97L a major rainfall threat; October hurricane outlook; NC rains finally end

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:08 PM GMT on October 01, 2010

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A large and complex region of disturbed weather (Invest 97L), centered about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is headed west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph and will bring heavy rain showers and gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Saturday and Sunday. Wind shear is a moderate 5 - 15 knots over 97L, and the waters beneath are very warm, 29°C. However, recent satellite imagery shows that the intensity and areal coverage of 97L's heavy thunderstorms have decreased this morning, thanks to some dry air being ingested into the storm. The SHIPS model predicts that wind shear over 97L will rise to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, Saturday through Tuesday, but some of the global computer models depict only moderate amounts of shear for 97L during this period. The NOGAPS model is the only model currently showing significant development 97L, and that model predicts 97L will be near Puerto Rico on Monday, the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, Haiti on Wednesday, and Eastern Cuba and the southeast Bahamas on Thursday. NHC is giving 97L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday, but as of this morning, had not tasked the Hurricane Hunters to fly into the storm over the next two days. 97L will slow down to 5 - 10 mph on Sunday, bringing the potential for an extended 3 - 4 day period of heavy rains for the islands in its path. Even if 97L does not develop into a tropical depression, its slow motion may result in life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and eastern Cuba next week.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 97L.

October hurricane outlook
October is here, and it is time to take stock of where we stand and how far we have to go before hurricane season is over. The beginning of October traditionally marks the two-thirds point of hurricane season; approximately one-third of all hurricanes and 28% of named storms occur after October 1. Tropical Storm Nicole brought us up to fourteen named storms for the year, and I expect about 4 - 5 more named storms this year with 2 - 3 of these being hurricanes. That would add up to 18 - 19 named storms for the season, putting 2010 in 3rd - 5th place all-time for most named storms. Since record keeping began in 1851, only four seasons have finished with more than eighteen named storms. These seasons were 2005 (28 named storms, with the 17th named storm, Rita, occurring by October 1); 1933 (21 named storms, with the 18th named storm occurring by October 1;) 1995 (19 named storms, with the 15th named storm, Opal, occurring by October 1;) and 1887 (19 named storms, with the 10th named storm occurring by October 1.) The most likely time to get activity is during the first two weeks of October. There are still two weeks of peak hurricane season left before the activity traditionally begins to decline steeply (Figure 2.) Given the record warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic this fall, the presence of La Niña in the Eastern Pacific keeping wind shear lower than average, and the observed increase in late-season activity in recent decades, I expect this year's peak portion of hurricane season will last until the end of October. I predict three named storms, two hurricanes, and one intense hurricane will form in the Atlantic this month, with two named storms and one hurricane occurring in November - December, making 2010 as the third busiest Atlantic hurricane season of all-time.


Figure 2. Climatological frequency of Atlantic named storms and hurricanes.

Jamaica cleans up after Nicole
Tropical Storm Nicole lasted only six hours as a tropical storm, but the storm's torrential rains hit Jamaica hard. Nicole's rains killed at least six people on the island, and at least thirteens others are missing and feared dead. The storm cut power to 170,000 island residents, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Wunderground member JamaicaZed wrote me to say his rain gauge in the Kingston suburb of Norbrook caught 17.39" of rain Monday through Thursday, with 11.10" coming on Wednesday.

Historic rainfall event for eastern North Carolina ends
The rains have finally ended In North Carolina, where tropical moisture streaming northward in advance of Nicole generated a historic rainfall event this week. Wilmington, NC set records this week for the heaviest 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day rainfall events in city history, and the month of September ended up as the second rainiest month ever recorded in the city. A remarkable 22.54" of rain fell on Wilmington during the 5-day period Sunday through Thursday. The previous record was 19.06", set in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, with just 0.18" of rain falling during the first 25 days of September. Only minor to moderate flooding is occurring on North Carolina rivers, with just one river, the Northeast Cape Fear River near Chinquapin, expected to experience major flooding. Portlight.org is beginning to identify needs in Eastern North Carolina in the wake of the flooding, and expects to perform the first deployment of their new relief trailer within the next few days and send a truck loaded with water, food and personal hygiene supplies.

The most remarkable thing about Wilmington's second-wettest month in history is that it came without a hurricane affecting North Carolina. All four of the other top-five wettest Septembers in history were due, in large part, to hurricanes:

#1 23.41 inches 1999 (Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd)
#2 22.72 inches 2010 (plume of tropical moisture in advance of TS Nicole)
#3 20.10 inches 1877 (Hurricane Four)
#4 18.94 inches 1984 (Hurricane Diana)
#5 16.93 inches 1924 (Hurricane Five and Tropical Storm Eight)


Figure 3. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Sunday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts of fifteen inches (white colors.)

