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General Discussion >> Hurricane History

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James88
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Loc: Gloucestershire, England, UK
Strongest Hurricane
      #14727 - Mon May 31 2004 05:42 PM

Does anyone know which was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin? I've heard that Camille in '69 may have had sustained winds of 200mph at landfall, but I've also heard that these reports are unconfirmed. Perhaps someone could clarify the matter

Thanks!


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LI Phil
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Re: Strongest Hurricane
      #14730 - Mon May 31 2004 07:08 PM

Jim,

This information is from the National Hurricane Center, so it should be "accurate". Even with all I'd heard about Camille, I never heard about 200 MPH winds, however, the NHC believe wind speeds could have been at least 190. Read on:

"Typhoon Tip in the Northwest Pacific Ocean on 12 October 1979 was measured to have a central pressure of 870 mb and estimated surface sustained winds of 85 m/s (165 kt, 190 mph) (Dunnavan and Diercks 1980). Typhoon Nancy on 12 September, 1961 is listed in the best track data for the Northwest Pacific region as having an estimated maximum sustained winds of 95 m/s (185 kt, 213 mph) with a central pressure of 888 mb. However, it is now recognized (Black 1992) that the maximum sustained winds estimated for typhoons during the 1940s to 1960s were too strong and that the 95 m/s (and numerous 83 to 93 m/s reports) is somewhat too high.

Note that Hurricane Gilbert's 888 mb lowest pressure (estimated from flight level data) in mid-September 1988 is the most intense [as measured by lowest sea level pressure] for the Atlantic basin (Willoughby et al 1989), it is almost 20 mb weaker (higher) than the above Typhoon Tip of the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

While the central pressures for the Northwest Pacific typhoons are the lowest globally, the North Atlantic hurricanes have provided sustained wind speeds possibly comparable to the Northwest Pacific. From the best track database, both Hurricane Camille (1969) and Hurricane Allen (1980) have winds that are estimated to be 85 m/s (165 kt, 190 mph). Measurements of such winds are inherently going to be suspect as instruments often are completely destroyed or damaged at these speeds."

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LI Phil
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Loc: Long Island (40.7N 73.6W)
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14732 - Mon May 31 2004 07:17 PM

Here's a list of the top 30 in terms of intensity, cost & deaths...

30 Most Intense USA (continental) hurricanes from 1900-present
(at time of landfall with landfall area)
Updated from Hebert et al. (1997) RANKING HURRICANE YEAR CATEGORY PRESSURE
(millibars) (inches of Hg)
1 FL (Keys) 1935 5 892 26.35
2 Camille (MS/SE LA/VA) 1969 5 909 26.84
3 Andrew (SE FL/SE LA) 1992 4 922 27.23
4 FL (Keys)/S TX 1919 4 927 27.37
5 FL (Lake Okeechobee) 1928 4 929 27.43
6 Donna (FL/Eastern U.S.) 1960 4 930 27.46
7 TX (Galveston) 1900 4 931 27.49
7 LA (Grand Isle) 1909 4 931 27.49
7 LA (New Orleans) 1915 4 931 27.49
7 Carla (N & Cent. TX) 1961 4 931 27.49
11 Hugo (SC) 1989 4 934 27.58
12 FL (Miami)
/MS/AL/NW FL 1926 4 935 27.61
13 Hazel (SC/NC) 195 4 * 938 27.70
14 SE FL/SE LA/MS 1947 4 940 27.76
15 N TX 1932 4 941 27.79
16 Gloria
(Eastern U.S.) 1985 3 *& 942 27.82
16 Opal (NW FL/AL) 1995 3 & 942 27.82
18 Audrey (SW LA/N TX) 1957 4 # 945 27.91
18 TX (Galveston) 1915 4 # 945 27.91
18 Celia (S TX) 1970 3 945 27.91
18 Allen (S TX) 1980 3 945 27.91
22 NEW ENGLAND 1938 3 * 946 27.94
22 Frederic (AL/MS) 1979 3 946 27.94
24 NE U.S. 1944 3 * 947 27.97
24 SC/NC 1906 3 947 27.97
26 Betsy
(SE FL/SE LA) 1965 3 948 27.99
26 SE FL/NW FL 1929 3 948 27.99
26 SE FL 1933 3 948 27.99
26 S TX 1916 3 948 27.99
26 MS/AL 1916 3 948 27.99
Notes
Intensity is for time of landfall. The cyclones may have been stronger at other times.
* Moving more than 30 miles per hour
& Highest category justified by winds
# Classified category 4 because of estimated winds


Note that Hurricane Gilbert's estimated 888 mb lowest pressure in mid- September 1988 is the most intense [as measured by lowest sea level pressure] for the Atlantic basin, but it affected the USA only as a weakening tropical depression (Neumann et al 1993).


