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1983 Hurricane Season

By Wikipedia

The 1983 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1983, and lasted until November 30, 1983.

The 1983 season had very little activity, with only four named storms, less than half of the average ten. It is the least active season since 1950, as measured by Accumulated Cyclone Energy.

The most notable storm of 1983 was Hurricane Alicia, which traveled inland over the city of Houston, Texas. Hurricane Barry was responsible for widespread damage to Mexican fishing villages near the US/Mexico border.

Alicia was the first hurricane to strike the United States mainland in just over three years, ending what was, as of the end of the 2004 hurricane season, the longest such gap recorded.

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

1983 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1983. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 1989 season. It was the first time these names had been used since the post-1978 change in naming. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Alicia
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dean
  • Erin (unused)
  • Felix (unused)
  • Gabrielle (unused)
  • Hugo (unused)
  • Iris (unused)
  • Jerry (unused)
  • Karen (unused)
  • Luis (unused)
  • Marilyn (unused)
  • Noel (unused)
  • Opal (unused)
  • Pablo (unused)
  • Roxanne (unused)
  • Sebastien (unused)
  • Tanya (unused)
  • Van (unused)
  • Wendy (unused)


The World Meteorological Organization retired one name in the spring of 1984: Alicia. It was replaced in 1989 by Allison.


Hurricane Alicia

Main article: Hurricane Alicia

Alicia formed in the north-central Gulf of Mexico on August 15. It traveled west, strengthening into a hurricane. It quickly reached Category 3 strength as it approached the Texas coastline, and made landfall at Galveston, Texas on August 18 at its maximum intensity. The storm moved northward, its eye passing over Houston. Alica retained its tropical characteristics until well inland, finally becoming extratropical and merging with another system over northern Kansas on the 21st.

Houston suffered millions of dollars in damage, including thousands of shattered glass panes from downtown skyscrapers. In the end, Alicia killed 22 people and caused $2 billion in damage ($3.4 billion in 2000 dollars).

Alicia was the first storm for which the National Hurricane Center issued numeric landfall probabilities. Probabilities had been calculated for prior storms for use in the issuing of hurricane watches and warnings, but this was the first time the raw numeric probabilities were released to the public. The probabilities issued were accurate, indicating that Galveston and surrounding portions of the upper Texas coast were the most likely area to be struck.

Hurricane Barry

An African tropical wave crossed the Atlantic Ocean and briefly strengthened into Tropical Storm Barry just off the east coast of Florida on August 24. Barry weakened to a depression as it made landfall near Melbourne, but crossed the Florida peninsula intact and continued west across the Gulf of Mexico. In the central gulf, it began restrengthening, and was a minimal Category 1 hurricane when it struck northeastern Mexico.

No casualties were reported from Barry, but numerous fishing boats were sunk in Mexico, along with the destruction of several hundred homes. Barry is credited with helping to relieve drought conditions in inland parts of northeastern Mexico.

Hurricane Chantal

An area of disturbed weather south of Bermuda took on tropical characteristics on September 10 and was named Tropical Storm Chantal. Chantal traveled generally northeast, missing Bermuda, and strengthening to a minimal hurricane. The storm weakened and dissipated in the face of a front on the 14th.

Tropical Storm Dean

Dean was a short-lived storm that had its origins in a subtropical storm that developed between Bermuda and the Bahamas on September 26. The subtropical storm headed north-northeast and became tropical the next day. It then turned northwest, and struck the coast of Virginia on September 30. It dissipated several hours later.

Damage from Tropical Storm Dean was limited to minor beach erosion and flooding.


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Courtesy of NOAA

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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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