The biggest storms of the 2007 global hurricane season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:36 PM GMT on February 04, 2008

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Last week, I took a look at the statistics for the global 2007 hurricane season. Today, let's look at the significant storms from each ocean basin.

The Atlantic's (and the world's) most intense tropical cyclone of 2007 was Hurricane Dean. Dean peaked at an intensity of 905 mb, with 175 mph winds, as it made landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on August 21, 2007. Dean killed a total of 32 people, 12 of them in Mexico. Remarkably, no deaths occurred in the Yucatan. Dean's Mexican deaths all occurred due to Dean's second Mexican landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, after it had crossed the Yucatan Peninsula.


Figure 1.The world's strongest tropical cyclone of 2007, Hurricane Dean, as seen from the Space Shuttle Endeavour, Saturday August 18, 2007 at 1pm EDT. Image credit: NASA.

The Atlantic's deadliest storm was Hurricane Noel, which killed up to 222 people. Noel dumped up to 15 inches on Haiti and 35 inches of rain on the Dominican Republic between October 28-31. The resulting floods killed 219 people in those countries. Flooding killed three other people in Cuba, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.

Also notable: Hurricane Felix killed 200 people in Nicaragua and Honduras after striking the northwest coast of Nicaragua as a Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph winds on September 4, 2007.


Figure 2. Moonrise over the eyewall of Hurricane Felix as it intensified into a Category 5 hurricane. Wunderblogger Randy Bynon has more great photos in his blog where he recounts his mission into Hurricane Felix.

North Indian Ocean
The world's two deadliest tropical cyclones of 2007--and its costliest--all occurred in the North Indian Ocean.

Deadliest storm: Cyclone Sidr was the worst weather disaster in the world in 2007. The Category 4 cyclone crashed ashore on the heavily populated coast of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal on November 15, bringing winds of 150 mph and a storm surge of up to 5 m (16 ft) to the coast. At least 3447 people were killed. Damage was estimated at $450 million. Despite the high death toll, the evacuation and preparedness efforts were considered a success. Similar storms have exacted much higher death tolls in Bangladesh in the past.

Strongest storm: Tropical Cyclone Gonu, a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds, was the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Arabian Sea, and tied for the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the northern Indian Ocean (Wikipedia). Gonu caused about $4 billion in damage and over 50 deaths in Oman, where the cyclone was considered the nation's worst natural disaster of all time. Gonu dropped heavy rainfall near the eastern coastline, reaching up to 610 mm (24 inches) which caused flooding and heavy damage. In Iran, the cyclone caused 23 deaths and $215 million in damage.

Also notable: Cyclonic Storm Yemyin was 2007's second deadliest tropical cyclone. Yemyin hit the coast of Pakistan on June 22, killing as many as 933 people in Pakistan and 140 people in India. An additional 80 people died in Afghanistan due to flooding from Yemyin's remnants. Incredibly, the Indian Meteorological Service (IMD), who is responsible for tropical cyclone warnings in the North Indian Ocean, never classified Yemyin as anything stronger than a tropical depression. As I noted in a blog on the disaster, there was ample evidence that Yemyin was at least a strong tropical storm and perhaps a weak Category 1 hurricane. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center on Guam classified Yemyin as a strong tropical storm with 50 knot (60 mph) winds.


Figure 2. The North Indian Ocean's fearsome threesome of 2007. Left, Cyclone Gonu at Cat 5 intensify (160 mph winds), 0900Z Jun. 4, 2007. Middle, Cyclone Sidr at 0445Z Nov. 14, 2007 (Cat 4, 140 mph winds). Right, Cyclone Yemyin at 0610Z Jun. 25, 2007 (tropical storm, 40 mph winds). Image credit: NASA.

Eastern Pacific
Deadliest storm: Hurricane Henriette, a Category 1 hurricane that hit tip of the Baja California peninsula near San Jose del Cabo on September 4, killed seven people near Acapulco due to landslides; two fishermen also died off the Sonora coast. Henriette caused $275 million in damage to Mexico.

Strongest storm: Cat 4 Flossie (140 mph, 949 mb). Flossie did not hit land.

South Indian
Deadliest storm: Tropical Cyclone Indlala killed 80 people on Madagascar March 15 when it hit the island as a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds. Indlala had 145 mph winds at its peak intensity, shortly before landfall on Madagascar.

Strongest storm: Cat 4 Favio (145 mph). Favio hit Mozambique on February 22 as a Category 3 storm, killing 4 and injuring 70.

Also notable: Tropical Cyclone George killed three people when it made landfall March 8 in the Port Hedland region of Western Australia. George was a Category 3 storm with winds of 125 mph at peak intensity.