Top 30 Damaging Hurricanes - From 1900-present
(Normalized to 1998 dollars by inflation, wealth increases, and coastal county population changes)
Updated from Pielke and Landsea (1998) RANK HURRICANE YEAR CATEGORY DAMAGE (U.S))
1 SE Florida/Alabama 1926 4 $83,814,000,000
2 Andrew (SE FL/LA) 1992 4 38,362,000,000
3 N Texas (Galveston) 1900 4 30,856,000,000
4 N Texas (Galveston) 1915 4 26,144,000,000
5 SW Florida 1944 3 19,549,000,000
6 New England 1938 3 19,275,000,000
7 SE Florida/Lake Okeechobee 1928 4 15,991,000,000
8 BETSY (SE FL/LA) 1965 3 14,413,000,000
9 DONNA (FL/Eastern U.S.) 1960 4 13,967,000,000
10 CAMILLE (MS/LA/VA) 1969 5 12,711,000,000
11 AGNES (NW FL, NE U.S.) 1972 1 12,408,000,000
12 DIANE (NE U.S.) 1955 1 11,861,000,000
13 HUGO (SC) 1989 4 10,872,000,000
14 CAROL (NE U.S.) 1954 3 10,509,000,000
15 SE Florida/Louisiana/Alabama 1947 4 9,630,000,000
16 CARLA (N & Central TX) 1961 4 8,194,000,000
17 HAZEL (SC/NC) 1954 4 8,160,000,000
18 NE U.S 1944 3 7,490,000,000
19 SE Florida 1945 3 7,318,000,000
20 FREDERIC (AL/MS) 1979 3 7,295,000,000
21 SE Florida 1949 3 6,767,000,000
22 S Texas 1919 4 6,200,000,000
23 ALICIA (N TX) 1983 3 4,702,000,000
24 FLOYD (NC) 1999 2 4,500,000,000
25 CELIA (S TX) 1970 3 3,869,000,000
26 DORA (NE FL) 1964 2 3,603,000,000
27 FRAN (NC) 1996 3 3,591,000,000
28 Opal (NW FL/AL) 1995 3 3,478,000,000
29 GEORGES (SW FL/MS) 1998 2 3,073,000,000
30 CLEO (SE FL) 1964 2 2,823,000,000

Notes :

Andrew is no longer the most destructive hurricane on record.
24 of the top 30 destructive hurricanes were major hurricanes od Saffir-Simpson scale 3 or higher. Most of the very destructive Category 1 and 2 hurricanes caused their damage through rainfall-induced flooding, often well away from the coast.
Though the major hurricanes make up only 21% of the US landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes, they cause an estimated 83% of the total normalized damage.
If one used only inflation to normalize hurricane damages, that would not take into account the massive coastal population increases and structural buildup that have occurred along the US East and especially the Gulf coasts during the past few decades. Major hurricanes will continue to inflict massive destruction along the USA coastlines, even with perfect forecasts of their track and intensity.

30 Deadliest USA (continental) hurricanes from 1900-1998
Updated from Hebert et al. (1997) RANKING HURRICANE YEAR CATEGORY DEATHS
1 Unnamed - Galveston, TX 1900 4 8000+
2 Unnamed - Lake Okeechobee, FL 1928 4 1836
3 Unnamed - Fl Keys/S TX 1919 4 600&
4 "New England" 1938 3 600
5 "Labor Day" - FL Keys 1935 5 408
6 Audrey - SW LA/N TX 1957 4 390
7 Unnamed - NE U.S. 1944 3 390#
8 Unnamed - Grand Isle, LA 1909 4 350
9 Unnamed - New Orleans, LA 1915 4 275
10 Unnamed - Galveston, TX 1915 4 275
11 Camille - MS/LA 1969 5 256
12 Unnamed - FL/MS/AL 1926 4 243
13 Diane - NE U.S. 1955 1 184
14 Unnamed - SE FL 1906 2 164
15 Unnamed - MS/AL/FL 1906 3 134
16 Agnes - NE U.S. 1972 1 122
17 Hazel - SC/NC 1954 4 95
18 Betsy - SE FL/SE LA 1965 3 75
19 Carol - NE U.S. 1954 3 60
20 Floyd - Eastern U.S. 1999 2 57
21 Unnamed - SE FL/LA/MS 1947 4 51
22 Donna - FL/Eastern U.S. 1960 4 50
22 Unnamed - GA/SC/NC 1940 2 50
24 Carla - TX 1961 4 46
25 Unnamed - TX 1909 3 41
26 Unnamed - TX 1932 4 40
26 Unnamed - S TX 1933 3 40
28 Hilda - LA 1964 3 38
29 Unnamed - SW LA 1918 3 34
30 Unnamed - SW FL 1910 3 30
30 Alberto - NW FL/GA/AL 1994 TS 30
ADDENDUM (Pre-1900 or not Atlantic/Gulf Coast):
2 Unnamed - LA 1893 Unk 2000
2 Unnamed - SC/GA 1893 Unk 1000-2000
3 Unnamed - GA/SC 1881 Unk 700
9 San Felipe - Puerto Rico 1928 4 312
13 U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico 1932 2 225
17 Donna - St. Thomas, VI 1960 4 107
24 Southern California 1939 TS& 45
24 Eloise - Puerto Rico 1975 TS& 44
Notes
+ May actually have been as high as 10,000 to 12,000.
& Over 500 lost on ships at sea; 600-900 estimate deaths.
# Some 344 of these lost on ships at sea.


