Geoscience Reference
In-Depth Information
Lowest central pressures recorded in tropical cyclones.
Table 3.1
Event
Location
Date
Pressure (hPa)
1 Typhoon Tip
NE of Philippines
October 1979
870
2 Typhoon June
Guam
November 1975
876
3 Typhoon Nora
NE of Philippines
October 1973
877
4 Typhoon Ida
NE of Philippines
September 1958
877
5 Typhoon Rita
NE of Philippines
October 1978
878
6 unnamed
Philippines
August 1927
887
7 Hurricane Gilbert
Caribbean
September 1988
902
8 Typhoon Nancy
NW Pacific
September 1961
888
9 Labour Day storm
Florida
September 1935
892
10 Typhoon Marge
NE of Philippines
August 1951
895
11 Hurricane Allen
Caribbean
August 1980
899
12 Hurricane Linda
Baja Peninsula
September 1997
900
13 Hurricane Camille
Gulf of Mexico
August 1969
905
14 Hurricane Mitch
Caribbean
October 1998
905
15 Typhoon Babe
NE of Philippines
September 1977
906
16 unnamed
Philippines
September 1905
909
17 Cyclone Vance
Western Australia
March 1999
910
18 Typhoon Viola
NE of Philippines
November 1978
911
19 Cossack Cyclone
Australia
June 1881
914?
20 Hurricane Janet
Mexico
September 1955
914
21 Cyclone Mahina
Australia
March 1899
914?
Hazel's path over the Great Lakes was not that rare an
event. Over a 60-year period, 14 cyclones have crossed
the Appalachians into the Great Lakes area. Not all were
of the magnitude of Hurricane Hazel, but all brought
heavy rain and winds. In Australia, at least one cyclone
every 20 years has managed to penetrate to Alice
Springs in the center of the continent, and it is possible
for west-coast cyclones to cross the whole continent
before completely dissipating their winds and rain. In
the New York region, major hurricanes, though rare,
have struck twice in the last thousand years. The
historical 1821 hurricane produced winds reaching
180-210 km hr -1 . Worse was a storm sometime between
1278 and 1438. Were it to recur, it would flood major
cities along the eastern seaboard. Even southern
California is not immune. It lies close to Mexico, the
spawning center of some of the most intense tropical
cyclones in the world. Fortunately, the majority track
west into uninhabited parts of the Pacific Ocean.
However, a tropical storm from this region moved into
southern California in 1939, killing 45 people. Since
1902, the remnants of forty hurricanes have dropped
rain on the state.
The actual number of cyclones within the zones in
Figure 3.3 is highly variable. In Australia between 1909
and 1980, there have been on average ten cyclones per
year. The number has been as low as one per year and
as high as 19. In the Caribbean region, the presence of
tropical cyclones has fluctuated just as much between
1910 and 2003 (Figure 2.12). In 1950, the aggregated
number of days of hurricanes totaled 57, while no
hurricanes were recorded at all in 1914. These patterns
for both areas are not random, but linked to the
occurrence of El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
events. Recent research indicates that hurricanes in
the United States also follow decadal cycles. Periods
with numerous and intense hurricanes were 1865-1900,
1930-1960, and 1992 onwards. Quiescent times were
1850-1865, 1900-1930, and 1960-1992.
The zones depicted in Figure 3.3 are also restrictive.
Tropical cyclones have appeared in the 1970s and
1980s outside these limits, and outside the usually
defined cyclone seasons for each hemisphere. The
cyclone season around Australia usually lasts from
1 December to 1 May. Cyclone Namu devastated the
Solomon Islands as late as 21 May 1986 and the 1987
 
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