Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Arlene's track in 1963
I was on a 200 ft flat-bottomed troop transport ship in 50 ft seas. Of the 100 people on board, only 8 of us didn't get seasick (maybe I should have joined the Navy instead of the Marines). We were in that storm for 3 days and nights.
Wikipedia: A cloud mass in the central Atlantic became a tropical depression on July 31. It headed to the west, becoming a tropical storm on August 2. Arlene rapidly intensified that day to become a 100 mph Category 2 hurricane, but lack of outflow weakened Arlene to a tropical depression on the 4th. For the next three days, a disturbed area of low pressure that may have had a circulation moved to the northwest. On the 8th, while turning northeastward, conditions favored development again, and Arlene rapidly intensified to a hurricane that night. Arlene passed over Bermuda on the 9th, and, after reaching its peak of 100 mph again that night, steadily weakened until it became extratropical on the 11th. Arlene caused $300,000 in property damage in Bermuda, but no lives were lost.
Flora struck the southwest peninsula of Haiti on October 4 as a 140 mph hurricane, causing heavy rains. Flora then hit southeast Cuba near Guantanamo Bay on the same day, but a high pressure system to its north and west caused it to drift over Cuba and nearby waters. During this time, intense driving rains caused catastrophic flooding, resulting in thousands of deaths and millions in crop damage. A shortwave trough finally pulled Flora to the northeast, bringing the hurricane into the Atlantic Ocean on the 8th. Flora strengthened over the open Atlantic, but posed a threat only to shipping, and became extratropical on the 12th.Hurricane Flora originated from a tropical depression which formed on September 26 in the Central Atlantic. The depression moved rapidly west-northwestward, and on the 29th it reached tropical storm status. It then rapidly intensified into a 120 mph Category 3 hurricane by the 30th. Flora moved through the Leeward Islands, first striking the island of Tobago, and passing near Grenada shortly afterwards. Flora then crossed the Caribbean Sea and strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane, peaking at 140 mph winds.
Hurricane Flora was the 5th or 6th deadliest Atlantic hurricane of all time, causing over 7,000 deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, mostly due to flooding from intense rains as it stalled over Cuba and the surrounding areas. Damage estimates (mostly crop losses) reached over $500 million.