One can take some comfort in the fact that even with the massive damage amounts that hurricanes can cause, none of those hurricanes in recent years have caused huge numbers of deaths in the USA. This is because of the increasingly skillful forecasts of hurricane tracks, the ability to communicate warnings to the public via radio and television, and the infrastructure that allows for evacuations to proceed safely for those in the hurricane's path (Sheets 1990).

However, if people chose to ignore warnings or if evacuations are not able to remove people from danger (because of too many people overcrowding limited escape routes - the Florida Keys and US 1 is a good example), then the potential remains for disasters similar to - or worse than - what was seen decades ago.



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James88
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14739 - Tue Jun 01 2004 03:09 AM

Cheers Phil, you've answered every question on this subject I could ever have to ask! You really know where to look for info. Thanks again!

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Spike
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14762 - Tue Jun 01 2004 05:54 PM

Camille was the most powerful by far.

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Patrick
God Bless America
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LI Phil
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Loc: Long Island (40.7N 73.6W)
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14766 - Tue Jun 01 2004 07:30 PM

Spike, you cannot argue that Camille was the most intense to hit the US (although Fla Keys 35 was a close second), but Gilbert 88 was stronger (at least in terms of pressure), but didn't really affect the US. And apparently some storms from the 1700-1800 era were pretty powerful too. They just don't have the proper records to compare them to the "modern" era.

LIP

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Spike
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14870 - Fri Jun 04 2004 05:01 AM

I know gilbert was pretty strong but what is the strongest hurricane to hit land outside of the usa?

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James88
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Reged: Tue
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14873 - Fri Jun 04 2004 08:22 AM

Spike,
From the information I found I can tell you that in the Atlantic basin, the strongest hurricane to make landfall outside the USA was David in '79. It slammed into the Dominican Republic on Aug. 30th as Category 4 hurricane with a minimum pressure of 924mb. By the time the eye brushed Florida it had weakened to a 100mph Category 2. Here is the ranking for most intense landfall hurricanes outside of the USA:-

(rank is independent of other events in group)
4 David (S of PR) 1979 4 924 27.29
7 Unnamed (San Felipe PR) 1928 4 931 27.49
14 Hugo (USVI, PR) 1989 4 940 27.76
33 Iniki (Kaua'i HI) 1992 Unknown 950 27.91
43 Dot (Kaua'i HI) 1959 Unknown 955 28.11
50 Donna (St. Thomas, PR) 1960 4 958 28.29
64 Iwa (Kaua'i HI) 1982 Unknown 964 28.47
65 Georges (USVI, PR) 1998 3 968 28.59

As for the rest of the world I'm not entirely sure - it is quite difficult to find any information on this, especially since Unisys seem to have lost some of their storm data recently. Hope this helps.


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LI Phil
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14876 - Fri Jun 04 2004 10:14 AM

Jim,

Without actually looking it up, I'm pretty sure Mitch would be at or near the top of the list. It was a CAT V at landfall, although it quickly lost strength (but still managed to kill 11,000+).

LIP (and thanks for the note about the 400th post...I didn't even realize it).