Heavy rains and flooding for New England
The plume of tropical moisture that affected North Carolina is now triggering heavy rains in New England, and flood warnings are posted throughout most of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, eastern New York, Delaware, and Vermont this morning. In New York City, heavy rains this morning have overwhelmed one section of the city's subway system, and flooding closed several key road arteries in the city, snarling the morning commute. About two inches of rain have fallen so far this morning in the city. Severe weather is not expected, and no tornadoes were reported yesterday in association with this weather system.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Disturbed weather continues in the Central Caribbean, where the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole will bring isolated heavy rain showers today to Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and northern Honduras. The GFS model predicts this activity will concentrate near Hispaniola over the weekend, then push northwards into the Bahamas, with a subtropical or extratropical storm forming over the Bahamas on Sunday or Monday. This storm could bring 2 - 4 inches of rain to the Bahamas Sunday and Monday. The storm will then move north-northeastwards, parallel to the U.S. East Coast, and not affect any other land areas. Several of the models are predicting the formation of a tropical depression in the Mid-Atlantic 5 - 7 days from now, in a location that would not be of any danger to land areas.

Next update
I'll have an update Saturday morning.

Jeff Masters

Flooding (jdwagon)
Shannon Hills, Ridgeway, VA
Flooding
()

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518. xcool
Texas season overrrrr
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
517. Relix
That's just a convective blob. Nothing else to it. 97L, at least what it was originally designated as, died. NHC may move the circle over there and keep the naming as 97L since it was originally that huge system.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting ackee:
I did not go work two days this must be worst flood we have experince in recent time


Well...maybe, but overall I think the Gustav experience was worse. My worst life experience here in Jamaica was Hurricane Gilbert. I lost my roof.
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:


Nobody is here... LOL
Yeah should have figured nothing going on in the tropics right now,and it's late.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17829
Quoting JLPR2:


Yep, Earl was this year's whoops but besides that they have been great.

Funny thing is I thought that Earl's forecast wasn't that good either, but if you take the forecast points from all the TWO's and put the NHC's 2/3 probability circle around them, they got Earl and Igor both at 79% correct which were the best of the season for the bigger storms.
I think the reason for this perception (including mine) was that there are way more forecast errors that deal with the timing or speed of the storms and not whether they fell inside "the cones". So for early and late forecasts, it is more difficult to estimate the speed of the storm and therefore they miss the forecast points.
Still, so far, the NHC has hit their 2/3 probability circles 2/3 of the time this year (so far). I'm sure they'd like to do better, but it has been a pretty wacky season.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
the area near 10n and 40w looks more interesting tonight than 97L.

Agree
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I'm generally looking at the conditions around and to the East and South-east of the Windward Islands - Barbados being my main point of concern from a personal angle - and what may still be in store for us and what combined conditions would make it dangerous for us.

Sounds morbid maybe but I'm trying to be realistic, we really have not had a catastrophic hit by a hurricane since 1955, and we cannot keep dodging the bullet - it will happen sooner than later, I think.

The SST's are the warmest in our area and directly East, SE & ESE out to nearly 1,000 miles or 2-4 days out by how the storm may travel, as I see it. These SST's are around 30-31C with a small pocket of 32C (or near there) just north of the Guiana's/Guyana's - according to WG's SST map for the Atlantic ...



I'm thinking with SST's were they are at, all we would need is for a disturbance to form in the deep tropical Atlantic - say, between 30-40W around 10N or so - with low wind shear and a mid-level ridge holding to the north of this area and keeping the steering currents mainly westwards over the high SST's and we could have one hell of a hurricane in the Eastern Caribbean, like at least Cat 3 or more.

Any thoughts on this scenario? Any flaws in the thinking?

I note that the GFS 48-hour 500MB Height forecast puts a High develop right to our east - just slightly NE of 10N 50W - which is somewhat south for such to develop, but maybe I am wrong.

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511. JLPR2
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


Nobody is here... LOL


Or is there?
maybe we are all looking at the screen like...
Hey no one is saying nothin. :P

The blob is starting to look suspicious.


And with that, I'm off till later...
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510. JLPR2
Quoting CaptnDan142:


Well, there isn't anything to talk about in the tropics... And the people that like to have a good time in here have gone out of the jurisdiction of the local blog police. This is the result. *shrug*


Well it's Friday night after all XD

I only hope the bloggers that are out having a good time don't end in the jurisdiction of the real world police. LOL!
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Quoting xcool:
rip 97L

Not yet
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Quoting washingtonian115:
What happend to the blog?.Nothing is showing.