South Pacific
Deadliest storm: Tropical Cyclone Guba killed 150 people on Papau New Guinea when it brushed the island on November 20. Guba was a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds at peak intensity.

Strongest storm: Cat 3 Daman (120 mph), Dec. 5-9.

Western Pacific
Deadliest storm: Tropical Storm 06W had top winds of only 40 mph, but the storm was a prodigious rain maker, dumping up to two feet of rain on Vietnam August 3-4. At least 60 people died in the resulting flooding.

Strongest storm: Category 5 Super Typhoon Sepat (160 mph). Sepat hit Taiwan as a Category 4 storm on August 18, then mainland China as a strong tropical storm on August 19. Sepat killed 39 people in China and did $658 million in damage.

Also notable: Typhoon Man-Yi, a Category 4 typhoon, killed nine people when it sank a ship near Guam on July 9. Man-yi made landfall on Okinawa with 150 mph winds, and later hit Japan as a Category 1 typhoon.

Jeff Masters

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Viewing: 95 - 45

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95. BajaALemt
4:31 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
When Im tracking this stuff, I like to use this site (for lightning detection)... Lightning Detection Sites

Been watching the site about an hour west from me...in Niceville (Valpariso)..little added dimension to my radar... Link
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
94. BajaALemt
4:18 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
I'll BET!!
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
93. NEwxguy
4:12 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Yep,have doing well up here,at this time of year,really looking forward to spring.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 878 Comments: 15734
92. BajaALemt
3:59 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Tallahassee's morning sounding...

Link
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
91. BajaALemt
3:55 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Hey!! NE! Great to see you! Hope you've been well
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
90. NEwxguy
3:54 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
morning Baja
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 878 Comments: 15734
89. BajaALemt
3:52 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Thanks, Doc. Love the pic from Endeavor.

Morning folks
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
88. NEwxguy
3:50 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
vort,nasty line of storms
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 878 Comments: 15734
86. NEwxguy
3:02 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
GM,all,terrible night and looks scary today,prayers go out to all.You expect this in March and April.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 878 Comments: 15734
84. NormalGuy
2:51 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
I live in extreme NW Mississippi, about 50 miles south of Memphis. Last night was one of the scariest nights of my life. The storms that his Memphis were moving NE through my county and strengthening as they did. WOW is all I can say.
83. TampaSpin
2:46 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
strong vortex hook SW of Knoxville....BEWARE
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
82. TampaSpin
2:05 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
strong hook signature south of Morristown TN.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
81. TampaSpin
1:54 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
StormW hello! How does the Bay area look over the next couple of days out. Anthing severe you think in a couple of days.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
79. IKE
1:30 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
The storm that brought it on....

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
78. TampaSpin
1:30 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Possible vortex just North of Dalton
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
77. IKE
1:28 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
TampaSpin 7:22 AM CST on February 06, 2008
Ike that day was funny.....lol


It'll be back in 3 1/2 months~ All of the craziness will start again!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
76. TampaSpin
1:22 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Ike that day was funny.....lol
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
75. IKE
12:40 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
TampaSpin 6:35 AM CST on February 06, 2008
Hi Ike long time no talk. How you been.


OK....I remember that storm we had the debate over...forget which one....LOL........hurricane season will be here before you know it...tornadoes can be worse...not much warning.......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
74. TampaSpin
12:35 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Hi Ike long time no talk. How you been.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
73. TampaSpin
12:34 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Stormchaser this is like a late March weather pattern not early Feburary.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
72. TampaSpin
12:32 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
looks like another vortex has formed north of Morristown, TN. Take cover immediately.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
71. Stormchaser2007
12:30 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Yeah Tampa there does. I pray for all the people in these storms way.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
70. IKE
12:30 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Death toll up to 45...Link

A terrible weather night in the SE.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
69. TampaSpin
12:29 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
Middlesboro Tn is in for a rough ride. Please be very carefull.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
68. TampaSpin
12:26 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
There appears to be a possible cyclone near Chattanoga,TN
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
67. Stormchaser2007
12:22 PM GMT on February 06, 2008
CNN confirms 32 dead with unk 2 tornadoes on the ground....
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15889
65. Cavin Rawlins
10:11 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
....SYNOPSIS....

GULF OF MEXICO/NORTHWEST ATLANTIC OCEAN WEST OF 50W....

A surface cold front is pushing across the area extending from a 1011 mb low along the Mexican Coast to the Deep South of United States. The front lies at between an upper trough across the Great Plains and an upper ridge along the United States East Coast. Upper divergence and low-level lift along the frontal boundary is producing scattered showers across the Gulf waters and scattered thunderstorms across the Deep South. A good amount of fair weather is seen ahead this frontal system with surface return flow from the Atlantic to 95W and mid-upper level dry air within a region of upper level confluence.

