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Cultural Center

Save the Date

Hofstra Cultural Center

presents a symposium

Long Island Hurricanes on the 80th Anniversary of the 1938 Storm: Past, Present, and Future

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Long Island Hurricanes

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 1938 "Long Island Express" hurricane, and look ahead to the future, this interdisciplinary symposium proposes to recount the many impactful tropical cyclones that have affected Long Island over the years, assess our current forecasting and hazard communication techniques, and discuss future planning for resilience to these extreme events. We seek participation from a range of experts in broad topic areas, including climatology, meteorology, sustainability, geography, communication, and history.

Download Call for Panelists PDF Download Program PDF RSVP

The unnamed 1938 hurricane — nicknamed the "Long Island Express" due to its fast forward motion and initial landfall in Suffolk County — brought abrupt and untold devastation to the northeastern United States, particularly Long Island's East End. Despite that storm, and several subsequent New York hurricane landfalls in the following decades, the recent experience of Sandy underscores our vulnerability to the impacts of tropical cyclones, particularly storm surges and coastal flooding. Thus, we first seek to examine in greater detail the hurricane of 1938, establishing it as a worst-case scenario when considering Long Island natural disasters. Then, we will investigate our current knowledge of hurricane forecasting, having made great strides since 1938, but still lacking in certain areas, particularly in communicating storm-related information to stakeholders. Last, we will discuss how future planning and sustainable development must consider future tropical cyclone impacts, keeping in mind lessons learned from past events.

Along with our keynote speaker, Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we plan to hold three panels on the following themes:

  • PAST
    • Climatology and meteorology of past Long Island tropical cyclones, including the 1938 hurricane, Sandy, and other notable storms.
    • An assessment of how we predict tropical cyclones and communicate potential hazards and uncertainty to the public. Although not directly affecting Long Island, storms through the Atlantic this year (Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria) made 2017 one of the deadliest storm seasons in more than a century.
    • Incorporating tropical cyclone risk into planning for Long Island's sustainable future.


Dr. Louis W. Uccellini
Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Director, National Weather Service

Dr. Louis W. Uccellini is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, and Director of the National Weather Service. In this role, he is responsible for the day-to-day civilian weather operations for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters, and ocean areas.

Prior to this position, he served as the Director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for 14 years. He was responsible for directing and planning the science, technology, and operations related to NCEP’s nine centers: Central Operations, Environmental Modeling Center, Ocean Prediction Center, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Climate Prediction Center, all in Camp Springs, MD; the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL; Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK; Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO; and the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, MO.

Dr. Uccellini was the Director of the National Weather Service’s Office of Meteorology from 1994 to 1999, Chief of the National Weather Service’s Meteorological Operations Division from 1989 to 1994, and section head for the Mesoscale Analysis and Modeling Section at the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Laboratory for Atmospheres from 1978 to 1989.

Dr. Uccellini received his Ph.D. (1977), Master (1972) and Bachelor of Science (1971) degrees in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in books on subjects including analysis of severe weather outbreaks, snowstorms, gravity waves, jet streaks, cyclones, and the use of satellite data in analysis and modeling applications. He is the co-author of a widely acclaimed two-volume American Meteorological Society (AMS) monograph Northeast Snowstorms, published in 2004, and authored chapters in the 1990 AMS publication Extratropical Cyclones, the 1999 AMS publication The Life Cycles of Extratropical Cyclones, and the 2008 AMS publication Synoptic Dynamic Meteorology and Weather Analysis and Forecasting.

Dr. Uccellini has served on many national and international research and field experiment programs. He has received many awards in recognition of his research and operational achievements including the Maryland Academy of Sciences Distinguished Young Scientist Award (1981), the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1985), the AMS’s prestigious Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award (1985), and the National Weather Association’s Research Achievement Awards for Significant Contributions to Operational Meteorology (1996). He was elected as a Fellow to the AMS in 1987and served as Co-Chief Editor of Weather and Forecasting from 1988-1992. In 2001 he received the U.S. Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award and in 2006 he received the U.S. Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. In January 2012, Dr. Uccellini was elected the President of the AMS and served from 2012 to 2013.

Symposium Director:
Jase Bernhardt, PhD
Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability
Hofstra University