HURRICANE THAT CHANGED LIVES IN WEATHER HISTORY

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST, 2020.-

THE GREAT MOBILE HURRICANE OF AUGUST 1852 CATEGORY 3

🖊📸 US NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER


The Great Mobile Hurricane of 1852 was the first tropical cyclone of the year. It was first observed on August 19 about 140 mi (230 km) north of Puerto Rico. It moved on a west-northwest motion before passing through the Bahamas as it attained hurricane status on August 20. After paralleling the northern coast of Cuba, the storm passed between the Dry Tortugas and Key West, Florida on August 22, and two days later it is estimated the hurricane attained peak winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). The storm slowed on August 25 before turning northward, and early on August 26 it made landfall near Pascagoula, Mississippi at peak strength, and the hurricane rapidly weakened to tropical storm status as it accelerated east-northeastward. On August 28 it emerged into the Atlantic Ocean from South Carolina, and after turning to the northeast, it was last observed on August 30 about 130 mi (200 km) southeast of Cape Cod.

In the Florida Keys, rough waves forced several ships ashore, leaving some damaged. Strong waves created four new channels in the Chandeleur Islands, and the storm's passage also destroyed the island lighthouse; the three keepers were found three days later. Two schooners were also washed ashore along Cat Island. The hurricane produced an estimated storm tide of 12 feet (3.7 m) in Mobile, Alabama, where strong winds damaged much of the city, leaving the majority of the houses destroyed. Trees were downed up to 30 miles (50 km) inland, and coastal areas were flooded. Damage along the coastline was estimated at around $1 million (1852 USD, $26 million 2008 USD), and several lives were lost. While crossing the southeastern United States, the storm brought light rainfall but moderately strong winds; in Charleston, South Carolina, the storm destroyed several bridges and crop fields.

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