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Blog

Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

Filtering by Tag: Featured

7:15 AM | *The Great New England Hurricane of 1938*

Paul Dorian

On September 21, 1938, one of the most destructive and powerful hurricanes in recorded history struck Long Island and Southern New England. It was the first major hurricane to strike New England since the year 1869.  The storm developed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, tracking across the Atlantic and up the Eastern Seaboard. The storm hit Long Island and Southern Connecticut on September 21, moving at a forward speed of 47 mph! Tomorrow marks the 81st anniversary of storm known as "The Great New England Hurricane of 1938" as well as "The Long Island Express" and the "Yankee Clipper". With no warning, the powerful category 3 hurricane (previously a category 5) slammed into Long Island and southern New England causing approximately 682 deaths and massive devastation to coastal cities and became the most destructive storm to strike the region in the 20th century. Little media attention was given to the powerful hurricane while it was out at sea as Europe was on the brink of war and the overriding story of the time. There was no advanced meteorological technology such as radar or satellite imagery to warn of the storm’s approach.

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1:50 PM | *Tropical scene remains very active…tremendous rainfall potential in SE Texas with TS Imelda…Hurricane Humberto could reach “major” status…tropical depression #10 in the central Atlantic*

Paul Dorian

In this the climatological peak time of the year for the Atlantic Basin tropical season, there are three systems now on the scene. The most important tropical system in terms of immediate impact is Tropical Storm Imelda which is right near the southeast coastline of Texas. It is likely to produce some tremendous amounts of rainfall over the next few days with 20+ inches on the table.  A second system, Hurricane Humberto, continues to slowly pull away from the US east coast now with category 2 status and it could climb to “major” (category 3+) hurricane status within a day or two out over the Atlantic Ocean.  Finally, a third system is pushing northwest in the central Atlantic and it will continue to slowly intensify in coming days likely requiring it to become a named storm.     

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10:50 AM | *80 years later, the tornado scene in the “Wizard of Oz” remains a classic*

Paul Dorian

In a movie filled with memorable quotes, one of the shortest and simplest might have been “It’s a Twister!”, but it was part of a tornado scene that is still considered to be a classic eight decades later.  August 25, 1939 was the official release date of the “Wizard of Oz" which was the first movie to depict an authentic looking tornado using improbable “1930’s style” special effects. Through the decades, this all-time classic has inspired movie-goers and “weather weenies” alike with the scene of a twister lifting Dorothy’s home into the sky over rural Kansas farm land.

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11:55 AM (Friday) | *Another slow moving tropical system to impact the Bahamas and Florida*

Paul Dorian

Here we go again…another slow moving tropical system will impact the Bahamas and Florida over the next couple of days in what is a very active looking tropical scene.  There are numerous systems of interest right now across the Atlantic Basin which is not too unusual given the time of year which is the climatological peak period of the tropical season.  In addition to the system over the Bahamas, there is a batch of showers and thunderstorms over the eastern Gulf of Mexico that may organize in coming days and two other disturbances in the eastern Atlantic.  Furthermore, multiple systems over the continent of Africa – the breeding grounds for the Atlantic Basin – assure us that it’ll remain active as we progress through the month of September.  

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12:25 PM | *The tropical scene remains active in the Atlantic Basin as we enter the climatological peak time period of the season*

Paul Dorian

The climatological peak of the Atlantic Basin tropical season is right around September 10th and it is adhering to history with not one, not two, but three different systems lined up in the tropical Atlantic and additional waves lurk over the Africa continent.  The first wave is likely to move through the Florida Straits or over South Florida this weekend and it could strengthen into a tropical storm.  Regardless of development, this system is liable to produce heavy rain and gusty winds in the Bahamas and Florida in coming days.  The next system out in the central Atlantic is facing long odds of survival as it will encounter unfavorable wind shear in the near term.  The third wave is currently far out in the eastern Atlantic and it poses a potential longer-term threat to the Bahamas, Florida and the rest of the Gulf of Mexico region as it will slowly trek across the tropical Atlantic in coming days and ultimately, it should find favorable atmospheric conditions for intensification.