Nobody is here... LOL
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Quoting washingtonian115:
What happend to the blog?.Nothing is showing.


Well, there isn't anything to talk about in the tropics... And the people that like to have a good time in here have gone out of the jurisdiction of the local blog police. This is the result. *shrug*
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
What happend to the blog?.Nothing is showing.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17829
The chances have been lowered right now but could they go back up once it's in the carribean?
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17829
Quoting Neapolitan:


Well, candidate-wise, hurricanes made landfall just north of Brownsville in 1909 (Cat 2 Hurricane Two) and 1933 (Cat 3 Hurricane Eleven). There was also the Cat 2 San Zacarias Hurricane of 1910 which came in north of Port Mansfield, and the Cat 4 1916 Texas Hurricane that made landfall just north of that.
Thanks, Neapolitan and also TropicalAnalystwx13. There seems no for-sure match, except that we can rule out anything hitting Freeport or Galveston, since they are well up the coast. The one near Brownsville in 1933 sounds like the date might be right.
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503. JLPR2
Looks rather intimidating in this picture LOL!

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502. JLPR2
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

No it is a convergence zone from the trade winds. Do a streamline analysis and it is obvious.


And a very big and open circulation.
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501. srada
wilmington nws...

IT DOES
LOOK AS THOUGH THIS AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL BRUSH CLOSE ENOUGH TO
THE CAROLINAS TO BRING A RISK OF MORE RAINFALL.
THE BEST CHANCE FOR
THIS WILL BE LATER SAT NIGHT AND SUN AND PRIMARILY ALONG THE
COAST...ESPECIALLY THE CAPE FEAR REGION. THE BOUT OF RAIN THIS TIME
AROUND WILL BE LIGHT AND MEASURABLE RAINFALL SHOULD BE OF SHORT
DURATION AS THE AIRMASS WILL BE MUCH DRIER. PRECIPITABLE WATERS WILL
PEAK AROUND 1.5 INCHES SUN MORNING ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR REGION WITH
AMOUNTS CLOSER TO 1 INCH ELSEWHERE. SATURATION OR NEAR SATURATION
WILL BE LIMITED TO THE FIRST 15 KFT OF THE COLUMN WITH MUCH DRIER
AIR ABOVE THAT. AT THIS TIME...PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS SHOULD BE NEAR
OR BELOW A TENTH OF AN INCH WITH HIGHER AMOUNTS EXPECTED ACROSS THE
OCEAN. TEMPS WILL BE COOLER THAN NORMAL THIS PERIOD. CLOUD COVER
WILL BE MOST PREVALENT ON SUN AND WITH THAT...SOME AREAS WILL NOT
QUITE GET TO 70 DEGREES ALONG THE COAST. WELL INLAND...CLOUDS SHOULD
BE THINNER...AND LOWER 70S WILL BE MORE COMMON. MAXIMUM TEMPS EVEN
ON SAT WITH MORE SUNSHINE WILL BE LIMITED BY THE MUCH COOLER AIRMASS
WHICH WILL BE ADVECTING INTO THE AREA ON NE WINDS. THE COOLEST NIGHT
WILL BE SAT NIGHT. AREAS WELL INLAND SHOULD REACH WELL DOWN INTO THE
50S WITH A FEW UPPER 40S POSSIBLE. ALONG THE COAST WHERE CLOUDS WILL
BE ENCROACHING FIRST...MID AND UPPER 50S WILL BE MORE LIKELY. LOW
CLOUDS SUN NIGHT SHOULD KEEP TEMPS FAIRLY UNIFORM ACROSS THE AREA
AND MAINLY IN THE 50S.
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Quoting bappit:

Maybe it is just cirrus extending out from one or two centers of convection that happen to line up.

No it is a convergence zone from the trade winds. Do a streamline analysis and it is obvious.
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Quoting JLPR2:
A line of convection...
hmm...
So anyone got any theories as to why it is so linear?


Maybe it is just cirrus extending out from one or two centers of convection that happen to line up.
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498. xcool
gulf closed .TO NEXT YEARS
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting CybrTeddy:
THIS is sweet.

Nice example of bursting while under shear.
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496. JLPR2
Quoting JupiterFL:


On a serious note. It is rather telling for those that think the season is over. Really puts the crayons to use in painting a visual of the latter part of hurricane season.