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2005 Forecast: 14/7/4

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James88
Weather Master


Reged: Tue
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14878 - Fri Jun 04 2004 10:38 AM

I don't mean to start an argument, but Mitch wasn't a CAT 5 at landfall. When the centre of Mitch moved ashore it was a 50kt tropical storm:-

ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM MITCH DISCUSSION NUMBER 33
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
4 PM EST THU OCT 29 1998

THE HURRICANE HUNTERS AND SATELLITE ANALYSTS INDICATE THAT THE
CENTER OF MITCH IS NOW OVER LAND...HAVING DRIFTED SOUTHWARD TODAY.
HIGHEST 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS WERE 57 KT. STEADY WINDS OF
50 KT WERE REPORTED A FEW HOURS AGO FROM TRUJILLO HONDURAS BY THE
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE OF HONDURAS. MITCH IS DOWNGRADED TO A
TROPICAL STORM WITH 50 KT WINDS.

Mitch actually lost CAT 5 status about 2 days prior to landfall:-

INITIAL 22/0300Z 12.8N 77.9W 30 KTS

INITIAL 22/0900Z 12.7N 78.5W 30 KTS

INITIAL 22/1500Z 12.0N 78.0W 30 KTS

INITIAL 22/2100Z 11.5N 77.6W 40 KTS

INITIAL 23/0300Z 12.3N 77.6W 45 KTS

INITIAL 23/0900Z 13.0N 77.5W 50 KTS

INITIAL 23/1500Z 12.7N 77.9W 50 KTS

INITIAL 23/2100Z 13.0N 78.1W 50 KTS

INITIAL 24/0300Z 13.5N 78.2W 50 KTS

INITIAL 24/0900Z 14.3N 77.7W 80 KTS

INITIAL 24/1500Z 14.9N 77.9W 85 KTS

INITIAL 24/2100Z 15.3N 78.2W 90 KTS

INITIAL 25/0300Z 15.7N 78.4W 105 KTS

INITIAL 25/0900Z 16.0N 79.2W 110 KTS

INITIAL 25/1200Z 16.2N 79.5W 110 KTS

INITIAL 25/1500Z 16.3N 79.8W 115 KTS

INITIAL 25/2100Z 16.6N 80.7W 130 KTS

INITIAL 26/0300Z 16.4N 81.7W 130 KTS

INITIAL 26/0900Z 16.5N 82.3W 130 KTS

INITIAL 26/1500Z 16.7N 82.9W 135 KTS

INITIAL 26/2100Z 17.2N 83.6W 155 KTS

INITIAL 27/0300Z 17.4N 84.1W 155 KTS

INITIAL 27/0900Z 17.4N 84.8W 155 KTS

INITIAL 27/1500Z 17.3N 85.0W 145 KTS

INITIAL 27/2100Z 16.8N 85.8W 135 KTS

INITIAL 28/0300Z 16.5N 85.6W 120 KTS

INITIAL 28/0900Z 16.3N 85.6W 115 KTS

INITIAL 28/1500Z 16.4N 85.6W 105 KTS

INITIAL 28/2100Z 16.4N 85.9W 100 KTS

INITIAL 29/0300Z 16.3N 86.0W 85 KTS

INITIAL 29/0900Z 16.0N 85.9W 75 KTS

INITIAL 29/1500Z 16.0N 85.6W 65 KTS

INITIAL 29/2100Z 15.9N 85.8W 50 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 30/0300Z 15.5N 85.5W 45 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 30/0900Z 15.4N 86.1W 35 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 30/1500Z 15.3N 86.2W 35 KTS

INITIAL 30/2100Z 15.1N 86.8W 50 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/0300Z 14.4N 87.3W 45 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/0900Z 14.2N 87.9W 35 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/1500Z 14.5N 88.7W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/2100Z 14.5N 89.9W 30 KTS

INITIAL 01/0300Z 14.6N 90.5W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 01/0900Z 15.0N 91.4W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 01/1500Z 14.9N 91.6W 25 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 01/2100Z 15.0N 92.3W 25 KTS...DISSIPATING

INITIAL 03/2100Z 19.4N 91.3W 40 KTS

INITIAL 04/0300Z 20.2N 90.2W 35 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 04/0900Z 20.8N 89.4W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 04/1500Z 21.8N 88.3W 40 KTS

INITIAL 04/2100Z 23.5N 85.8W 40 KTS

INITIAL 05/0300Z 25.3N 84.0W 45 KTS

INITIAL 05/0900Z 25.7N 82.3W 45 KTS

INITIAL 05/1500Z 27.1N 80.2W 55 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 05/2100Z 28.2N 76.9W 50 KTS...EXTRATROPICAL

While Mitch was a CAT 5 at peak intensity (ranked at the 4th most intense hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic basin), it was a shadow of its former self at landfall - the damage was caused by the phenomenal amount of rain it brought with it.


