Hurricane Ismael

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This article is about the Pacific hurricane of 1995. For other storms of the same name, see Hurricane Ismael (disambiguation).
Hurricane Ismael
Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Hurricane Ismael 14 sept 1995 2016Z big.jpg
Hurricane Ismael off the coast of Baja California nearing landfall
Formed September 12, 1995
Dissipated September 16, 1995
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 80 mph (130 km/h)
Lowest pressure 983 mbar (hPa); 29.03 inHg
Fatalities 116 direct
Damage $26 million (1995 USD)
Areas affected Northern Mexico
Part of the 1995 Pacific hurricane season

Hurricane Ismael was a weak, but deadly Pacific hurricane that killed over one hundred people in northern Mexico in September of the 1995 Pacific hurricane season. It developed from a persistent area of deep convection on September 12, and steadily strengthened as it moved to the north-northwest. Ismael attained hurricane status on September 14 while located 210 miles (340 km) off the coast of Mexico. It continued to the north, and after passing a short distance east of Baja California it made landfall on Topolobampo in the state of Sinaloa with winds of 80 mph (130 km/h). Ismael rapidly weakened over land, and dissipated on September 16 over northwestern Mexico. The remnants entered the United States and extended eastward into the Mid-Atlantic States.

Offshore, Ismael produced waves of up to 30 feet (9 m) in height. Hundreds of fishermen were unprepared for the hurricane, which was expected to move more slowly, and as a result 52 ships were wrecked, killing 57 fishermen. On land, Ismael caused 59 deaths in mainland Mexico and resulted in $26 million in damage (1995 USD, $40.2 million 2014 USD). The hurricane destroyed thousands of houses, leaving 30,000 people homeless. Moisture from the storm extended into the United States, causing heavy rainfall and localized moderate damage in southeastern New Mexico.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm according to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale

A poorly organized area of convection persisted about 170 miles (270 km) off the southern coast of Guatemala on September 9. It moved west-northwestward, and after three days without further organization a circulation developed off the southwest coast of Mexico. The system quickly organized, resulting in Dvorak classifications beginning later that day. Convective banding became better organized, and late on September 12 it developed into Tropical Depression Ten while located about 350 miles (560 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Colima. The depression moved to the northwest, and following an increase in deep convection it intensified into Tropical Storm Ismael early on September 13.[1]

Known Pacific hurricanes that have killed at least 100 people
Hurricane Season Fatalities Source
"Mexico" 1959 1,800 [2]
Paul 1982 1,696 [3][4][5][6][7]
Liza 1976 1,108 [8][9]
Tara 1961 436 [10]
Aletta 1982 308 [11][12]
Pauline 1997 230–400 [13]
Agatha 2010 190 [14][15]
Manuel 2013 169 [16]
Tico 1983 141 [17][18]
Ismael 1995 116 [19]
"Lower California" 1931 110 [20][21]
"Mazatlán" 1943 100 [22]
Lidia 1981 100 [15]

Upon attaining tropical storm status, Ismael was located in an area of warm water temperatures with well-established upper-level outflow.[23] Initially the storm moved to the northwest, though in response to the interaction with an upper-level low over Baja California Ismael gradually turned to the north.[1] Such a change in motion was not operationally predicted by forecasters, though they noted uncertainty in Ismael's track due to the low.[23] Ismael steadily strengthened as it moved northward, though it failed to organize significantly; early on September 14 the center remained poorly defined despite winds of 70 mph (110 km/h). However, the outflow remained well-organized as it remained over warm waters.[24] Ismael became better organized, and later on September 14 it intensified into a hurricane while located 210 miles (340 km) west-southwest of Puerto Vallarta.[1]

Hurricane Ismael making landfall

Ismael quickly developed a poorly defined eye, and six hours after becoming a hurricane it reached a peak intensity of 80 mph (130 km/h). Steered between a mid- to upper-level trough to its west and a ridge to its east, Ismael accelerated as it moved just west of due north. Late on September 14 Ismael passed 65 miles (100 km) east of Cabo San Lucas. The hurricane maintained its strength as it continued northward, and made landfall on Topolobampo in the state of Sinaloa on September 15. Ismael rapidly weakened as the circulation crossed the high terrain of the Sierra Madre Occidental, and it dissipated early on September 16 about 55 miles (95 km) south of the Mexico/United States border. The remnants of Ismael continued northward, and moisture from the storm extended over the southwestern United States eastward through the Mid-Atlantic States.[1]

