1933 Trinidad hurricane
Track map of the storm
|Formed||June 24, 1933|
|Dissipated||July 7, 1933|
|Highest winds||1-minute sustained:
110 mph (175 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||965 mbar (hPa); 28.5 inHg|
|Damage||$7.2 million (1933 USD)|
|Areas affected||Leeward Islands (Trinidad landfall), Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico|
|Part of the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season|
The 1933 Trinidad hurricane was one of two North Atlantic tropical cyclones on record to produce hurricane-force winds in Venezuela. The second tropical storm and first hurricane of the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season, the system formed on June 24 to the east of the Lesser Antilles. It moved westward and attained hurricane status before striking Trinidad on June 27. The storm caused heavy damage on the island, estimated at around $3 million.[nb 1] The strong winds downed trees and destroyed hundreds of houses, leaving about 1,000 people homeless. Later, the hurricane crossed the northeastern portion of Venezuela, where power outages and damaged houses were reported.
After entering the Caribbean Sea, the hurricane maintained a northwest trajectory. It passed south of Jamaica on July 1, where heavy rainfall flooded roads and railways. The hurricane crossed western Cuba on July 3. High winds on the island destroyed hundreds of houses, and the storm's rainfall damaged the tobacco crop. Upon entering the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane turned to the west and attained peak winds of 110 mph (175 km/h) on July 5. It struck northeastern Mexico on July 8 and quickly dissipated. Upon its final landfall, the storm caused heavy damage in Mexico, and in southern Texas the storm ended a prolonged drought.
A tropical wave[nb 2] was first observed near 40º W on June 23. The next day, a ship in the region observed a closed circulation, suggesting that the tropical wave spawned a tropical depression about 1300 mi (2090 km) east of Trinidad. The storm moved westward and gradually intensified. By June 27, it attained hurricane status about 175 mi (280 km) east of Trinidad, based on a ship report of a barometric pressure of 991 mbar (29.27 inHg); it was the first of 11 hurricanes during the season. At around 2100 UTC on June 27, the hurricane made landfall on extreme southern Trinidad with winds of about 85 mph (137 km/h).[nb 3] After crossing the island, the hurricane struck the Paria Peninsula of northern Venezuela at the same intensity at 0200 UTC on June 28. The 1933 Monthly Weather Review summary of the season noted that the hurricane was the "earliest known in [the] general area also the only one in a record of nearly 50 years to pass south of the Island of Trinidad and over the northeast corner of Venezuela."
About two hours after striking Venezuela, the hurricane entered the southeastern Caribbean Sea. For the next few days it maintained its intensity while tracking to the northwest. A ship on June 30 reported a pressure of 982 mb (29.0 inHg), suggesting winds of about 100 mph (160 km/h). The next day, the hurricane passed south of Jamaica and turned more to the west before resuming a northwest motion. At around 0600 UTC on July 3, the hurricane made landfall on western Cuba with winds of 100 mph (160 km/h). It weakened while crossing the island, although it maintained hurricane status upon entering the Gulf of Mexico. On July 4, a strong high pressure area over the eastern United States turned the hurricane to the west. After restrengthening, the storm attained peak winds of 110 mph (175 km/h) on July 5, based on a ship report of a pressure of 965 mbar (28.5 inHg). It maintained that intensity for about 18 hours, and during that time the hurricane turned to the southwest. At 0100 UTC on July 8, the hurricane made its final landfall near La Pesca, about halfway between Tampico, Tamaulipas and Brownsville, Texas. The intensity at landfall was estimated at around 85 mph (137 km/h). After moving ashore, the hurricane rapidly weakened over the high terrain of northeastern Mexico, and the storm dissipated at around 1200 UTC on July 8.
Throughout its path, the hurricane killed at least 35 people collectively in Trinidad, Venezuela, Jamaica, and Cuba. The hurricane first affected Trinidad, causing about $3 million in damage in the southern portion of the island. The storm destroyed 300 houses in one village, and thousands were left homeless. Trees across the island fell down and blocked many roads, including one that struck a car and seriously injured one man. Heavy damage was also reported to the cocoa industry. High winds destroyed about 60 oil derricks, and an 11 mi (18 km) oil supply line was disrupted due to fallen trees. This represented a significant loss to the island's oil industry, one of two such events in the 1930s. High winds downed power lines across the island, which were repaired by three days after the storm struck. The storm also dropped heavy rainfall and destroyed the roofs of many houses. Little damage occurred in the capital city of Port of Spain. There were 13 deaths in Trinidad, some of whom drowned after their boats sank. After the storm, medical assistance and relief supplies were sent via boat to Cedros, which was one of the most significantly affected areas.
