Storm Activity: Feb 23, 2020 - Feb 24, 2020. © Copyright TWC Product and Technology LLC 2014, 2020. A wind gust of 69 mph (111 km/h) was observed in Atlantic City. There were also seven deaths reported when a United States Navy P5M aircraft crashed about 120 miles (190 km) north of Bermuda.  It continued up the coastline, later passing about 150 mi (241 km) east of the Delmarva Peninsula. , While Esther was becoming a powerful hurricane over the open Atlantic, the San Juan Weather Bureau office issued a small craft advisory for the Leeward Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Esther began to weaken while approaching New England and fell to Category 3 intensity on September 21. The storm surge caused minor flooding and beach erosion in the Outer Banks, where road damage was extensive. Between North Carolina and New Jersey, effects were primarily limited to strong winds and minor beach erosion and coastal flooding due to storm surge. , The survivors told Coast Guard officials that during the storm, one of the engines of the plane failed, along with most of the electrical power; as a result, the crew was unable to drop the reserve tank or close the bomb bay doors automatically. After the trough bypassed the hurricane, Esther slowed and turned to the east - away from land and over much cooler waters. Esther then moved in a southerly direction and continued to intensify.  However, reanalysis as part of the Atlantic hurricane reanalysis project concluded that Esther was in fact a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 919 mbar (91.9 kPa; 27.1 inHg); this has now been officially incorporated into HURDAT. "Inside Hurricane Esther", photos by NOAA: This page was last edited on 19 October 2020, at 16:22. The agency later issued a hurricane watch from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Norfolk, Virginia on September 18. Early on the following day, Esther struck Cape Cod, hours before emerging into the Gulf of Maine. The remnants persisted for about 12 hours, before dissipating early on September 27.  This was later lowered slightly to 145 mph (233 km/h), which would be its peak intensity attained on September 18, making it a Category 4 hurricane. A merchant ship, the African Pilot, was in the area where the plane crashed when the captain of the ship received a message from the Bermuda Coast Guard that "We have aircraft in trouble in that vicinity..." The captain of the African Pilot diverted the ship in order to assist the Coast Guard's search for the lost plane. Later on September 26, the storm made landfall in southeastern Maine, before weakening to a tropical depression and becoming extratropical over southeastern Quebec. In the end, only three of the ten crewmen were rescued; the other seven were declared lost at sea. Similar impact was reported in Massachusetts.  On the next day, the hurricane passed about 375 mi (604 km) north of Puerto Rico. The storm curved north-northeastward on September 19, while offshore of North Carolina. Wind gusts to 45 mph (72 km/h) were observed at Ocean City, Maryland, and storm surge flooding caused damage to the city's sea wall and boardwalk. 19 - 20 December 1983 Summary. The only other such occasions were in 1893 and 1998. On September 24, it turned back to the west and subsequently turned back to the north, influenced by another approaching trough. Looking back at Hurricane Gustav's record 211 mph wind gust, Global warming and the frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes: model results. , In Connecticut, sustained winds between 35 and 50 mph (56 and 80 km/h) and gusts between 45 and 65 mph (72 and 105 km/h) caused electrical and phone service outages, as well as generally minor property damage. High tides caused coastal flooding and damage to a number of pleasure boats. , CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Television Infrared Observation Satellite, Hurricane Esther September 11–26 (A Preliminary Report), Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2), 10.1175/1520-0493(1962)090<0107:THSO>2.0.CO;2, https://ams.confex.com/ams/33HURRICANE/webprogram/Paper339830.html, "Esther Whirls Towards Coast of N. Carolina", "Hurricane Esther Tropical Cyclone Report (page 10)", "Hurricane Esther Tropical Cyclone Report (page 17)", "Hurricane Esther Tropical Cyclone Report (page 23)", "Hurricane Esther Tropical Cyclone Report (page 25)", "Hurricane is Heading North; Virginia Coast Threat Eased", "Paddle to Esther's island for quahogs and sunsets", "Project Stormfury attempted to weaken hurricanes in the 1960s and 70s", "Stormfury attempted to weaken hurricanes", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hurricane_Esther&oldid=984341141, 1961 natural disasters in the United States, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. On September 20, the hurricane passed about 120 mi (193 km) east of Cape Hatteras while turning to the north-northeast while gradually weakening. Max wind speed 95km/h. , In Norfolk, Virginia, between 10,000 and 15,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters on September 19, but were able to return home the next day as Esther passed far to the east. During the next day the !ow moved slowly in a southwesterly direction and deepened. In south-central and northeastern Maine, precipitation totals between 2 and 4 in (51 and 102 mm) flooded basements, underpasses, and low-lying roads, resulting in traffic being delayed by detours.  