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1981 Hurricane Season

By Wikipedia

The 1981 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1981, and lasted until November 30, 1981.

The most notable storms of 1981 were Hurricane Dennis, which caused millions of dollars in damage in Dade County, Florida; and Hurricane Katrina, which killed two and caused widespread flood damage in the CamagŁey Province of Cuba.

Atlantic hurricane seasons
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989

1981 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1981. No names were retired, so it was used again in the 1987 season. It was the first use for all of these names since the post-1978 naming change. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Arlene
  • Bret
  • Cindy
  • Dennis
  • Emily
  • Floyd
  • Gert
  • Harvey
  • Irene
  • Jose
  • Katrina
  • Lenny
  • Maria
  • Nate
  • Ophelia
  • Philippe
  • Rita
  • Stan
  • Tammy
  • Vince
  • Wilma

Storms

Tropical Storm Arlene

Arlene combined several unusual features into one storm. It formed on May 6, well before the beginning of the normal hurricane season. It developed out of a disturbance that moved from the Pacific Ocean across Central America into the Caribbean Sea, an occurrence that happens only rarely. As the disturbance tracked northeast across the western Caribbean, it became a tropical depression, then on May 7 reached tropical storm strength near the Cayman Islands.

Arlene struck eastern Cuba on the night of the 7th, and the passage over land weakened it to a depression. It restrengthened briefly over the southeastern Bahamas, but weakened again and was absorbed by another system.

Reported damage was minimal.

Tropical Storm Bret

Bret formed out of a subtropical low roughly 150 miles off the coast of North Carolina. The storm moved west-northwest, striking land in southern Maryland on July 1. Bret weakened significantly just before landfall, and reported winds were below gale force. No significant damage was reported.

Tropical Storm Cindy

A subtropical depression that developed along a cold front organized into Tropical Storm Cindy on August 2, in the open Atlantic midway between Bermuda and Nova Scotia. Cindy tracked east-northeast until it became extratropical on August 5 as it moved over colder water. The storm never affected land and caused no known damage.

Hurricane Dennis

Once near Cuba, the wave began rapid organization, restrengthening into a tropical storm. It crossed Cuba, then moved into southern Florida. Over Florida, the steering currents moving Dennis weakened, and the storm's motion stalled. On August 19, Tropical Storm Dennis reemerged over water. The Storm headed up the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina before accelerating out to sea. Away from land, Dennis reached hurricane strength before becoming extratropical on the 22nd.

Once near Cuba, the wave began rapid organization, restrengthening into a tropical storm. It crossed Cuba, then moved into southern Florida. Over Florida, the steering currents moving Dennis weakened, and the storm's motion stalled. On August 19, Tropical Storm Dennis reemerged over water. The Storm headed up the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina before accelerating out to sea. Away from land, Dennis reached hurricane strength before becoming extratropical on the 22nd.

Most damage associated with Dennis was from the heavy rainfall caused by its slow passage over Florida. Agriculture damage in Dade County, Florida was estimated at $15 million (1981 dollars). Coastal areas of the Carolinas were also affected by heavy rainfall as well as minor beach erosion.

Hurricane Emily

On the first day of September, a subtropical storm became Tropical Storm Emily southwest of Bermuda. Emily moved northeast, crossing the island the next day, but measured winds were below tropical storm force. The storm continued generally northeast, and strengthened into a hurricane. Hurricane Emily weakened over the north Atlantic and was no longer identifiable as a weather system by September 12.

Hurricane Emily caused beach erosion across the East Coast of the United States, but no other damage was reported.

Hurricane Floyd

Floyd began being tracked as a tropical depression on September 3 when it organized east of the Leeward Islands. As the depression moved northwest, it caused heavy rain. The highest rainfall reported was 5.7" (14.5 cm) at Antigua. It strengthened into a tropical storm, then reached hurricane strength on the 7th.

Floyd turned to the northeast, and passed just southeast of Bermuda as a weakening hurricane. As a tropical storm, Floyd moved east across the Atlantic until losing its identity on September 12.

No damages are associated with Floyd. Although Bermuda was directly affected, the island experienced the weaker half of the storm.

Hurricane Gert

A tropical depression became Tropical Storm Gert on September 8, roughly 100 nm east of Guadeloupe. Gert passed through the eastern Leeward Islands during the next few hours, but no significant winds were recorded. The next day, Gert's center moved across eastern Puerto Rico where it caused moderate to heavy rainfall.

Much of the storm's circulation moved over the Dominican Republic, and it reached the southeastern Bahamas before turning northward. Gert continued turning, and simultaneously strengthened. On September 12, Gert passed just north of Bermuda, but only light winds were recorded on the island. The storm was weakening, and accelerated on an east-northeast path. Its circulation dissipated on September 15 in the vicinity of the Azores.

No significant damage was reported to be caused by Hurricane Gert.

Hurricane Harvey

Harvey formed in the central Atlantic, reaching hurricane strength only a few hours after first becoming a named system on September 12. From its initial position several hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands, Harvey moved northwest. Its path began curving more to the north, and was considered a threat to Bermuda until the continuing curve took Harvey away from the island. Harvey's track became more easterly, and the storm weakened and became extratropical as it approached the Azores.

Harvey caused no reported damage, although several ships reported experiencing tropical storm force winds.

Hurricane Irene

Irene became a named storm mid-way between the Windward Islands and Cape Verde on September 23, and its track mimicked that of Hurricane Harvey. The storm tracked northwest, becoming a hurricane on the 25th. Its track then began curving to the right, eventually resulting in motion to the northeast.

The storm weakened and became extratropical in early October. The remaining extratropical storm moved over France on October 3.

Tropical Storm Jose

Jose was a weak and short-lived tropical storm that formed far from land on October 29. It moved generally northeast before becoming subtropical and then dissipating on November 1 near the Azores.

Hurricane Katrina

A tropical depression formed on November 3 in the western Caribbean Sea about 150 miles south of the Cayman Islands. The depression moved north, reaching tropical storm strength as it moved through the Caymans. Katrina continued to strengthen, reaching hurricane strength half a day before landfall in Cuba.

A weakening Katrina moved across eastern Cuba on November 6. After emerging over water, the storm accelerated northeast through the Bahamas. Katrina's circulation fell apart, and the storm merged with a front on November 8.

Hurricane Katrina is reported to have killed two and caused widespread flood damage in the CamagŁey Province of Cuba.

 

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HURRICANES

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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