The trick here was to mung (“muhnj”) the data to produce a single plot of maximum windspeeds. There are 38 shapefiles corresponding to 3-hour intervals from 8/25/05 to 8/30/05.
After combining the data, then came the choice of applying grids to assess regional maximum windspeeds.
I overlayed small hexagons, identified the single maximum wind speed, and then produced the below plot. Note Katrina’s spatial increase in category 1 strength windfields soon after reaching her peak intensity (category 5 winds).
Maximum observed windspeeds for Hurricane Katrina (2005) via AOML/NOAA’s H*Wind project. Colors correspond to wind strengths of tropical storm, category 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 intensity.