Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

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Hurricaneman
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#41 Postby Hurricaneman » Wed May 18, 2016 5:30 pm

cycloneye wrote:You can also notice the very few formations in the EastCentral Caribbean and that is because the strong trade winds in the area keep things from forming in that region.


yep and usually if they don't develop before the lesser antilles they usually wait until the central or western caribbean
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#42 Postby bg1 » Thu May 19, 2016 7:29 pm

Tropical Storm Fay (2008)- Expected to be a hurricane at one point before third Florida landfall but didn't get strong enough. Also, a few miles S after its fourth landfall and it would've made a fifth.

Hanna (2008)- Expected to bring Cat 2 winds through my area in eastern Orangeburg County, SC but did a weird loop three days (?) out instead, buying it time to get picked up more northward. Was also weaker than expected.

Ike? (2008)- Leveled off in strength, but grew immensely. Though I believe it started to intensify right before landfall? (Which I think I heard actually cut the surge down a bit?)

TS Ana (2009)- Expected to be nearing Florida with 70 mph winds 5 days out, but dissipated before then.

TS Bonnie (2010)- The fear of an oil spill hurricane was not validated.

TS Don (2011)- Expected to be beneficial for drought-stricken Texas, a break from the infamous Texas Ridge. The Texas Ridge ate it all up before it could even rain.

Irene (2011)- Ongoing eyewall replacements. Would've been stronger if not for that. (Come to think of it , maybe it would have missed the EC entirely?

Isaac (2012)- Struggled in Gulf once it reached 65-70 kts.

Sandy? (2012)- I don't think the surge ended up being as bad as people feared it would be.

Iselle (2014)- Whatever force that radiates from the Big Island of Hawaii slowed Iselle down and pushed her southward, giving her time to weaken further, below hurricane strength.

TS Erika (2015)- Expected to hit Florida as a hurricane; could never overcome obstacles and dissipated in the Caribbean.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#43 Postby TheStormExpert » Thu May 19, 2016 9:16 pm

bg1 wrote:TS Erika (2015)- Expected to hit Florida as a hurricane; could never overcome obstacles and dissipated in the Caribbean.

Erika is yet another example of how lucky Florida has been in terms of receiving no hurricane hits in nearly 11 years!

In this case the strong El Niño produced record strong storm killing wind shear throughout the Caribbean which killed multiple storms including Erika. I feel if the shear was non-existent Erika would have been able to hit Florida as a hurricane.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#44 Postby CrazyC83 » Sat May 21, 2016 2:53 pm

During the hurricane drought, from my understanding, the following storms had at least one forecast suggesting landfall in Florida as a hurricane:

2006 - Alberto (when it unexpectedly intensified to 60 kt in marginal conditions, but it could go no further)
2006 - Ernesto (the track kept changing and changing, eventually settling farther east, much like Erika except it survived over land as a TC)
2007 - none
2008 - Fay (almost every forecast had it hitting as a hurricane, but it didn't strengthen much despite good conditions)
2008 - Gustav? (I don't remember if early forecasts, before hitting Haiti, had it going up towards Florida - I know a reformation set up the track)
2008 - Ike (several forecasts had it as a major into South Florida in the long range, but the ridge deepened so much it went into the Caribbean)
2009 - Ida? (I know some forecasts had it in the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane despite the shear, but in Florida?)
2010 - none
2011 - Irene (very early forecasts had it hitting Florida before model data shifted it eastward)
2012 - Isaac (many mid-range forecasts had a Florida hit somewhere, before locking into Louisiana)
2013 - none
2014 - none
2015 - Erika (well documented)
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#45 Postby HurricaneBill » Sat May 21, 2016 7:56 pm

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Esther in 1961.

Image

Or Helene in 1958.

Image
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#46 Postby HurricaneBill » Sat May 21, 2016 7:59 pm

I think I remember hearing somewhere that had Elena taken a more WNW track, it would have been a nightmare scenario for New Orleans.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#47 Postby Hurricaneman » Sat May 21, 2016 10:28 pm

HurricaneBill wrote:I'm surprised nobody mentioned Esther in 1961.

Image

Or Helene in 1958.

Image


forgot them, Esther was nearly a complete disaster for the NEUS as it probably would have been a 125mph hurricane

Helene would have been as bad as Hazel was for North Carolina if it didn't turn ENE at the last minute
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#48 Postby bg1 » Sat May 21, 2016 11:42 pm

HurricaneBill wrote:I'm surprised nobody mentioned Esther in 1961.

