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The Worst Hurricanes in the Recent Past

by christopher@reilleygroup.com 15. November 2016 01:28

 

The Atlantic hurricane season of 2016 is almost over. It has proven to be the costliest and most active hurricane season in the past three years.  It has topped the list for casualties since the 2005 season. This year’s hurricane season started early, with Hurricane Alex in mid-January. Hurricane Matthew is the latest hurricane to strike in the season so far. Matthew was a deadly and costly Category 5 hurricane responsible for more than 1,000 deaths. 

Worst Hurricanes in the Recent Past

The 2016 hurricane season turned out to be an above average one due to several factors including the transition from El Niño to La Niña and the above normal temperatures of the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and the Western Atlantic. Of the 15 tropical cyclones, 12 impacted land and several of those resulted in loss of life and property.

The Major Storms

Hurricane Alex, an extratropical or mid-latitude cyclone, developed into a subtropical storm and made landfall in the Azores in January. Alex was transformed into an extratropical cyclone on January 15 and was later absorbed by a larger extratropical cyclone.

Alex was followed in May by Tropical Storm Bonnie, which weakened into a tropical depression as it made landfall at Charleston, South Carolina. The depression hovered over South Carolina before dissipating over the northern part of the state.

As Tropical Storm Bonnie was dwindling, a low-pressure system formed over the Caribbean Sea. As the low-pressure area passed over the Yucatán Peninsula on June 5, it was uprated to Tropical Depression Three. The depression intensified later into Tropical Storm Colin. Maintaining its intensity, Colin barreled northeast and made landfall in the Big Bend region on June 7. Colin transitioned into an extratropical cyclone for one week until it merged with another extratropical cyclone. Colin brought heavy rains and flash floods to much of Florida.

A tropical wave was formed off the west coast of Africa on June 8 and reached the Caribbean Sea by June 15. It steered northwest and formed into Tropical Storm Danielle on June 20, with peak winds of 45 mph. Danielle made landfall in the area of Tamiahua, Mexico, then weakened as it moved inland. It degenerated a day later into a low-pressure area before weakening over the Mexican mountains.

No stormed was formed in the month of July. Hurricane Earl came in August, becoming the deadliest hurricane in Mexico since 2005. It first made landfall in Belize, then moved into Veracruz, Mexico. It dissipated once inland.

A tropical depression on the Western African coast formed into Tropical Storm Fiona on August 17. It weakened to a tropical depression on August 22.  Hurricane Gaston came in August 28, the first major hurricane of the 2016 season.

On September 2, Hermine became the first hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Ingrid (2013). There was a series of tropical storms following Hermine: Tropical Storm Ian on September 12, Tropical Storm Julia on September 14, Tropical Storm Karl on September 16, and Tropical Storm Lisa on September 22.  Hurricane Matthew hit on September 29, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

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