New England Hurricane – 1938

Clear evidence of global climate disruption in 1938, when CO2 levels were 315 ppm. But what caused the 1869 major hurricane?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Hurricane_of_1938

The New England Hurricane of 1938 (or Great New England Hurricane or Long Island Express or simply The Great Hurricane of 1938) was the first major hurricane to strike New England since 1869.

The storm formed near the coast of Africa in September of the 1938 Atlantic hurricane season, becoming a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale before making landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Long Island on September 21.

The hurricane was estimated to have killed between 682 and 800 people, damaged or destroyed over 57,000 homes, and caused property losses estimated at US$306 million ($ 4.72 billion in 2010). In 1951, damaged trees and buildings were still to be seen in the affected areas.

To date it remains the most powerful, costliest and deadliest hurricane in New England history.

The “Long Island Express” was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on September 13, although it may have formed a few days earlier. Moving generally west-northwestward, it passed to the north of Puerto Rico on the 18th and 19th, likely as a category 5 hurricane. It turned northward on September 20 and by the morning of the 21st it was 100 to 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. At that point, the hurricane accelerated to a forward motion of 60 to 70 mph, making landfall over Long Island and Connecticut that afternoon as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm became extratropical after landfall and dissipated over southeastern Canada on September 22.

Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts measured sustained winds of 121 mph with gusts to 183 mph (likely influenced by terrain). A U.S. Coast Guard station on Long Island measured a minimum pressure of 27.94 in. Storm surges of 10 to 12 ft inundated portions of the coast from Long Island and Connecticut eastward to southeastern Massachusetts, with the most notable surges in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay. Heavy rains before and during the hurricane produced river flooding, most notably along the Connecticut River.

This hurricane struck with little warning and was responsible for 600 deaths and $308 million in damage in the United States.

About stevengoddard

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