Image


Okay, how did it suddenly drop from 105 to 60 kts and then not weaken too much afterward?
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#49 Postby HurricaneRyan » Mon May 23, 2016 9:25 pm

Barry 2001 - Was getting its act together as it was nearing landfall and was predicted to become a hurricane but never did.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#50 Postby CrazyC83 » Mon May 23, 2016 11:43 pm

bg1 wrote:
HurricaneBill wrote:I'm surprised nobody mentioned Esther in 1961.

Image


Okay, how did it suddenly drop from 105 to 60 kts and then not weaken too much afterward?


Reanalysis suggests the weakening started much sooner but it remained a hurricane a bit longer.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#51 Postby J_J99 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:47 pm

Found this thread to be noteworthy in the discussion of TC's that could have been worse for the US and considering the seasons we have had since this thread had its last post, I think its a good time to reopen discussion.

MATTHEW for East Florida, a 20 mile wobble saved Georgia and East Florida from a Major Hurricane landfall.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#52 Postby wxmann_91 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:44 pm

If by potential you mean potential for destruction, Irma was supposed to be the Big One for Miami but veered west and into Cuba. Major bullet dodged there.

Also, if it weren't for Jose stalling and hanging around, Maria would probably have been a significant hit for the Carolinas.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#53 Postby Andrew92 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:55 pm

As horrifying as it sounds, Harvey could have been worse, because its strongest quadrant missed Corpus Christi. Imagine that, plus the devastating floods in Houston.

Irma could have easily caused worse effects in either Miami or Tampa. And what if it didn't hit Cuba directly first? She was strengthening up to the Keys if I am recalling correct after that weakening spell.

Also, what if Nate had continued strengthening, or done so faster than it actually did, coupled with that fast forward speed? It would have been very difficult to pull off to say the least, but still, I shudder to think.

To go back to Matthew, skipping Florida for a second (we all know what could have easily been there). If shear hadn't taken its toll on that storm before the Carolinas, could that storm have been worse there as well? Especially had it moved further inland, with I think already flooding worse in North Carolina than that of Floyd as is. Someone correct me if I am wrong there though.

-Andrew92
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#54 Postby Alyono » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:05 am

Andrew92 wrote:As horrifying as it sounds, Harvey could have been worse, because its strongest quadrant missed Corpus Christi. Imagine that, plus the devastating floods in Houston.

Irma could have easily caused worse effects in either Miami or Tampa. And what if it didn't hit Cuba directly first? She was strengthening up to the Keys if I am recalling correct after that weakening spell.

Also, what if Nate had continued strengthening, or done so faster than it actually did, coupled with that fast forward speed? It would have been very difficult to pull off to say the least, but still, I shudder to think.

To go back to Matthew, skipping Florida for a second (we all know what could have easily been there). If shear hadn't taken its toll on that storm before the Carolinas, could that storm have been worse there as well? Especially had it moved further inland, with I think already flooding worse in North Carolina than that of Floyd as is. Someone correct me if I am wrong there though.

-Andrew92


Had Harvey made final landfall in Beaumont instead of Lake Charles, then Houston would have received that second devastating flood that Beaumont received. Catastrophic dam failure likely would have occurred leading to the total destruction of downtown Houston.

The destruction of Corpus would have been a mere trivia question had the second flood hit Houston as we could have been facing a Typhoon Nina scenario
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#55 Postby Alyono » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:11 am

wxmann_91 wrote:If by potential you mean potential for destruction, Irma was supposed to be the Big One for Miami but veered west and into Cuba. Major bullet dodged there.

Also, if it weren't for Jose stalling and hanging around, Maria would probably have been a significant hit for the Carolinas.


also with Irma, had its west motion continued for a few more hours when it flattened the USVI, cat 5 winds would have went into downtown San Juan. We saw from Maria how bad borderline cat 2/3 winds were. Irma would have upped that by several orders of magnitude . The entire city could have been destroyed, just as St. Thomas was. That was nearly the very worst case scenario for San Juan
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#56 Postby J_J99 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:31 am

Tampa dodged a gigantic bullet with Irma. While my grandma went down there after the storm to vacation and said there was some damage around. If it had gone the project path west of Naples. The storm surge would've been immense. And Tampa in the right front quadrant of a major hurricane wouldve been catastrophic. West coast of florida got lucky past Sarasota.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#57 Postby CrazyC83 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:15 pm

Andrew92 wrote:As horrifying as it sounds, Harvey could have been worse, because its strongest quadrant missed Corpus Christi. Imagine that, plus the devastating floods in Houston.

