Hurricane Gladys of 1968: Could it have been a major hurricane?

By: KoritheMan , 9:13 PM GMT on June 28, 2007

I've been really curious about the 1968 Atlantic hurricane season's Hurricane Gladys. While the storm itself was weak and very unimpressive, it nonetheless (at least I believe so) had the potential to become at least a Category 3 hurricane with 115-120 mph winds before landfall in Florida. The waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico were probably still around 82-83░F at the time of October 19 when it made landfall, so a major hurricane was not out of the question, since the warm waters were likely sufficiently deep enough to form and sustain a major hurricane. If Gladys would've hit Florida as a major hurricane, the 1968 Atlantic hurricane season would've at least been noteworthy (the three June storms were notable, but that's not enough for me to label the season "impressive"). I'm not saying I wanted it to happen, just a thought. Also, since much of Gladys's circulation was overland when it entered the Gulf of Mexico, it probably didn't have a chance to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane. Shear was favorable throughout its path.



Satellite image of Hurricane Gladys seen from Apollo 7 - Image Source: Wikipedia



Gladys's Track - Image Source: Wikipedia

Please respond, since I have been wondering this one! An anticyclone developed over Gladys too, which aided in the intensification. Aside from its circulation being mostly overland, I see no reason why Gladys shouldn't have been a major hurricane.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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6. Hu
8:29 AM GMT on July 22, 2007
LOL, Hu
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. Ivansvrivr
4:41 AM GMT on July 16, 2007
Florida isn't that much of an inhibiting
factor. Looking at that sat photo, It
appears to have gotten into some dry air.
Probably largely missed the loop current
too. MDO phase could have played a role.
Gladys took a similar path to Charlie. What
a difference that one key ingredient Gladys
was missing made!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. anvilhead
6:41 AM GMT on June 29, 2007
bump
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. Thunderstorm2
10:35 PM GMT on June 28, 2007
Also, since much of Gladys's circulation was overland when it entered the Gulf of Mexico, it probably didn't have a chance to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane.


I think that you are correct. Much of her's Circulation was over Florida which DID inhibit Intensification.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. KoritheMan
10:18 PM GMT on June 28, 2007
bump

Please answer! :D
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