There is a second peak of activity in October if I'm not mistaken.
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Quoting JLPR2:
A line of convection...
hmm...
So anyone got any theories as to why it is so linear?


Yes, the synoptic pattern is forcing it to just be a trade wind feature forcing a linear pattern. Its common. 97L was never a threat and really with the front dropping so far south you can just about say the season is over. nothing will survive the change in airmass in southern CONUS
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Portlight, check your WUMail
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Wow. That's an excellent, intelligent, and well-thought out retort. So witty! I've seldom been put in my place the way you just did...

;-)


On a serious note. It is rather telling for those that think the season is over. Really puts the crayons to use in painting a visual of the latter part of hurricane season.
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Quoting JupiterFL:




Did Jason make that for you? How nice of him.


Wow. That's an excellent, intelligent, and well-thought out retort. So witty! I've seldom been put in my place the way you just did...

;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13803
489. xcool
rip 97L
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting hydrus:
Here is one for you...Link ......The Great Hurricane of 1780...200 mph winds.!.... Oct-9 thru Oct-20...
Even the article says they do not know where it came from or the track. So to say it came all the way from the Cape Verdes is misleading.
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487. ackee
Quoting CaribbeanStorm:


We surely can't take any more...a big tree fell in my back yard and I am now wondering if my big mango tree near to the house will be next. Maybe I should go buy a chain saw tomorrow...could be useful considering how the land is so wet, my neighbour has a whole lot of trees too.
I did not go work two days this must be worst flood we have experince in recent time
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Quoting ackee:
Shower are fairing up SW of jamaica the last thing we need is more rain might be somthing to watch does has small vorticity with it


We surely can't take any more...a big tree fell in my back yard and I am now wondering if my big mango tree near to the house will be next. Maybe I should go buy a chain saw tomorrow...could be useful considering how the land is so wet, my neighbour has a whole lot of trees too.
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Don't you have to love it when it's Oct. 1, and the best we can do weather-wise is to talk about great cyclones of the past that are no longer with us.
.
We don't even have the shots of land-canes in Africa to offer some hope:(
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484. JLPR2
Quoting weatherrx:
I think it is time to give NHC the respect it deserves. The track forecast have been spot on.
I know this may upset quite a few on this site, but I think it should be noted.


Yep, Earl was this year's whoops but besides that they have been great.
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483. Skyepony (Mod)
HWRF is really preforming well on 97L with 35nm error in the last 24hrs. MM5E 129, NOGAPS 173, BAMD 180, LGEM 209, LBAR 240, CMC 263.

HWRF did really well on intensity with 4 kt error in the last 24hrs.
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I think it is time to give NHC the respect it deserves. The track forecast have been spot on.
I know this may upset quite a few on this site, but I think it should be noted.
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Quoting Relix:
97L has gone poof I think.
That's true. Another poofcane.
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480. JLPR2
97L appears to be splitting in two.

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479. JRRP
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478. JLPR2
Quoting JupiterFL:


I don't even know where the true center ever was or where it is now. I have seen mostly confusion on the part of both the computers and the humans. Everytime I thought it was somewhere, I changed my mind.


Yeah the NHC says 52W but then there is that line of convection east of the islands. :|
This is confusing...
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477. ackee
Shower are fairing up SW of jamaica the last thing we need is more rain might be somthing to watch does has small vorticity with it
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Quoting Relix:
97L has gone poof I think.


I don't even know where the true center ever was or where it is now. I have seen mostly confusion on the part of both the computers and the humans. Everytime I thought it was somewhere, I changed my mind.
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475. JLPR2
Quoting hydrus:
I think it is one huge thunderstorm. And the upper level winds are blowing the anvil in a straight line.


ah! I see.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
An (almost) final thought for the "season is over" crowd: below is a graphic showing every post-September hurricane and tropical storm in the Atlantic over the last 100 years. If you look closely, you may be able to see one or two. ;-)

Click for larger image:

Appropriate tropical weather-related image


Did Jason make that for you? How nice of him.
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473. Relix
97L has gone poof I think.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting JLPR2:
A line of convection...
hmm...
So anyone got any theories as to why it is so linear?

I think it is one huge thunderstorm. And the upper level winds are blowing the anvil in a straight line.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Well, candidate-wise, hurricanes made landfall just north of Brownsville in 1909 (Cat 2 Hurricane Two) and 1933 (Cat 3 Hurricane Eleven). There was also the Cat 2 San Zacarias Hurricane of 1910 which came in north of Port Mansfield, and the Cat 4 1916 Texas Hurricane that made landfall just north of that.