Irma could have easily caused worse effects in either Miami or Tampa. And what if it didn't hit Cuba directly first? She was strengthening up to the Keys if I am recalling correct after that weakening spell.

Also, what if Nate had continued strengthening, or done so faster than it actually did, coupled with that fast forward speed? It would have been very difficult to pull off to say the least, but still, I shudder to think.

To go back to Matthew, skipping Florida for a second (we all know what could have easily been there). If shear hadn't taken its toll on that storm before the Carolinas, could that storm have been worse there as well? Especially had it moved further inland, with I think already flooding worse in North Carolina than that of Floyd as is. Someone correct me if I am wrong there though.

-Andrew92


Indeed, had the storm hit 20 miles down the coast, Cat 4 conditions would have hit Corpus Christi instead of a largely rural area. Plus that same track would have drawn it in for the last time near Beaumont and brought an extra 24 hours of extreme rain to Houston. Consider that Port Arthur was practically destroyed - that would have been even more of Houston instead with dam breaks.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#58 Postby J_J99 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:30 pm

CrazyC83 wrote:
Andrew92 wrote:As horrifying as it sounds, Harvey could have been worse, because its strongest quadrant missed Corpus Christi. Imagine that, plus the devastating floods in Houston.

Irma could have easily caused worse effects in either Miami or Tampa. And what if it didn't hit Cuba directly first? She was strengthening up to the Keys if I am recalling correct after that weakening spell.

Also, what if Nate had continued strengthening, or done so faster than it actually did, coupled with that fast forward speed? It would have been very difficult to pull off to say the least, but still, I shudder to think.

To go back to Matthew, skipping Florida for a second (we all know what could have easily been there). If shear hadn't taken its toll on that storm before the Carolinas, could that storm have been worse there as well? Especially had it moved further inland, with I think already flooding worse in North Carolina than that of Floyd as is. Someone correct me if I am wrong there though.

-Andrew92


Indeed, had the storm hit 20 miles down the coast, Cat 4 conditions would have hit Corpus Christi instead of a largely rural area. Plus that same track would have drawn it in for the last time near Beaumont and brought an extra 24 hours of extreme rain to Houston. Consider that Port Arthur was practically destroyed - that would have been even more of Houston instead with dam breaks.

It was "largely rural".... but had many towns that were completely devastated by the storm including Rockport, Port Arnasas, Port Lavanca, etc that got the brunt. Yes Corpus dodged A BIG ONE by 5 miles(eyewall was very very near the city and could have been there if the storm did not jog more north) (I still fume to the edge of my seat at the fact that the Corpus mayor did NOT order a mandatory evacuation and was a complete idiot)
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#59 Postby J_J99 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:36 pm

I will say that Irma really could have been worse but the Keys got lambasted.... and the fact is that if Irma would not have run into Cuba like she did, this would have been a Cat 5 monster for Florida..... the eye was clearing out at landfall and a really bright red ring of convection surrounded the eye looking very similar to Katrina clearing out its eye.

I think Irma was going through a quasi EWRC during its Florida landfalls looking at the radar, it was trying to form a huge new eye of approx 30-40 miles. That did not do much to stop the storm from strengthening with the Marco Island landfall IMHO should be upped to 110-115 kts. It was quite strange but it also made the effects worse farther away from the center with the HUGE swath of Hurricane force winds.

I found the degradation of the southern eyewall to be very weird, dry air did not seem to get too entrained into the system.... it was like Katrina at landfall in 2005 with how the southern eyewall degraded.
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Re: Hurricanes that had more potential than they delivered in the US

#60 Postby Shell Mound » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:56 pm

This thread is somewhat in the mould of the past what-ifs involving hypothetical hurricanes. As in the latter example, hypotheticals are based on historical precedent. The problem is that historical precedent is not long enough to determine what is or isn't possible. One cannot conclude that the northern Gulf cannot, as a rule, support intensifying major hurricanes. The climate of the region has changed over long periods of time, and what applies today may not have applied in the past, or may not apply to future cases. When discussing worst-case scenarios or storms that "might have been" worse, there are many factors to consider, such as demographics, population, settlement patterns, geography, geology, and topography, besides a storm's angle of approach, size, fetch, intensity, speed, rainfall, and a number of synoptic and mesoscale factors that come into play. Theoretically, almost every storm, even the worst on record, could have been even more catastrophic had one or more variables been different.

