1918 Atlantic hurricane season

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1918 Atlantic hurricane season
1918 Atlantic hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed June 19, 1918
Last system dissipated October 19, 1918
Strongest storm
Name One
 • Maximum winds 120 mph (195 km/h)
 • Lowest pressure 955 mbar (hPa; 28.2 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions 10
Total storms 6
Hurricanes 4
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
1
Total fatalities 34
Total damage $5 million (1918 USD)
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920

The 1918 Atlantic hurricane season was relatively inactive, with only six known tropical cyclones forming in the Atlantic during the summer and fall. There were four suspected tropical depressions, including one that began the season in June and one that ended the season when it dissipated in October. Four storms intensified into hurricanes, one of which attained Category 3 status on the modern-day Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Storm data is largely based on the Atlantic hurricane database, which underwent a thorough revision for the Atlantic hurricane season of 1918 in 2008.

Most of the cyclones directly impacted land. A northward-moving hurricane killed 34 people and severely damaged Cameron, Louisiana, and the surrounding area in early August. A few weeks later, Honduras and Belize experienced hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall from a storm that traversed much of the Caribbean Sea. Tropical storm-force winds were also experienced along the North Carolina coastline in late August as a hurricane brushed the Outer banks of the state. In early September, the extratropical remnants of a cyclone impacted Nova Scotia, and tropical storm conditions were observed on many of the Caribbean Islands, especially the island of Jamaica.

Season summary[edit]

The Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) officially recognizes six tropical cyclones from the 1918 season. Four attained hurricane status, with winds of 75 mph (121 km/h) or greater. The first hurricane of the season was the most intense storm, with a minimum central air pressure of 955 mbar (28.2 inHg). Four weak tropical depressions developed and remained below tropical storm force; the first formed in June and the fourth in October. The first storm to reach tropical storm intensity developed on August 1, and the final tropical storm of the year dissipated on September 14.

The early 1900s lacked modern forecasting and documentation. The hurricane database from these years is sometimes found to be incomplete or incorrect, and new storms are continually being added as part of the ongoing Atlantic hurricane reanalysis. The period from 1915 through 1920 was reanalyzed in 2008. Four previously unknown tropical cyclones were identified using records including historical weather maps and ship reports, and information on the known storms was amended and corrected. These storms are referred to simply by their number in chronological order, since tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean were not given official names until much later.

Timeline[edit]

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale

Systems[edit]

Hurricane One[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
1918 Atlantic hurricane 1 track.png 
Duration August 1 – August 7
Peak intensity 120 mph (195 km/h) (1-min)  955 mbar (hPa)

The strongest storm of the season was a Category 3 hurricane that made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana.[1] It caused nearly $5 million in damage, with 34 fatalities reported.

Hurricane Two[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
1918 Atlantic hurricane 2 track.png 
Duration August 22 – August 26
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  968 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Two affected the northern coast of South America and the southern Lesser Antilles with tropical storm force winds. But the hurricane-force winds affected Honduras, and Belize.

Hurricane Three[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
1918 Atlantic hurricane 3 track.png 
Duration August 23 – August 26
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Three hit North Carolina as a tropical storm. The storm appears to have strengthened into a hurricane just before landfall.

This storm seems to be the 'hurricane' that made landfall in North Carolina in the short story "The Scarlet Ibis". "The Scarlet Ibis", however, has the landfall in July, which is wrong.

Tropical Storm Four[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
1918 Atlantic tropical storm 4 track.png 
Duration August 31 – September 6
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  <992 mbar (hPa)

This Tropical Storm was the shortest lived storm of the 1918 season. It affected no land.

Hurricane Five[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
1918 Atlantic hurricane 5 track.png 
Duration September 2 – September 6
Peak intensity 110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  <972 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Five hit Nova Scotia after grazing Bermuda as a weak Category 2 hurricane. In Bermuda, winds of at least 60 mph (100 km/h) bring down trees and shatter windows, while many boats are swamped or blown aground.[2][3]

Tropical Storm Six[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
1918 Atlantic tropical storm 6 track.png 
Duration September 9 – September 14
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  <1008 mbar (hPa)

This Tropical Storm affected Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, the north and central Lesser Antilles, but the worst was at Jamaica.

Tropical depressions[edit]

In addition to the six officially recognized tropical storms and hurricanes, four tropical depressions in the 1918 season have been identified. The first developed in June from a trough of low pressure in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and moved westward across Florida. Although it is possible that the system attained tropical storm intensity, a lack of supporting evidence precludes its designation as such. It is thought that the tropical depression developed on June 20 and dissipated on June 23. The second depression evolved from a tropical wave on September 13 in the eastern Atlantic. It persisted until September 17, when the system was lost over the open ocean, although it is possible that the system persisted thereafter. On September 25, the third tropical depression formed in the northwestern Caribbean. It tracked northward into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and transitioned into an extratropical cyclone before dissipating on September 30. The final depression of the 1918 season developed on October 14 while situated in the southern Gulf of Mexico. While tracking northwestward, the depression experienced little change in intensity, and made landfall in Louisiana three days after formation. It dissipated over land on October 19.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurricane Research Division. "HURDAT Meta-Data". NOAA. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  2. ^ Terry Tucker OBE (1996). Beware the Hurricane! The story of the cyclonic tropical storms that have struck Bermuda 1609–1995 (4th ed.). The Island Press Ltd. p. 11. 
  3. ^ "General Forecast". The Washington Herald. September 5, 1918. Retrieved November 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]