Web scraper for Atlantic and east Pacific hurricanes and tropical storms

rrricanes is a R library that extracts information from available archives on past and current tropical cyclones. Currently, archives date back to

Data can be obtained for cyclones in the north Atlantic (considered the Atlantic Basin) and north-eastern Pacific (the East Pacific Basin from 140°W and eastward.

Central Pacific data (140°W to 180°W) is included if issued by the National Hurricane Center (generally they’re issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center).

This library parses the text advisories of all tropical cyclones since

  1. Over the years the formats of the text products have changed and many are loosely formatted.

I wrote this package with the goal of consolidating messy text data into well-organized formats that can easily be saved to CSV, SQL and other data formats.

Advisory Products

Generally speaking, there are five products available for tropical cyclones issued at 03:00, 09:00, 15:00 and 21:00 UTC;

  1. Storm Discussion - These are technical discussions centered on the current structure of the cyclone, satellite presentation, computer forecast model tendencies and more.

  2. Forecast/Adivsory - This data-rich product lists the current location of the cyclone, its wind structure, forecast and forecast wind structure.

  3. Public Advisory - These are general text statements issued for the public-at-large. Information in these products is a summary of the Forecast/Advisory product along with any watches and warnings issued, changed, or cancelled. Public Advisory products are the only regularly-scheduled product that may be issued intermittently (every three hours and, occasionally, every two hours) when watches and warnings are in effect.

  4. Wind Speed Probabilities - These products list the probability of a minimum sustained wind speed expected in a given forecast window. This product replaces the Strike Probabilities product beginning in 2006 (see below).

  5. Updates - Tropical Cyclone Updates may be issued at any time if a storm is an immediate threat to land or if the cyclone undergoes a significant change of strength or structure. The information in this product is general.

Discontinued Products

These products are included in the package though they have been discontinued at some point:

  1. Strike Probabilities - List the probability of a tropical cyclone passing within 65 nautical miles of a location within a forecast window. Replaced in 2006 by the Wind Speed Probabilities product.

  2. Position Estimates - Typically issued as a storm is threatening land but generally rare (see Hurricane Ike 2008, Key AL092008). It is generally just an update of the current location of the cyclone. After the 2011 hurricane season, this product was discontinued; Updates are now issued in their place.

Getting Started

Please view the vignette ‘Getting Started’:

vignette("getting_started", package = "rrricanes")

Online documentation is also available.


rrricanes requires an active internet connection as data is extracted from online sources.

Linux users must also have the libgdal-dev, libproj-dev and libxml2-dev packages installed.

To add rrricanesdata, a package of post-scraped datasets,


To use high resolution tracking maps you will need to install the rnaturalearthhires package.



rrricanes is currently only available in GitHub. It can be installed using the devtools package:

devtools::install_github("ropensci/rrricanes", build_vignettes = TRUE)

Built With

  • R 3.5.0 - The R Project for Statistical Computing


Please read CONTRIBUTING.md for details on our code of conduct, and the process for submitting pull requests to us.


We use SemVer for versioning. For the versions available, see the tags on this repository.


See also the list of contributors who participated in this project.


This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE.md file for details

Known Data Quality Issues

  1. Hurricane Juan (AL152003), Adv 15; no status leads to improper Status and Name values in some datasets. (#82)