Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Notable Hurricanes: Longevity; Part 2

This is the second part of a three part post. For the first part, see here.

Most of the hurricanes so far on the longevity countdown have made a loop. This usually is a result of a blocking high pressure, which steers the system, but doesn't always weaken it. However, blocking low pressure systems steer storms and weaken them or are too weak to affect them, and are therefore are less common.

#7 (tied) Hurricane Inez (1966) September 21-October 11 20.75 days (from formation to last extratropical transition)

The tropical wave that was to become Hurricane Inez emerged off Africa on September 18. On September 21, the system became a tropical depression, and on the 24th, it became Tropical Storm Inez. Inez strengthened rapidly into a hurricane and slammed into the most eastern islands in the Caribbean. Strengthening still further, Inez reached its peak intensity of 150 mph winds and a pressure of 929 millibars before making landfall in the Dominican Republic on September 29. The system weakened and emerged over water shortly before striking Cuba. After traveling over Cuba, Inez was barely holding on to minimal hurricane strength and became a tropical storm upon entering the southwestern Bahamas on October 2. Over the Bahamas, Inez became a hurricane again and was forced to the southwest by a subtropical ridge on the 4th. Soon after, Inez crossed the Florida Keys, and began to intensify once again. By this time, Inez skimmed the northern Yucatan Peninsula on October 7, it was a Category 3 and still getting stronger. Then, on October 10, after briefly reaching Category 4 status, the system made landfall in Mexico as a Category 3. Inez weakened rapidly, and dissipated on the 11th of October. Over 1,000 people died form Inez and $222 million in damage resulted ($1.5 billion adjusted for inflation since 1966). Because of this, the name Inez was retired from the circulating name list. Inez had an ACE of 54.58.

Track of Inez.

#7 (tied) Hurricane Carrie (1957) September 2-24 20.75 days (from formation to last extratropical transition)

The tropical depression that eventually became Carrie formed near Africa on September 2. Moving slowly westward, the system gained intensity, first becoming a tropical storm, then a hurricane, and then a major hurricane. Soon after, on September 8, Carrie reached its peak intensity of 155 mph winds and a pressure of 945 millibars. The system turned north weakening to a Category 1, and then turned west strengthening to a Category 4. On September 16, the system passed Bermuda at distance of about 100 miles, not causing any damage. Soon after, the system turned east as a minimal hurricane and became extratropical on the 23rd. The only impact of Carrie was a sunken ship off the Azores on September 21. 86 were aboard the ship and only 6 survived, despite a rescue effort. Carrie had an ACE of 62.59.

Track of Carrie.

#5 Hurricane Nadine (2012) September 11-October 4 21.75 days (spent as a tropical cyclone)
A post on this hurricane is located elsewhere on this blog.

#4 Hurricane Kyle (2002) September 20-October 12 22 days (from formation to final extratropical transition)

The low pressure system that later became Kyle was originally part of a front that moved over the Atlantic Ocean on October 15. A low formed over the dissipating front on September 18 and gained some characteristics of a tropical cyclone. On September 20, the system was midway between tropical and non-tropical features, and was therefore classified as a subtropical depression. The depression, moving slowly northward in the Central Atlantic, was hindered in movement by a blocking trough to its north and another low to its south. Despite all these factors, the depression strengthened into Subtropical Storm Kyle on September 21. Then, getting close to the blocking force in the north, Kyle was forced to make a loop, first going east, then south, and then west. While making this loop, Kyle started to exhibit more tropical features, and Kyle was reclassified as Tropical Storm Kyle on September 22. The system continued generally west over the next few days, intensifying as it went, and soon becoming a hurricane. Soon after, Kyle reached its peak intensity of 85 mph winds and a pressure of 980 millibars on September 26. The next day, however, Kyle started to weaken due to wind sheer. Before long, Kyle was a tropical storm again. Kyle later weakened into a depression, although only briefly, and it regained tropical storm status on October 1. Kyle did not move for the next few days, but soon continued its trek to the west. On October 7, Kyle was stalled again, and was forced southwest, again becoming a depression. It followed a slow arc, curving southwest, then west, and finally northwest due to an approaching front, becoming a tropical storm yet again before striking the coast of South Carolina, and then North Carolina on October 11. The system emerged over water and became extratropical on October 12. The system caused minor damage and one fatality. Kyle had an ACE of 14.44.

Kyle at minimal hurricane status.

The odd-looking track of Kyle.

For the last part of this post, see here.

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