60 Years Of No Major Hurricanes In New England

This week in 1954, Boston’s Old North Church was damaged by hurricane Carol.

ScreenHunter_2222 Aug. 23 08.01

Another major (category 3-5) hurricane hit New England ten days later. There have been no major hurricanes in New England since.

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14 Responses to 60 Years Of No Major Hurricanes In New England

  1. Andy DC says:

    Good old Hurricane Carol! Wiped out many of the Boston trees that survived the 1938 hurricane. Also at time was costliest hurricane in history.

  2. daveandrews723 says:

    The hurricane of 1938 is the one my parents always talked about here in New Hampshire. It devastated many parts of New England, killing close to 700 people, and affected communities well inland from the coast. Reportedly it was the first major hurricane to have hit New England since 1869. Yes, there were hurricanes back then too, long before the evils of the internal combustion engine.

  3. David says:

    Sandy was no mere hurricane she was a super duper storm or some such BS.

  4. pesce9991 says:

    WHAT!? No major hurricanes in New England in 60 years? It took me 0.037 seconds to google this list that goes back several centuries. I have removed numerous tropical storms and minor hurricanes. New England almost never receives a hurricane of Cat 3 let alone above that. Any storm that reaches Hurricane strength in major to New England. Here it is from Carol on:

    1954 August – Hurricane Carol – Category 3- wind gusts of category four strength in southeast Rhode Island and south coastal Massachusetts in the Buzzards Bay area west of Cape Cod. 60 killed. Extreme damage in coastal south Rhode Island and south coastal Massachusetts. Buzzards Bay damage rivaled 1938 storm.

    1954 September – Hurricane Edna – second Category 3 hurricane in two weeks in New England made two landfalls, eye over Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod then again on coast of Maine where very severe losses occurred. Winds recorded at the hourly reading at 90 mph New Bedford Airport, New Bedford, Ma; 100 mph at Taunton, Ma. 112 mph at Milton Ma, and 125 mph at Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard Island.

    1960 September 12–13 – Hurricane Donna – Category 2/3 with peak gust of 140 mph at Blue Hill, Massachusetts,135 Block Island Rhode Island. Peak wind gust at hourly read at anemometer at New Bedford Airport (Massachusetts) recorded 110 mph from south-southwest in a sheltered area. Airport is located in a landscape depression and sheltered from southerly and easterly winds,despite this very high 5 pm gust.Heavy tree,utility and structural damage in southeastern Massachusetts,coastal New Hampshire and Maine. Sixth hurricane hit in southern New England in thirty years, fifth major storm in 22 years. Hourly wind speed reading at City Hall in downtown New Bedford, Ma. recorded 80+ mph.

    1961 September – Hurricane Esther – Category 1 hurricane moved within 35 miles of south coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts before making a sharp right turn and then making a loop and returning as a tropical storm five days later. 7th hurricane in 30 years remained offshore but produced hurricane force winds in gusts from Block Island,RI eastward across Cape Cod, Ma. and islands. Less damage than in hurricane Donna a year previous. Gusts 75-90 mph onshore.

    1985 September – Hurricane Gloria- Strong Category 1 – first hurricane of significant strength to move inland in southern New England since 1960. Widespread wind damage reported in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, later into coastal New Hampshire and Maine. Tree damage in Conn. worst since 1938 and wind losses in RI and eastern Massachusetts considerable to trees, utilities and roofs. New Bedford, Massachusetts reported wind gusts over 90 mph, inland Rehoboth, Massachusetts state police barracks reported 120 mph and also later reported a tornado in vicinity. Winds at airport in Warwick, Rhode Island gusted to 85 mph at top of the hour reading. Winds on East Side of Providence near Brown University clocked at 100 mph. Winds in New London,Conn clocked at 110-112 mph. Widespread forest damage in Maine. Storm still had hurricane force wind gusts into New Brunswick, Canada.

    1991 August – Hurricane Bob – Category 2. Winds gusted to Category 3 strength in southeastern Massachusetts. One of the smallest in area and yet most intense hurricanes to hit southern New England since 1938. Comparable to Hurricane Carol in Buzzards Bay area of Massachusetts and worst storm on Martha’s Vineyard, MA since 1944. In top 25 storms of 20th century of US hurricanes in terms of dollar loss. (1938, 1944, 1954 Carol, 1960 Donna and Bob are all on list). Tidal surge of 10 feet above normal in upper reaches of Buzzards Bay. 135 mph at Block Island before anemometer blew away. 125 mph at Newport, RI,sustained 5 minute speed of 111 mph,gust 144 mph at Westport Harbour on coastal southern MA/RI border. 120 mph at MA Maritime Academy on Buzzards Bay, 120 Truro, MA. One minute sustained speed of 110 mph on Chappaquiddick Island, MA. Several private anemometers in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod reported unofficial gusts of 150 mph. New Bedford fishing boat off Cuttyhunk Island, MA reported peak gust of 162 mph.