Preparations[edit]

Initially, Hurricane Ismael was predicted to remain over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. However, when a northward motion became apparent, the government of Mexico issued a tropical storm warning from Manzanillo, Colima, to Cabo Corrientes and for the Islas Marias. Shortly thereafter, the warning was extended to Los Mochis and issued for the eastern coast of Baja California Sur south of 25° N. Ten hours before Ismael made its final landfall, the Mexican government issued a hurricane warning from Mazatlán to Los Mochis.[1] Prior to the arrival of the hurricane, 1,572 people evacuated to five emergency shelters.[25]

Impact[edit]

Rainfall from Ismael

Hurricane Ismael produced 30 foot (9 m) waves over the Gulf of California and coastal waters off of Mexico. The hurricane, which was forecast to move more slowly, left hundreds of fisherman unprepared[26] due to deficient communications between the boats and harbor authorities.[25] As a result 52 boats were wrecked, of which 20 sank. 57 fishermen died offshore,[27] with dozens washing ashore as the high tides receded. About 150 fishermen survived the storm by waiting on islands, sandbars, or disabled fishing boats.[26] Navy rescue teams and other fishermen searched for days off the Mexican coast to find victims and survivors from the storm.[28]

While moving through northwestern Mexico, Hurricane Ismael dropped moderate to heavy rainfall including a state record of 7.76 inches (197 mm) in Sinaloa, resulting in the flooding of four municipalities. In one municipality, the passage of the hurricane destroyed 373 cardboard houses and damaged 4,790 others. The passage of the hurricane left 177 houses without drinking water and left four municipalities without power.[27] Damage was heaviest where the hurricane made landfall. In Los Mochis, the winds from Ismael knocked down houses and telephone poles, though no deaths were reported.[26] 59 people were killed in Sinaloa.[25]

Ismael produced heavy rainfall further to the north, peaking at 10.9 inches (276 mm) in Sonora. Severe flooding was reported in Huatabampo. The hurricane directly affected 24,111 people in 8 municipalities. Throughout Sonora, the strong winds destroyed 4,728 houses and removed the roofs of 6,827 homes. The hurricane also destroyed 107 schools and 2 health centers in the state. The passage of Hurricane Ismael damaged high-tension power lines and cable lines, causing interruptions to the communication system. The hurricane also weakened 2,163 miles (3,481 km) of gravel roads and damaged about 100 miles (165 km) of paved highways. 250 people lost their jobs in Sonora due to sunken or damaged fishing boats. In addition, about 83 sq. miles (215 km²) of crop lands were impacted. Damage in Sonora amounted to $8.6 million (1995 USD, $50 million 1995 MXN, $77.4 million 2014 USD).[27]

Throughout Mexico the hurricane left 30,000 people homeless.[28] Including offshore casualties, Ismael caused at least 116 deaths and damage totaling to $26 million (1995 USD, $197 million 1995 MXN, $40.2 million 2014 USD).[19]

Moisture from the remnants of Ismael extended into southwestern Arizona and southern New Mexico. The storm dropped heavy precipitation near the New Mexico/Texas border, including a peak total of 8.53 inches (217 mm) in Hobbs, New Mexico.[29] In addition, there were unofficial estimates of over 10 inches (250 mm). The rainfall led to flooding of roads and buildings. Multiple highways and railroads were closed due to washouts. Damaged totaled to $250,000 (1995 USD) in New Mexico.[30] In Lubbock, Texas, the rainfall led to flash flooding, closing many intersections and roads.[31] The remnants of Ismael produced over 3 inches (76 mm) of rain in southwestern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas,[29] with moisture extending eastward into the Mid-Atlantic States.[1] There, the rainfall helped to relieve drought conditions.[32]

Aftermath[edit]

Following the passage of the hurricane, reinforcement workers quickly repaired the communication network, and other workers distributed aid to victims in Sonora. The Mexican government allocated about $4.5 million (1995 USD, $34 million 1995 MXN, $6.96 million 2014 USD) in funds for the restoration of houses and the overall infrastructure.[27] Officials distributed 4,800 sheets, 500 cushions, and 1,500 blankets to hurricane victims. All sunken ships and drowned bodies were ultimately recovered by divers.[25]