Yeah, I was thinking it was Hurricane 11.
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470. ackee
looking at 97L seem why the GFS and ECMWF show many lows forming in comeing days right now see some spin in EASTERN Carribbean one just East of the windard stongest out into the Atlantic carrbbean may be in for a wash out
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Quoting lhwhelk:
Hurricane History: Since things are a little slow, and since several bloggers on here know everything--VBG--I would like to ask if anyone knows about a hurricane from the dim and distant past. I grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (Brownsville, Weslaco, Mission). When my parents moved there in 1943, all of the very tall palm trees were bent into a zig-zag shape--straight up from the ground, then a kink to the north/right, then straight up again. They were told, and told me, that this had been caused by a hurricane that bent the palms down and that they then retained that bend. They were also told that the same hurricane had destroyed a hotel on South Padre Island, blowing a grand piano from the hotel across the Laguna Madre in to Port Isabel. I've not been able to find an appropriate hurricane to match this story. Anyone know anything about this?


Well, candidate-wise, hurricanes made landfall just north of Brownsville in 1909 (Cat 2 Hurricane Two) and 1933 (Cat 3 Hurricane Eleven). There was also the Cat 2 San Zacarias Hurricane of 1910 which came in north of Port Mansfield, and the Cat 4 1916 Texas Hurricane that made landfall just north of that.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13803
Quoting lhwhelk:
Hurricane History: Since things are a little slow, and since several bloggers on here know everything--VBG--I would like to ask if anyone knows about a hurricane from the dim and distant past. I grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (Brownsville, Weslaco, Mission). When my parents moved there in 1943, all of the very tall palm trees were bent into a zig-zag shape--straight up from the ground, then a kink to the north/right, then straight up again. They were told, and told me, that this had been caused by a hurricane that bent the palms down and that they then retained that bend. They were also told that the same hurricane had destroyed a hotel on South Padre Island, blowing a grand piano from the hotel across the Laguna Madre in to Port Isabel. I've not been able to find an appropriate hurricane to match this story. Anyone know anything about this?


"The first storm of 1931 made landfall in the Galveston area as a tropical storm.

A tropical storm formed August 11th in the southern Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatán Peninsula and slammed into the upper Texas coast near Freeport, Texas as a very compact Category 4 hurricane two days later. As the storm moved over the Gulf of Mexico, it intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 4 with winds estimated at 140 mph and an estimated central pressure of 942 millibars in less than one day. The eye crossed the coast about 10 p.m. on August 13, slashing a 30- to 40-mile wide path of destruction across Brazoria County, Texas. Official warning for the storm came just 4 hours prior to landfall, and many people trying to evacuate inland had to abandon their cars in high winds and heavy rains. The 1932 hurricane retained its strength miles from the coast and killed 40 people. The greatest single toll for any town was 7 in West Columbia, Texas, where sustained winds over 100 mph flattened homes. Two neighborhoods that had been constructed for oil industry workers there were wiped clean. Freeport, Angleton and Galveston suffered extensive wind damage, and the inland towns of Brazoria, West Columbia, Damon and Needville, all in the path of the eye, were also devastated. Damage estimates topped $7 million in 1932 U.S. dollars.

The Texas area was alive with activity in 1933, with the second storm making landfall in Mexico after threatening Texas; the fourth storm making landfall near Matagorda Bay in Texas as a 45 mph (70 km/h) tropical storm on July 23. The fifth storm made landfall near Brownsville, Texas on August 5 as a strong tropical storm. The storm produced strong winds and high tides along the coast of Texas, while heavy rains in south Texas and northern Mexico caused heavy damage. High tides from the storm covered parts of South Padre Island. The tenth storm threatened Texas, causing the issuance of tropical storm warnings for portions of the southern Texas coastline. The eleventh storm made landfall just north of Brownsville early on September 5. 179 people were killed and doing 28 million dollars in damage.


In 1934, the third storm was a Category 1 hurricane passed over north Florida as a tropical storm and made landfall in central Texas, causing 11 casualties and $1-$2 million in damage. The fifth storm was another Category 1 hurricane that grazed Galveston.

The third storm of the 1936 season caused severe crop damage was reported in San Patricio and Nueces Counties. In all, the hurricane caused $550,000 (1936 USD) in damage, primarily to oil refinery property, though no deaths or injuries were reported. The fourteenth storm of the season made landfall near Brownsville.

The third and fifth storms of 1938 made landfall in the state."

The 1940's had some storms...all of them made landfall North of Galveston however.

Hope this helps :)

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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