Personnel on two offshore surveillance stations called the Texas Towers were evacuated; a third tower had collapsed during a storm in January 1961, prompting higher safety standards. The three survivors were then attacked by sharks before being rescued. A storm surge of 6 ft (1.8 m) was reported in Wilmington, North Carolina. Cyclonic strength was reached at about 0300 UTC 20 December with an estimated central pressure of 994 hPa. Storm surge resulted in minor beach erosion and wrecked some boats.  The aircraft returned the next day to seed again, but the seeding canisters fell outside the eyewall with no effect on its structure, and the hurricane continued to strengthen. Late on September 17, the barometric pressure fell to 927 mbar (92.7 kPa; 27.4 inHg) in the center of Esther, and operationally the Hurricane Hunters estimated winds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Early on September 13, Esther curved westward and deepened into a major hurricane. CYCLONE Esther’s anticipated arrival in the Gulf country brought little impact to communities as the category one system crossed the coast near the Queensland and Northern Territory border.  A hurricane warning was issued from Cherry Point, North Carolina to the Virginia capes on September 19, but was discontinued early on September 20 as the hurricane passed to the east. It was last noted at 06:00 UTC that day while over eastern Quebec. In New York, strong winds led to severe crop losses and over 300,000 power outages. Warmer waters allowed the storm to re-intensify slightly.  Winds downed trees and power lines and damaged apple crops. On September 16, a Navy plane flew into the eye of Esther about 400 miles (644 km) northeast of Puerto Rico, and dropped canisters of silver iodide into the storm.  It was later estimated that the system attained tropical storm status on September 11, although the National Hurricane Center later noted that it could have attained hurricane status by this date, thus potentially being one of four simultaneous hurricanes, along with hurricanes Betsy, Carla, and Debbie. There was minor beach erosion in the Norfolk area due to turbulent seas.  All hurricane watches were discontinued on September 21 as Esther moved away from the New England coast, and all hurricane warnings were downgraded to gale warnings later that day as Esther passed near Nantucket and weakened to a tropical storm, and all warnings were discontinued on September 22 after the storm moved away from the coast. Damage totaled less than $1 million. Tropical Cyclone Esther. Peak intensity was reached at 0800 UTC 20 December with an estimated central pressure of 990 hPa and estimated maximum winds of 100 km/h prior to crossing Babar Island.  The storm separated Smith's Point from the rest of Nantucket Island, creating what came to be known as Esther's Island (which has since re-connected in 1988, re-separated, and re-connected again in 2009). A hurricane watch was also issued from Cape May, New Jersey to the Massachusetts coast on September 19, and like the warning, was discontinued on September 20.  Damage likely exceeded $3 million, with nearly one-third of that amount incurred to crops and property each. There were no ship reports available close to the centre and no reports of damage were received from the islands in Esther 's track. The storm remained a Category 3 hurricane for about four days and gradually moved in a west-northwestward direction. We recognize our responsibility to use data and technology for good. The fifth tropical cyclone, named storm, and hurricane of the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season, Esther developed from an area of disturbed weather hundreds of miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands on September 10.  By the time the Hurricane Hunters reached the system on September 12, winds of hurricane force were recorded, and as such, the San Juan, Puerto Rico Weather Bureau began issuing warnings on Hurricane Esther. Despite this result, the experiment was deemed a success, and led to the establishment of Project Stormfury. There is no tracking data for this storm.  The storm crossed over eastern Cape Cod while gradually weakening, making a final landfall near Rockland, Maine, on September 26.
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