Due to the damage and deaths, the World Meteorological Organization retired the name Ismael with Israel, another Spanish name beginning with the letter "I" set to be used in the 2001 Pacific hurricane season. During the 2001 season, a reporter stationed in Israel felt offended from the name choice, and the president of the Anti-Defamation League felt it was insensitive. Hundreds of people sent e-mails or called the National Hurricane Center, and as a result Max Mayfield called the members of the World Meteorological Organization.[33] The name Israel was replaced with Ivo during the season. Ivo was not retired after the 2001, 2007 or 2013 seasons; it will be used next in the 2019 season.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Britt Max Mayfield (1995-11-19). "Hurricane Ismael Tropical Cyclone Report". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  2. ^ "Natural Hazards of North America". Supplement to National Geographic magazine (Map) (National Geographic Society). April 1998. 
  3. ^ "More Flood Victims found". The Spokesman-Review. September 28, 1982. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ "More flood victims found". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. September 28, 1982. p. 12. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mexico - Disaster Statistics". Prevention Web. 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Nicaragua - Disaster Statistics". Prevention Web. 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ "24 killed from hurricane". The Hour. October 1, 1982. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Mexico gives up to try and find storm victims". Bangor Daily News. United Press International. October 6, 1976. p. 8. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hurricane Liza rips Mexico". Beaver County Times. United Press International. October 2, 1976. p. 18. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (August 1993). "Significant Data on Major Disasters Worldwide 1900-present" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  11. ^ "Nicaragua seeks aid as flood victims kill 108". The Montreal Gazette. May 28, 1982. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Canada Aids Victims". The Leader-Post. June 10, 1982. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ Miles B. Lawrence (1997). "Hurricane Pauline Tropical Cyclone Report". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  14. ^ Jack L. Beven (January 10, 2011). "Tropical Storm Agatha Tropical Cyclone Report" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 14, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. "EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database". Université catholique de Louvain. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  16. ^ Steve Jakubowski; Adityam Krovvidi; Adam Podlaha; Steve Bowen. "September 2013 Global Catasrophe Recap". Impact Forecasting. AON Benefield. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development (1989). "Disaster History: Significant Data on Major Disasters Worldwide, 1900-Present". Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  18. ^ "Oklahoma residents clean up in Hurricane's wake". The Evening independent. October 22, 1983. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (2006). "Impacto Socioeconómico de los Ciclones Tropicales 2005" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  20. ^ Associated Press (1931-11-17). "Hurricane Toll Reaches 100 in Mexico Blow". The Evening Independent. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  21. ^ "World News". The Virgin Islands Daily News. 1931-09-18. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  22. ^ Howard C. Sumner (1944-01-04). "1943 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  23. ^ a b Britt Max Mayfield (1995-09-12). "Tropical Storm Ismael Discussion Two". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  24. ^ Britt Max Mayfield (1995-09-14). "Tropical Storm Ismael Discussion Six". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  25. ^ a b c d El Presidente de la Comisión Nacional (1996-07-30). "La Recomendación 64/96, del 30 de julio de 1996 por Huracan Ismael" (in Spanish). Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  26. ^ a b c Associated Press (1995). "Hurricane kills 91 in Mexico". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  27. ^ a b c d Daniel Bitrán Bitrán (2001). "Caracterásticas del Impacto Socioeconómico de los Principales Desastres Ocurridos en México en el Período 1980 – 99" (in Spanish). Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  28. ^ a b Sun-Sentinel Wire Services (1995). "Hurricane Toll in Mexico Passes 100; Marilyn Fades". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  29. ^ a b David Roth (2006-08-02). "Rainfall Summary for Hurricane Ismael". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  30. ^ National Climatic Data Center (1995). "Event Report for New Mexico". Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  31. ^ National Climatic Data Center (1995). "Event Report for Texas". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  32. ^ Rick Schwartz (2007). Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States. Blue Diamond Books. p. 289. ISBN 0-9786280-0-4. 
  33. ^ Hanna Rosin (2004-08-02). "Hurricane Names". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  34. ^ Koji Kuroiwa (2009-09-01). "Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) Hurricane Operational Plan 2009 Edition". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 

External links[edit]