After affecting Trinidad, the hurricane struck northeastern Venezuela, where damage was heaviest in Carúpano, Río Caribe, and Isla Margarita. High winds cut telephone and telegraph lines for several days. The storm destroyed several houses and fishing boats, resulting in several million bolívares in damage.[nb 4] Officials reported that there were "a number of lives lost" due to the hurricane. Striking with winds of 85 mph (137 km/h), the storm was one of only two Atlantic tropical cyclones on record at the time to affect the country with hurricane-force winds as of 2000, after a hurricane in 1892.
After moving across the Caribbean, the hurricane affected Jamaica. High winds downed about 200,000 banana trees, while flooding in the western portion of the island affected roads and railways. Later, the hurricane crossed western Cuba, killing 22 people and causing $4 million in damage. The hurricane destroyed about 100 houses in Pinar del Río Province from the combination of strong winds and flooding from heavy rainfall. One person died after her house collapsed in the province. The rainfall caused four rivers to exceed their banks, and the storm-related flooding left serious damage to the tobacco industry. The storm also damaged crops in the region. High winds downed telephone and telegraph lines in western Cuba. Little damage was reported in the capital city of Havana, despite the report of a peak wind gust of 70 mph (110 km/h). After the storm, Cuban President Gerardo Machado utilized the military to assist in relief operations and prevent looting.
The threat of the storm prompted the United States Weather Bureau to issue southeast storm warnings for Key West, Florida. Light rainfall from the storm was reported in Miami. Before the storm made its final landfall, the Weather Bureau issued northeast storm warnings from Brownsville to Port O'Connor, Texas on July 5. That same day, a hurricane warning was also issued for Brownsville. The hurricane ultimately struck a sparsely-populated area of northeastern Mexico, causing several deaths and heavy damage in the country. High winds downed trees and power lines, and damaged the roofs of several houses. Along the beach near Tampico, high tides damaged coastal structures and flooded some cars. The effects extended into Texas, and Brazos Island, Port Isabel, and Port Aransas were flooded due to the storm surge. High tides damaged ten piers in Port Isabel, and there was damage to buildings along the coast. The storm damaged the cotton and fruit crops in south Texas from high winds and rainfall. Rains from the storm ended an extended drought in the Brownsville area.
- All damage totals are in 1933 United states dollars.
- A tropical wave is a trough that moves along the trade winds.
- The Atlantic hurricane reanalysis discovered in 2012 that the hurricane made landfall on Trinidad instead of passing south of the island.
- In 1933, one Venezuelan bolívar is 19.3 cents. 1 million bolívares would be $193,000.
- Glossary of NHC Terms (Report). National Hurricane Center. March 30, 2012. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutgloss.shtml#t. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- Chris Landsea, et al. (May 2012). Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT (1933) (Report). Hurricane Research Division. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/metadata_1933.html#1933_2. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Charles L. Mitchell (1933). "Tropical Disturbances of July 1933" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review (American Meteorological Society) 61 (7): 200–201. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1933)61<200b:TDOJ>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Edward N. Rappaport; Jose Fernandez-Partagas; Jack Beven (May 28, 1995). The Deadliest Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, 1492-1996 (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS NHC 47). http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdeadlyapp1.shtml?. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Hurricane in Trinidad". The Advocate. July 3, 1933. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Hurricane Does Heavy Damage". The Montral Gazette. The Canadian Press. June 30, 1933. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- BP Trinidad and Tobago (2008). "The Roller Coaster Ride of the Cil Industry" (PDF). Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Hurricane in Trinidad". The Sydney Morning Herald. July 1, 1933. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Hurricane in Trinidad". The Advocate. July 1, 1933. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Hurricane Kills 12". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. July 1, 1933. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Registro Histórico de Venezuela 1875-2000" (in Spanish). Organización Nacional de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima de los espacios Acuáticos de Venezuela, Asociación Civil. 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Guillermo Rodriguez (July 3, 1933). "Hurricane Hits Cuba, Causing Extensive Damage". Berkeley Daily Gazette. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- Roger A. Pielke Jr.; Jose Rubiera; Christopher Landsea; Mario L. Fernández; Roberta Klein (August 2003). "Hurricane Vulnerability in Latin America and The Caribbean: Normalized Damage and Loss Potentials" (PDF). National Hazards Review (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): 108. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Storm Moves Out in Gulf Off Florida". Saint Petersburg Times. Associated Press. July 3, 1933. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- "Hurricane Moves Inland in Mexico; Tampico Struck". The Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. July 6, 1933. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- David M. Roth (February 4, 2010). Texas Hurricane History (PDF). Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- Raymond W. Neck (1977). "Effects of the 1933 Hurricanes on Butterflies of Central and Southern Texas" (PDF). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 31 (1): 67. Retrieved June 3, 2012.