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Thursday, 13 August 2015



The Great Storm of 1703 made landfall in southern England on December 7, 1703 killing an estimated 9,000 people. The wind gusts of up to 120 mph also blew ships hundreds of miles and over 1,000 seamen died on the Goodwin Sands alone.

'The Great Storm Wherein Rear Admiral Beaumont was lost on the Goodwin Sands

The storm also blew down more than 400 windmills, demolished more than 2,000 large chimneys in just London alone and destroyed the Eddystone Lighthouse. The Church of England declared that the storm was God’s vengeance for the sins of the nation.

Daniel Defoe believed the storm was a divine punishment for poor performance against Catholic armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.

The Great Hurricane of 1780 was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. Coming during a very active hurricane season, the storm formed on October 9, 1780 and struck Barbados the next day with winds possibly exceeding 200 mph. It then passed over several other islands, leaving mass destruction in its wake. Thousands of deaths were reported on each island, and more than 20,000 people had died by the time the storm dissipated.

HMS Hector and HMS Bristol in The Great Hurricane 

In 1891, Galveston, Texas, meteorologist Isaac Cline denied the idea that hurricanes could ever pose a threat to the city, and resisted a proposed seawall. In 1900, the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history struck Galveston, killing over 6,000 people (including Cline's pregnant wife).

The man who first gave names to hurricanes was an Australian weather forecaster named C. Wragge in the early 1900s. When the Australian government refused to acknowledge his system, he started naming the hurricanes after the the politicians he disliked or those that wouldn't support him.

The United States National Hurricane Research Project dropped eight cylinders of silver iodide into the eyewall of 1961's Hurricane Esther. Wind speed reduced by 10%, giving rise to Project Stormfury.

When Hurricane Betsy made its second landfall near New Orleans on September 9, 1965, it left 76 dead and $1.42 billion in damages. The storm's erratic nature, coupled with its intensity and minimized preparation time contributed to making Betsy the first tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin to accrue at least $1 billion in damages.

Flooding in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans after Betsy

The 1970 Bhola cyclone, a 150-mph tropical cyclone hit the densely populated Ganges Delta region of Bangladesh, killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night. This is regarded as the Twentieth Century's worst natural disaster.

Having weakened after making landfall in Nicaragua the previous day, Hurricane Irene regained enough strength to be re-branded Hurricane Olivia on September 20, 1971, making it the first known hurricane to successfully cross from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific.

At an NOAA conference in 1972, Roxcy Bolton proposed naming hurricanes after Senators instead of women. She also preferred "him-i-canes."

Typhoon Tip was the most intense tropical cyclone on record. The nineteenth tropical storm and twelfth typhoon of the 1979 Pacific typhoon season, Tip developed out of a disturbance in the monsoon trough on October 4th near Pohnpei. Initially, a tropical storm to its northwest hindered the development and motion of Tip, though after it tracked further north Tip was able to intensify. After passing Guam, it rapidly intensified and reached peak winds of 190 mph and a worldwide record low sea-level pressure of 25.69 inHg on October 12, 1979.

Typhoon Tip at all time record peak intensity on October 12, 1979

At its peak strength, Typhoon Tip was also the largest tropical cyclone on record with a diameter of 1,380 miles. It slowly weakened as it continued west-northwestward, and later turned to the northeast under the influence of an approaching trough. Tip made landfall on southern Japan on October 19th, and became an extratropical cyclone shortly thereafter.

On October 15, 1987, BBC weatherman Michael Fish insisted a hurricane was not about to hit southern England. Hours later, the 115 mph storm killed 18, caused more than £2 billion worth of damage and felled 15 million trees.

Forecasters reported that Hurricane Gilbert's barometric pressure measured 26.13 on September 13, 1988. It was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere until Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The hurricane brought widespread destruction to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Gilbert approaching Jamaica on September 12

The deadliest hurricane in US history was the category 4 hurricane that occurred in Texas and Galveston in 1990. 8,000 people were found dead by the 15 foot waves which carried winds travelling for 130 miles per hour.

The Braer Storm, the strongest extratropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Atlantic, reached its peak intensity on January 10, 1993.

Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. The cause of the majority of the death and destruction during Katrina was on August 29, 2005 when there were over fifty breaches in New Orleans's hurricane surge protection. An estimated 1,836 people died and total property damage was estimated at $108 billion (2005 USD), making it the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States.

Hurricane Katrina caused an 85 percent reduction in the amount of babies named Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina making landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Zeta was declared a tropical depression, making it the record-breaking thirtieth tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, the most active in recorded history.

Hurricane Wilma became the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Part of the record breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season,  its barometric pressure reached a record low of 882 mbar (26.0 inHg).

Tropical Storm Marco was the smallest tropical cyclone on record. The thirteenth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, Marco developed out of a broad area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean during late September 2008 and made landfall near Misantla, a city in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Marco reached its peak intensity with winds of 65 miles per hour early on October 7th. Around this time, tropical storm force winds extended 11.5 miles from the center of the storm, making Marco the smallest tropical cyclone on record.

Hurricane Patricia a tropical cyclone that impacted Western Mexico. broke Hurricane Wilma's record for the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Western Hemisphere in terms of barometric pressure, On October 23, 2015, it achieved a barometric pressure of 879 mbar (hPa; 25.96 inHg). Furthermore, the flight-level winds reached 221 mph (356 km/h), the highest ever reliably observed or estimated globally in a tropical cyclone.

When Hurricane Alex transitioned into a full-fledged tropical cyclone on January 14, 2016, it became the first recorded Atlantic hurricane to form in the month of January since 1938.

Hurricane Alex at peak intensity and approaching the Azores on January 14, 2016


Major tropical storms are referred to as hurricanes, typhoons, or cyclones, depending on where they occur. Only tropical storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean are referred to as hurricanes.

Tropical storms have winds from 39-73mph. Hurricanes have winds of 74mph and above.

The word hurricane comes from the Taino Native American word, hurucane, meaning evil spirit of the wind.

Hurricanes are the only weather disasters that have been given their own names.

When a hurricane is particularly bad, its name is removed from the list. Recently retired names include Katrina and Sandy.


Hurricane season is in late summer because that's when the temperature difference between the sea surface and the air above is the greatest.

40% of the hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida.

Walmart's best selling items before a hurricane are strawberry pop-tarts and beer

Every second, a large hurricane releases the energy of ten atomic bombs.

The intensity of a tropical cyclone lies on its surrounding winds and not on its center. In fact, its center has a calm portion when the tropical cyclone hits the landmass. However, the center of a tropical cyclone becomes the strongest part when it is located in a body of water.

Hurricanes that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth’s rotation on its axis.

The planet Jupiter has a hurricane which has been going on for over 300 years. It can be seen as a red spot on the planet. This hurricane on Jupiter is bigger than the Earth itself.

Source Daily Express

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