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LI Phil
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14880 - Fri Jun 04 2004 10:52 AM

I stand corrected. For the life of me I was pretty sure Mitch was a CAT V at landfall, but looking at your data, and then confirming it with wunderground & Unisys, obviously it was not.

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Spike
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued
      #14893 - Fri Jun 04 2004 02:22 PM

Ok, Thanks for the info

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Lil weather man
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued [Re: Spike]
      #23587 - Fri Sep 03 2004 01:18 AM

According to the NHC (National Hurricane Center) and the TWC (The Weather Channel) in terms of sustained winds, the hurricane that came ashore the Florida Keys in 1935 was the strongest. Top sustained winds were recorded at 200+, which is phenomenal, and that would top many a super typhoon also (as these typhoons 'hurricanes' tend to be stronger in the Pacific rather than the Atlantic).

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VADavid
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Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued [Re: Lil weather man]
      #23710 - Fri Sep 03 2004 11:29 AM

I'm also pretty sure that the 1935 FL Keys Hurricane was the strongest storm at landfall (presssure at landfall was measured at 892mb, I think, 4mb shy of the strongest storm at any time in the Atlantic).

That said, there is then only one storm that could've been more powerful at landfall, Hurricane Gilbert (888mb). Gilbert was near maximum intensity at landfall, but I doubt that it was actually at 888 (probably closer to 895 or something, which is still stronger than any Atlantic storm at any time except the two already mentioned. The other strongest storms in the Atlantic Basin are Allen (1980, 899mb), Camille (1969, 905mb) and Mitch (1969, 905), but these pressures were not at landfall.


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miercat
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Re: Strongest Hurricane [Re: James88]
      #26718 - Mon Sep 13 2004 08:19 PM

I am not an expert, but I have heard fromt he experts that the strongest known and when data was recorded was hurricane Camile that hit in 1969, with sustained winds reported at over 200 mph. After living thru it in Mobile Alabama and seeing large oil tankers up on the beach after the storm and tug boats several miles inland leaning up against houses, pretty much says it all !!!!

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Guest
Unregistered




Re: Strongest Hurricane [Re: James88]
      #28135 - Wed Sep 15 2004 11:23 PM

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/hurricane/history/hurricanes-strongest.htm

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LadyStorm
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Re: Strongest Hurricane [Re: Guest]
      #28194 - Thu Sep 16 2004 05:58 AM

I wonder why Gilbert 1988 did not make this list. His pressure measured a record 888 mb.

MaryAnn


Quote:

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/hurricane/history/hurricanes-strongest.htm




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thinking we were at when we created them"

..........Albert Einstein


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LI Phil
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Re: Strongest Hurricane [Re: LadyStorm]
      #28276 - Thu Sep 16 2004 11:21 AM

>>> I wonder why Gilbert 1988 did not make this list. His pressure measured a record 888 mb.

The list was of the strongest hurricanes to HIT the US. By the time Gilbert actually made a US landfall (via Mexico if memory serves) he was barely a TS...still produced tremendous flooding though.

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2005 Forecast: 14/7/4

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Paco
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Re: Strongest Hurricane..similar to Karina 2006 [Re: James88]
      #51599 - Sun Aug 28 2005 03:53 PM

...Katrina has many similar technical aspects, including path and intensity..only larger.
http://www.geocities.com/hurricanene/hurricanecamille.htm
hermanacosta1@gmail.com


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soonermeteor
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Re: Strongest Hurricane..similar to Karina 2006 [Re: Paco]
      #53454 - Fri Sep 02 2005 01:36 AM

So as it looks, power wise Katrina will be up there around the top 5 or so beuase its pressure, from what i understand, was even lower then Andrew. ( Andrew 922, Katrina 915 at landfall) and it was the 4th most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the atlantic. Without knowing the full extent yet, but with all we have seen, it will most likely aslo be the 2nd or 3rd deadliest, if not the new deadliest, which is shocking considering it is compaired to a storm in 1900. Also for damage, im sure it will pass Andrew, but adjusted for infaltion it might not pass the earlier miami hurricane that was around 88billion from that list, but i have now heard that some estimates would put Katrina approaching 100billion in damages total. However, most still say anywere from 9billion (way to low if you ask me, that was like Ivan) to 16 billion, to 25 billion, still very costly and one of the top on the list.

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