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2:30 PM | *America’s Deadliest Natural Disaster…the Galveston Hurricane of 1900*

Paul Dorian

At the end of the 19th century, America was beaming with confidence and feeling bigger and stronger than ever before.  The city of Galveston, Texas was booming with a population of 37,000 residents on the east end of Galveston Island which runs about thirty miles in length and anywhere from one and a half to three miles in width. Its position on the harbor of Galveston Bay along the Gulf of Mexico made it the center of trade and the biggest city in Texas in the year 1900.  A quarter of a century earlier, a nearby town was destroyed by a powerful hurricane and this object lesson was heeded by many Galveston residents and talks of a seawall to protect the city were quite prevalent.  However, no seawall was built and sand dunes along the shore were actually cut down to fill low areas in the city, removing what little barrier there was to the Gulf of Mexico.  This proved to be a fatal mistake for the city of Galveston in what nobody could foresee happening to this magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf of Mexico.

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1:00 PM | *Atlantic Basin tropical season far from over*

Paul Dorian

The eye of Hurricane Dorian passed over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, earlier today which makes it the the first (and only) landfall by this storm on the US mainland.  It made landfall on the Outer Banks as a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 90 mph and is the first landfall by a hurricane in North Carolina since Arthur in 2014.  The storm has begun an acceleration to the northeast in recent hours as it is increasingly being influenced by an approaching upper-level trough.  There is still some impact being felt in coastal sections of the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England where heavy rain bands are rotating around Hurricane Dorian.

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9:30 AM | ****Hurricane Dorian regains “major” storm status…to significantly impact the coastal Carolinas next 24 hours…some impact in the Mid-Atlantic on Friday…tropical season far from over****

Paul Dorian

Hurricane Dorian has regained some strength in the overnight hours and has been re-classified as a “major” category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds at 115 mph.  It is moving slowly to the NNE at 8 mph and is currently just off the coast of South Carolina. There will be a major impact over the next 24 hours by Hurricane Dorian in the coastal Carolinas in places like Charleston, South Carolina and Wilmington and the Outer Banks in North Carolina. By mid-day Friday, Hurricane Dorian will be near the Outer Banks of North Carolina and it will become increasingly influenced by an advancing upper-level trough over the Great Lakes.  As a result, Hurricane Dorian will accelerate to the northeast on Friday and pass well to the east of the Mid-Atlantic, but some impacts are likely that will in many ways resemble a “nor’easter” with the greatest impacts along coastal sections.  Looking ahead, by no means does it look like the Atlantic Basin tropical season will slow down with the departure of Hurricane Dorian as numerous tropical waves are lining up over the continent of Africa. 

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12:00 PM (Wednesday) | ****Hurricane Dorian now impacting coastal regions of Georgia and the Carolinas as it pushes slowly to the north...intensification is possible next 24 hours****

Paul Dorian

Hurricane Dorian remains a category 2 storm at midday and it has picked up a bit of forward speed now moving NNW at 9 mph with 105 mph maximum sustained winds and a central pressure of 964 millibars.  Gusty squalls are rotating around Hurricane Dorian and impacting much of the coastal region in northeastern Florida as well as coastal sections of Georgia, South and North Carolina. Hurricane Dorian is likely to at least maintain its category 2 strength as it moves closer to the Carolina coastline and it very well could undergo some intensification as it heads over warmer waters of the Gulf Stream and leaves “upwelling-induced” cooler water behind. By early Friday, Hurricane Dorian will move to a position over the Outer Banks (NC) and will become increasingly influenced by an advancing trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere. This upper-level feature will cause it to accelerate to the northeast passing well to the east of the Mid-Atlantic region on Friday, but important impacts are still on the table for coastal sections.

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1:45 PM (Tuesday) | ****Hurricane Dorian has resumed a slow movement to the northwest...now a category 2 storm****

Paul Dorian

Hurricane Dorian has finally resumed some movement today as the latest measurements have it moving to the northwest at 2 mph after being stationary for nearly 24 hours. From later today into Wednesday, Hurricane Dorian should turn north-northwest and run parallel to the east coast of Florida as it picks up some forward speed. It’ll then close in on the Carolina coastline by Thursday where it is not out of the question that it makes a landfall somewhere on its way to the Outer Banks (North Carolina). After that, Hurricane Dorian will likely pass well to the east of the Mid-Atlantic coastline from Thursday night into Friday with its greatest impact limited to coastal sections. 

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