    1996 September – Hurricane Edouard – Category 1 – offshore-hurricane force wind gusts from Buzzards Bay east across Cape and Islands. Worse storm than 1985 Gloria on Cape Cod but not as destructive as Bob which has become a benchmark hurricane on Cape Cod. Considerable losses on the Massachusetts islands. Oak Bluffs, Marthas Vineyard MA particularly hard-hit.
    October 8, 1996 – The remnants of Tropical Storm Josephine brush Cape Cod, dropping widespread light rain and wind gust of 45-60 mph at New Bedford, MA.[6]

    1999 September 17–18 Hurricane Floyd – After paralleling much of the U.S. East Coast, Tropical Storm Floyd moves into Connecticut, and tracks northward through Maine. Floyd causes large power outages and flood damage across the region, with over five inches (130 mm) of rain falling over most of the area. Danbury, Connecticut received up to 15 inches (380 mm) of rain from the storm, resulting in extensive flooding in the city and surrounding areas. Mudslides were reported in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Several major highways and a countless number of local roads in Connecticut and Massachusetts were closed for several days due to flooding, and downed trees and power lines. Hurricane force wind gusts were observed in southern Rhode Island: North Kingston unofficially 90 mph.Wind gusts to 76 mph at New Bedford Hurricane Dike in New Bedford, Massachusetts and 73 mph in Hyannis, Massa

    October 29–30, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy affected Southern New England with its outer bands producing heavy storm surge, winds, and rainfall before the storm’s landfall in New Jersey. Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, New York City, parts of Long Island and the Connecticut and Rhode Island coastlines. Flooding and power outages (roughly nine million customers total) lasted several days, while thousands of trees, telephone poles and traffic light stanchions were snapped. Estimates in excess of $50 Billion in property damage was left in Sandy’s wake after it made landfall and its center went over Pennsylvania and New York. Sandy killed 5 people in New England (4 in Connecticut and 1 in New Hampshire). To the west, Sandy dumped 2 to 4 feet of snow in the Appalachian Mountain region and flatlands.

    • geran says:

      Thanks Fish, for documenting what “Dr. Goddard” indicated.

    • As you just showed, there have been no major hurricane strikes in New England since 1954.

      There is no such thing as a major hurricane “gust” The classification is based on sustained winds. Hurricane Donna was not a category 3 in New England.

      • rah says:

        Apparently he/she doesn’t know that a “Major Hurricane” is defined as one of CAT III or higher?

      • nielszoo says:

        Wading through the scans of all the handwritten data for Donna at NOAA NHC the only really high readings and advisories were during the Florida landfall leg. The max “highest wind” reading I can find during the Northern approach and landfall was an advisory from Boston of 80kts… still firmly in Cat 1 territory and it’s listed as a max and not sustained so I’m erring to the sustained side. The rest of the data post Florida all used 50kt wind fields and NWS never even defines a 100kt wind field so I’m assuming that at no point did that storm every get even remotely close to a Cat 3 anywhere near New England. Looking at the peaks and gusts I’d hazard a guess that it only had hurricane winds at the edges of the eyewall during landfall and inland was already down to 50kt.

    • Shazaam says:

      Perhaps pesce-fetente should stick to comic books.

    • Hugh K says:

      But I would like to thank POS9991. It provides some insight into the mind(less?)set required to re-elect the person that would soon become the 2014 Liar of the Year. Also leads one to understand the necessity of why some rely so heavily on Government handouts. Really is sad…
      In all sincerity, please get help POS9991. I could care less about your views on CAGW. However, if it so easy for you to be conned by wolves in sheep-clothing, for your own good/well-being, please seek help from a professional in the physiological sciences and put aside your obsession with climate science….at least for a short while. Hopefully, you will find it more rewarding to fix the individual before taking on the more complex problem of fixing the world.

    • nielszoo says:

      “The center of Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy then made landfall at about 2330 UTC near Brigantine, New Jersey, just to the northeast of Atlantic City, with an estimated intensity of 70 kt and a minimum pressure of 945 mb.” http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL182012_Sandy.pdf

      For those of you who appear to be ignorant in the ways of the weather man a “tropical storm” or “hurricane” or “tropical cyclone” or “post-tropical cyclone” is categorized by it’s sustained wind speed and energy source. Sandy was barely a Category 1 storm for most of it’s life and barely tapped Cat 2 on the morning of the 25th for a couple of hours. This is not even remotely at the level of a “major” hurricane… that and the fact that it was extra-tropical at landfall means it is no longer called a hurricane since it was no longer powered by deep convection and was more like a large frontal system.

      That said, it was the large area it had along with landing around peak tides adding to surge that were the biggest problem. Having been through many, many hurricanes and tropical storms I can say that the major reason that Sandy was bad was due to the abysmal response of the people, the government and from every single agency involved. TS Fay in 2008 sat on top of us for almost 2 full days and dropped a solid 26″ of rain at my house. We had far more water and far fewer problems. This is Florida, we know that we have to take care of ourselves and our neighbors. It’s such a shame that so many of the folks that went up from Florida, Georgia, S. Carolina, Alabama etc. to help after Sandy were run off by union thugs, union cops and bureaucrats.

  5. Curt says:

    My parents lost the roof of their Boston house in Carol. Can you imagine if those two storms hit today?

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