I thought I came up with a great approach on my first attempt on this, then I found out the btid is not unique across hurricanes and years. This posed a bit of a challenge to get around. To solve it, I had to set the layer definition on the dynamic service layer to not only btid = n, but also track_date >= 1/1/yyyy and track_date < 1/1/(yyyy + 1). By extending my layer definition to include the track date, I was forced to use a proxy page for the long url that gets sent to the GIS server. Also, the maximum records returned on a query task is set to 1000, so I had to deal with that issue too. I came up with two different methods of achieving my goal.
Version 1: on page load, I performed a query task in ten-year increments (starting with 1861 to 1871 and finishing with 2001 to 2011). I took the unique btid and track_date results and placed the geometry, name, category, btid, and track_date into a global array. I also created a layer definition on the dynamic service layer that includes btid and the tract date range for every hurricane in cat 4 or 5. To make the map less cluttered, I incorporated a time extent with a time slider. With the time slider, the initial years are set to 1861 to 1870. When the user changes the time slider, the export of the map includes not only the time extent, but also the default layer definition. Because the layer definition is so large, there is a bit of a delay in the retrieval of the exported image (1.33ms), but it resolves the 1000 record limit by using the data I have stored in the global array.
Both versions use a basic boarder container layout from a sample template on ESRI's resource center:
ESRI's resource center has a ton of samples that have been very helpful for me in the past. I used the same doctype as in the sample (html 4.01 strict), although the W3 validation service did not like the attributes dojo adds to html elements. Lesson 5 also allowed me to try out a time enabled layer for the first time. To get started on how to properly use the time slider I used this sample:
I contemplated adding clickable graphics of the hurricane tracts to the map, but I decided that adding a segment graphic to the map when the user performs a mouse over on the grid would suffice.