Analysis for Galveston Hurricane of 1900

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Jose Correa


November 10, 2011

Analysis for Galveston Hurricane of 1900:

Hurricanes Dean and Felix both made landfall in Central America in 2007. It was the first time since record keeping began in the late 1800s that two Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes made landfall in the same year. Galveston, TX was unprepared in the 1900 when everyone thought it was nearly impossible for a hurricane to strike the city. But the wind whipped through Galveston as a Category 4 hurricane. September 9, Galveston was desolation as many lost their lives, homes to the deadliest hurricane. With hurricanes increasing their intensity Galveston is now protected by a huge levee system to guard against future storms.

Problem: Are hurricanes increasing in intensity and frequency?
Although is hard to determine what Mother Nature might bring to earth in regards to hurricanes, the US is taking precautions across the country to prevent major disasters.

My understanding about the Galveston hurricane concludes to various reasons. The main reason was unawareness and unprepared for a natural disaster of such magnitude.
List what is unknown
Although Galveston never expected this hurricane to hit their city, it is unknown what the results would have been if Galveston had been prepared or have had a contingency plan for a natural disaster.
How often do major hurricanes hit the US?
It varies from year to year, but the average number of Atlantic hurricanes per year since 1995 is about 8 with 15 named storms. NOAA does not make an official seasonal hurricane landfall outlook. Predicting where and when hurricanes will strike is related to daily weather patterns, which are not reliably predictable weeks or months in advance. Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict the number or intensity of land falling hurricanes at these extended ranges, or whether a given locality will be impacted by a hurricane this season.

But remember that it only takes one storm hitting your area to cause a disaster, regardless of the overall activity predicted in this outlook. Therefore, residents, businesses, and government agencies, of coastal and near-coastal regions are urged to prepare every hurricane season regardless of this, or any other, seasonal outlook.

Consistent with the expected ACE range, the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted (with 70% chance) to produce 14-19 named storms, of which 7-10 are expected to become hurricanes, and 3-5 are expected to become major hurricanes. On average, two major hurricanes (cat 3-5) strike every three years; in all categories, about five hurricanes make landfall every three years. On average, a hurricane Category 4 or higher only strikes once every six years. 2004 has been an anomaly.

NOAA 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook Update. Retrieved November 10, 2011 from

What was the most intense hurricane to strike the US?
Over the Labor Day weekend in 1935, a hurricane struck the Florida Keys. With record-setting low barometric pressure of 892 mb, the tiny island of Islamorada had little chance of avoiding annihilation. 390 died in the event, as the Keys were not yet very populated. Roads, buildings, viaducts, bridges and the railroad were completely wiped out. The Labor Day Hurricane sustained winds are estimated to have reached almost 200 miles per hour.
The Ten Strongest Hurricanes
The Ten Worst Hurricanes As Measured By Intensity
1. The Great Labor Day Storm
September 2, 1935

One of just three Category 5 Hurricanes to make landfall in the US, the Great Labor Day Storm had a minimum pressure of 892 millibars (26.35 inches). It caused 423 deaths in Florida. It also was notable for providing the setting for the Humphrey Bogart - Lauren Bacall movie, Key Largo.

2. Hurricane Katrina
August, 2005
Louisiana and Mississippi

Katrina had a minimum pressure of 904 millibars (26.64 inches), making it the second most intense storm to hit the US, as well as the most costly, and the third deadliest.

3. Hurricane Camille
August 17 - 22, 1969
Mississippi, SE Louisiana, Virginia

Camille, a Category 5, was the second most intense Hurricane ever to hit the United States, with a minimum pressure of 909 millibars (26.84 inches). The final wind speed will never be known because all measuring devices were destroyed, but it is thought to exceed 200 mph.

4. Hurricane Andrew
August 24 - 28, 1992
Florida and Louisiana

A Category 4 when it hit Florida, Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana as a Category 3. At its peak, Andrew had a minimum pressure of 922 millibars (27.23 inches).

5. Unnamed Hurricane
August 29, 1886
Indianola, Texas

This Category 4 Hurricane turned Indianola into a Ghost Town. Today, the Court House lies 300 feet out in Matagorda Bay. The storm had a recorded minimum pressure of 925 millibars (27.31 inches).

6. The Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane
Florida, Texas
September 10 - 14, 1919

This hurricane struck the Keys as a Category 4, and Texas as a Category 3. At its peak, it had a minimum pressure of 927 millibars (27.37 inches).

7. San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane
September 16 - 17, 1928

The fourth strongest Hurricane to hit the US mainland caused a lake surge on the inland Lake Okeechobee in Florida that rose as high as nine feet, flooding nearby towns. A Category 4, it had a minimum pressure of 929 millibars (27.43 inches)

8. Hurricane Donna
September 8 - 13, 1960
Florida to New England

Donna is the only hurricane known to have produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic states, and New England. At its peak, it had a minimum pressure of 930 milibars (27.46 inches).

9. Unnamed Storm
September 30, 1915
New Orleans, Louisiana

This unnamed Category 4 Storm reached a minimum pressure of 931 millibars (27.49 inches). It flooded Lake Pontchartrain, causing it to overflow its banks and killing 275 people.

10. Hurricane Carla
September 11, 1961

A Category 4, Carla had a minimum pressure of 931 millibars (27.49 inches), tying it with the 1915 Louisiana storm.

Labor Day 1935 Hurricane Monthly Weather Review Article. W. F. McDonald. Retrieved November 10, 2011 from

Epic Disasters: The World's Worst Disasters. Retrieved November 10, 2011 from

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