However, I wouldn't consider Wilma to have been "worse than expected," given that advisories between 0300Z/18 October and 0300Z/24 October consistently called for at least a low-end Category-2 hurricane to strike Southwest Florida; forecasts were consistently in the 85-to-100-knot range at the projected time of landfall in Florida. The actual landfall intensity, 105 knots/950 mb, was not far off from the range of possibilities. The miscommunications in Southeast Florida resulted from local TV meteorologists' wording, not the Hurricane Center's, according to my recollections. Anyway, I personally doubt that Wilma could have hit South Florida as a Category-4 or stronger cyclone, given the strength of the shear over the Gulf of Mexico. Wilma was able to intensify because it left the Yucatán Peninsula as a weaker, Category-2 system, instead of passing through the Yucatán Channel as a Category 4+. Thus, Wilma was more like Eloise 1975 than Katrina 2005 as it entered hostile conditions near the shelf waters. Weaker systems, Category 1 or 2, tend to benefit from baroclinic forcing more than storms that are already extremely intense (Category 4+).

Based on past discussions on this forum, some of the worst-case scenarios are as follows:

  1. A Category-5 cyclone of similar intensity to Irma, possibly annular or quasi-annular—à la Isabel 2003—that strikes the USVI and just south of San Juan, PR, placing that city in the powerful northeast quadrant, and then passes north of the Greater Antilles, taking a path over the deeper channels of the southeastern Bahamas, en route to a landfall on Nassau, New Providence Island, as a Category 4+, then continuing northwestward, its northern eyewall affecting Freeport, before making landfall on Sebastian, FL, as a Category 4+, and continuing north-northwestward to just west of Jacksonville, its eyewall affecting downtown and the St. Johns estuary. The system slows as it nears the latitude of Jacksonville and eventually stalls over or just west of Savannah, GA, producing a prolonged fetch over coastal SC and GA, including the Charleston area.
  2. Similar to the above, but continues west-northwestward after PR, taking a path similar to Irma's through the southeastern Bahamas, then assuming a more northerly trajectory to strike Andros Island, continuing over the Gulf Stream to hit just south of downtown Miami, FL, as a Category 5, similar to Andrew in strength but mimicking Irma's size, with the eyewall affecting downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The storm then heads northwestward to Egmont Key, near the mouth of Tampa Bay, its northern eyewall affecting downtown St. Petersburg and/or Tampa, then gradually curves over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, hitting west of St. Marks, its northeast eyewall affecting downtown Tallahassee.
  3. Similar to the first scenario, but instead of hitting FL, the cyclone curves northeastward post-Nassau, passing well to the southeast of Cape Hatteras, but then interacts with a negatively tilted mid-level trough and accelerates north-northwestward, making landfall over the southern tip of Barnegat Bay, NJ, as a large Category-3 cyclone, similar in intensity to the 1938 New England hurricane, comparable in size to the 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane, Floyd 1999, and Sandy 2012. The eye moves north-northwest after landfall, too, passing over Newark, with the eastern eyewall affecting the lower Hudson River, Manhattan, and western Long Island. Once past New York City, the system slows dramatically, transitioning into an extratropical cyclone that merges with a cold front, producing torrential rains over portions of New York State and New England. As in 1938, this scenario follows a very wet summer in portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and coincides with astronomical high tide.

Given property values and infrastructure, the absolute worst-case scenario, blending size, intensity, fetch, angle of approach, and storm surge, would involve the USVI, San Juan, Nassau, the east coast of FL (Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Kennedy Space Center, Jacksonville), Savannah, Charleston, Chesapeake/Delaware Bays, and of course Newark, NYC, Long Island, and southern New England. Probably no single storm would hit all of the points I've highlighted, but anything of the above that would involve these places could be far, far costlier and deadlier than a similar impact to New Orleans or Houston-Galveston. There are simply more financial and other resources at stake.

So, yes, I'm thinking a blend of Irma, Maria (in PR, St. Croix, and Dominica), Floyd, Andrew, Katrina, 1926 Miami, 1928 San Felipe II, 1938 New England, 1944 Great Atlantic, and Sandy all rolled into one. Perhaps a Donna-type track over the eastern U.S., melded with an Irma-esque track through the islands (with more impacts to San Juan and Nassau), would do the trick, and potentially bring Tampa/St. Petersburg into the high-risk zone as far as surge is concerned, too.
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