Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:00 am Post subject: Memorable June Hurricanes
June 1st officially begins the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Typically, June is not known for producing big hurricanes, mainly because ocean temps are not quite at there peaks yet and there's usually still a good amount of shearing. Nonetheless, there actually have been quite a few big storms that have developed within the first month of hurricane season. We'll take this opportunity now to look back at three of the most memorable ones dating back to 1950.
HURRICANE AUDREY CAT-4
To this day, Hurricane Audrey remains the earliest storm to reach Category 4 strength in the Atlantic basin. Actually, up until Hurricane Dennis in 2005 it was the earliest storm to reach Category 4 intensity prior to the month of August. For nearly 50 years it held this title. Dennis then broke it in 2005 only to have Hurricane Emily break that mark some 9 days later. It is also only one of two major hurricanes that have developed since 1950 in the month of June....the other being Hurricane Alma in 1966.
Audrey is unique because she has been retired and will never be used again. What makes this so different from that of other retired hurricane names is Audrey had never been used prior and never will be again. So through the history books, there will only be one time that Hurricane Audrey's name will ever be used..... and that was back in 1957.
Hurricane Audrey caused $1 billion in damages which is estimated at $147 billon today. She also killed 419 and is ranked as the sixth deadliest hurricane to hit the United States mainland since 1900. Maximum sustained winds reached 145 mph on June 27th as she made landfall near the Texas/ Louisiana border. Audrey shortly after became extra-tropical and moved north northeast into the Ohio Valley and eventually into Canada.
Below is a radar image of Audrey prior to landfall courtesy of Wikipedia...
HURRICANE ALMA CAT-3
When Hurricane Alma struck Florida on June 9th, 1966 it became the earliest hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland since 1825 and was the second strongest hurricane in June history behind only Hurricane Audrey. Alma caused $210 million in damage, killing 90 people..... 73 in Honduras, 11 in Cuba and 6 in the United States. Alma produced tremendous amounts of rainfall. Some areas received more than 30 inches. The highest rainfall total in the United States was 10 inches near Dania, Florida causing major damage to the mango crop.
Maximum sustained winds at one point reached 125 mph....CAT 3 intensity. A ten foot storm surge was recorded near New Port Richey, Crystal River and Cedar Key.
HURRICANE AGNES CAT-1
Hurricane Agnes was known more for its torrential rains and flash flooding rather than its wind speeds. The storm produced more than 15 inches of rain across central portions of Pennsylvania causing one of the worst floods in the history of the Susquehanna River.
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