does not have to pass through these boxes to hit, but if they do "you better pay attention". The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane that devastated the Florida Keys developed west of this box and Hurricane Andrew passed NE of this box, so there are exceptions to the rule.
Hebert boxes This image shows the two Hebert boxes. If Floridians want an indication of a possible hit they need to keep an eye on any hurricane that passes through these boxes. Nearly every major hurricane that hit S Florida since 1900 passed through these boxes. When major hurricanes miss these boxes, they virtually always miss South Florida. If a major hurricane moves into these boxes South Florida really needs to watch out. These boxes, approx 335 miles by 335 miles, includes the Virgin Islands but not Puerto Rico. The pattern has proven accurate for 9 out of 10 storms that developed & hit Dade, Broward & Palm Beach Counties. The following is a list showing hurricanes that passed through these boxes, starting with Box #1.


Box #1 (since 1950)


1950 Baker - Alabama .... 1950 Dog - out to sea .... 1951 Charlie - Yucatan / Mexico .... 1952 Baker - out to sea .... 1953 Carol - Nova Scotia .... 1954 Alice - Leeward isl, out to sea .... 1955 Connie - N Carolina .... 1955 Ione - N Carolina .... 1956 Betsy - N Antilles, PR, Bahamas .... 1958 Fifi - out to sea .... 1958 Ilsa - out to sea .... 1960 Donna - N Antilles, Bahamas, Fla, east seaboard .... 1963 Edith - Windward isl, PR, Hispaniola .... 1964 Cleo - N Antilles, Hispaniola, Haiti, Cuba, Fla .... 1966 Faith - N Antilles .... 1966 Inez - N Antilles, Hispaniola, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Fla, Yucatan, Mex .... 1967 Beulah - Hispaniola, Yucatan, S Texas .... 1975 Eloise - Hispaniola, Fla panhandle .... 1979 David - Antilles, Hispaniola, Haiti, Fla, Ga, Sc .... 1984 Klaus - out to sea .... 1985 Gloria - NE U.S. .... 1989 Dean - Bermuda, Newfoundland .... 1989 Hugo - N Antilles, PR, SC .... 1990 Klaus - out to sea .... 1995 Luis - N Antilles, Newfoundland .... 1995 Marilyn - N Antilles, VI, PR .... 1996 Bertha - N Antilles, VI, PR, N Carolina .... 1996 Fran - N Carolina .... 1996 Hortense - PR, Nova Scotia .... 1997 Erika - out to sea .... 1998 Georges - N Antilles, VI, PR, Hispaniola, Haiti, Cuba, Keys, Mississippi .... 1999 Jose - N Antilles, VI .... 1999 Lenny - N Antilles .... 2000 Debby - N Antilles, VI, Hispaniola .... 2004 Frances - Bahamas, Treasure coast, Fla .... 2008 Omar - VI .... 2010 Earl - Nova Scotia (ts)


Box #2 (since 1950)


1951 Item - Cayman isl, Cuba .... 1952 Fox - Caymans, Cuba, Bahamas .... 1961 Hattie - Belize .... 1981 Katrina - Cuba, Bahamas .... 1988 Gilbert - Yucatan, Mexico .... 1995 Roxanne - Yucatan .... 1998 Mitch - Honduras .... 2001 Iris - Belize .... 2001 Michelle - Cuba, Bahamas .... 2004 Charley - W Cuba, Fla .... 2005 Emily - Yucatan, Mexico .... 2005 Wilma - Yucatan, S Fla .... 2007 Dean - Yucatan .... 2008 Gustav West Cuba, Louisiana .... 2008 Paloma - Caymans, East Cuba


So what does all this mean when a hurricane passes or develops in the Hebert Box east of Puerto Rico since 1950?


  1. N Carolina has as much of a chance to get hit as Florida.
  2. 20.58% go out to sea without hitting land.
  3. Only 8.82% make it into the Gulf of Mexico when they pass through the box as a hurricane.
  4. Puerto Rico will get hit 20.58% of the time (the highest outside of N Antilles).

What about Box #2, hurricanes developing or moving through after Oct 1st since 1950?


Cuba & the Bahamas are at highest risk late in the season.

To wrap things up, two significant hurricanes that hit South Fla did not pass through this box, Andrew in 1992 and Betsy in 1965! Data may be slightly off because these boxes were based on data going back to 1900. We chose named storms since 1950 for recognition purposes.