A broad surface anticyclone is sprawled out across the Atlantic with exceptionally fair weather and patches of shallow cloudiness clearly seen rotating around the ridge.

CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN REGION....

The dominate weather maker across the region is a broad 1025 mb high north of area. This high is producing 10-20 knot surface trades, which are advecting widespread patches of cloudiness and showers from the Lesser Antilles to the Central American Terrain. Meanwhile, increase shower activity is noted across Northern South America in association with the Near-equatorial Convergence Zone (NECZ) being enhanced by outflow of the South American Monsoon System (SAMS). Expect seas to generally be 4-6 ft, increasing to 11 ft through the Caribbean and downstream of the tradewind regime.


by W456
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
64. KoritheMan
9:01 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20565
63. listenerVT
7:27 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Thanks, Koritheman. I have family in NC.

Take care, all.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5501
62. KoritheMan
7:22 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Is this expected to break up over the Adirondacks, at least?

I think so.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20565
61. listenerVT
6:59 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
What a shockingly horrible night for the south!
I am holding all involved in the Light, in the dark. ♥

Is this expected to break up over the Adirondacks, at least?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5501
60. KoritheMan
4:36 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Tornado warning for northeastern Louisiana:

The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a

* Tornado Warning for...
northern Catahoula Parish in northeast Louisiana...

* until 1115 PM CST

* at 1023 PM CST... National Weather Service meteorologists detected a
tornado
7 miles southwest of manifest... moving northeast at 45 mph.

* The tornado will be near...
manifest by 1030 PM CST...
Sherwood and 7 miles northwest of Wallace Ridge by 1040 PM CST...
Enterprise by 1045 PM CST...

In addition to the tornado... this storm is capable of producing
quarter size hail and destructive straight line winds.

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement. Get under a
workbench or other piece of sturdy furniture. If no basement is
available... seek shelter on the lowest floor of the building in an
interior hallway or room such as a closet. Use blankets or pillows to
cover your body and always stay away from windows.

If in Mobile homes or vehicles... evacuate them and get inside a
substantial shelter. If no shelter is available... lie flat in the
nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20565
59. odog1999
4:03 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
One person killed when their vehicle got rolled by a tornado on a highway
58. scwindsaloft
3:37 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
live memphis news stream here
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 401
57. KoritheMan
2:46 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Wow. This is just incredible... All these severe weather warnings coming in. Like this one:

... A Tornado Warning remains in effect until 900 PM CST for Stoddard
County in southeast Missouri...

At 828 PM CST... local law enforcement reported damage due to a
tornado along the Butler and Stoddard County line near Fisk. This
storm was located near Dexter... moving east at 70 mph.

The tornado will be...
8 miles south of Himmel by 840 PM CST...

This is an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation. This
storm is capable of producing strong to violent tornadoes. If you are
in the path of this tornado... take cover immediately!
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20565
56. scwindsaloft
1:48 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
02/05/2008 0715 PM

Jackson, Madison County.

Tornado, reported by Emergency Mngr.


People trapped in water commons building at Union
University... overturned vehicles between mile marker 68
and 76... damage in the vincinity of mile marker 79 and
Hwy 412... damage at the regional hospital at Channing way
drive... damage at Northside High School and in the Oak
Hill area.

Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 401
54. hurricane23
1:08 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Wow!

My thoughts go out to these folks....

Hook Echo i caught on radar.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13786
52. odog1999
12:28 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
tornado hit the Memphis airport:
ROOF BLOWN OFF OF PINNACLE AIRLINE HANGER AT MEMPHIS
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. PLANES WERE MOVED. AIRSTAIRS MOVED
100 YARDS. MOVED A 737 AIRPLANE A FOOT.
51. odog1999
12:14 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
7 tornado reports in the past hour already on the SPC site. WREG reports a direct hit on a mobile home park with EMS en route
50. odog1999
12:09 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
49. odog1999
12:03 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Looks like a dual-tornado (two strong rotations) storm near Oxford, MS
47. KoritheMan
11:39 PM GMT on February 05, 2008
After reading the discussion more closely, it seems that Memphis may not escape the tornado. I just hope that this is a weak tornado, and not a super strong one.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20565
46. thunder01
11:37 PM GMT on February 05, 2008
WREG has LIVE video of a tornado moving near Memphis...
45. KoritheMan
11:36 PM GMT on February 05, 2008
Oh and I could be wrong, but doesn't it look like the worst of the weather is going to miss Memphis?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20565

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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.