Don’t let go of your vigilance. Hurricanes can occur in October

The hurricane season lasts until November 30th. The peak of the hurricane season is September 10th. On August 29th, we had Category 4 Hurricane Ida which caused catastrophic damage. Nicholas was a depression over southwest Louisiana on September 15, but dropped heavy rain on us that Tuesday and Wednesday before turning into post-tropical Thursday over Marsh Island. In fact, we end September with 9.38 inches of rain. That’s 4.27 inches of rain above average. The big question is what’s next? We’re not done with the 2021 hurricane season. Twenty-one percent of tropical weather in any season occurs in October. Some might think that the tropics will end for us in late September. That is not true! So let’s look back at some of our past tropical weather conditions in October. Hurricane Hilda made landfall in South Central Louisiana on October 3, 1964 at 105 mph. It caused a violent tornado in Larose that killed 22 people and injured another 165 and caused multiple tornadoes in the New Orleans area. Hurricane Juan hit land near Morgan City on October 29, 1985 with winds of 75 miles an hour. Juan made a few laps near the coast, which caused a lot of rain and storm surges. Coffins popped out of the ground in a cemetery in Lafitte. A sea 70 feet offshore was reported, overturning oil rigs and boats, killing nine people. Hurricane Lili hit land near Intracoastal City on October 3, 2002 with winds of 90 miles per hour. The wind had blown up to 145 mph on October 2nd. It is believed that the heavy rain from Isidore the week before flowed away and cooled the coastal waters. The cooler water made Lili lose strength. Lili caused heavy rain in southeast Louisiana. Tropical storm Matthew hit land at Cocodrie on October 10, 2004 as a minimal storm with winds of 45 miles per hour. It caused a lot of rain. About 16 inches of rain fell in reserve. The storm surge was over 5 feet high at Frenier near Laplace. You may not remember Hurricane Patricia in the Eastern Pacific in 2015. It was a 215 mph monster. The system broke up over Mexico, but the humidity and middle and upper circulations visited us on October 25th and 26th. In those two days we had almost 9 inches of rain at the airport. We had been in a drought with a burn ban. So far this month we’ve only had a trace of rain. Thanks to Patricia’s humidity, we drove from the fourth driest October to the third wettest on record. Nate wasn’t much for New Orleans. It landed at the mouth of the Mississippi on October 7 and then near Biloxi on October 8, 2017. We saw incredible footage of one of the casino parking garages being flooded. The potential was to have a huge impact on New Orleans. It wasn’t. Do you remember olga The NHC called it post-tropical as it approached southeast Louisiana. Everyone went to bed thinking it wouldn’t be a problem. Olga landed on October 25, 2019. It wreaked havoc in southeast Louisiana. Tropical Storm Olga formed in the southwestern Gulf on October 25 and was declared post-tropical six hours later when it merged with a cold front. That doesn’t tell the story of what happened in southeast Louisiana. The depression moved along this frontal boundary, pouring out heavy rain and causing high winds overnight through Saturday morning, October 26th. The lightning counter indicated that it was a reinforcing system. 130,000 customers lost power, including the airport, which closed on Saturday, October 26th. Winds at the airport reached 59 mph, 58 mph at Hammond, 66 mph at Belle Chasse, and 73 mph south of Mandeville. The persistent winds were high at 30-45 mph all night. Branches and trees fell over, resulting in a lengthy cleanup and delayed power recovery. The message is: Post-tropical storms can cause a lot of damage. And then there was Zeta! Zeta hit land on October 28 at 4pm near Cocodrie as Category 3 with 115 mph winds. The gaze wandered across New Orleans. People went outside in amazement. Many hadn’t been in the eye of a hurricane since Betsy. The leading edge of the eye wall caused strong winds throughout the area. Gusts of wind hit 77 mph at the lakefront and 71 mph at the airport. The wind knocked over trees and branches and caused power outages for days. The back edge of the eye wall wasn’t that strong, but people ran into it quickly when they passed through with strong gusty winds. The rainfall levels weren’t that great as the storm was a quick move. The good news is that no tropical weather will threaten the Gulf for at least the next seven days. But just because it’s October doesn’t mean it’s time to lose vigilance. Louisiana has a long history of tropical October weather.

The hurricane season lasts until November 30th. The peak of the hurricane season is September 10th. On August 29th, we had Category 4 Hurricane Ida which caused catastrophic damage. Nicholas was a depression over southwest Louisiana on September 15, but dropped heavy rain on us that Tuesday and Wednesday before turning into post-tropical Thursday over Marsh Island. In fact, we end September with 9.38 inches of rain. That’s 4.27 inches of rain above average.

The big question is what’s next? We’re not done with the 2021 hurricane season. Twenty-one percent of a season’s tropical weather occurs in October.

Some might think the tropics end for us in late September. That is not true! So let’s look back at some of our past tropical weather conditions in October.

Hurricane Hilda made landfall in south central Louisiana on October 3, 1964 with 105 mph winds. It caused a violent tornado in Larose that killed 22 people and injured another 165. It also caused several tornadoes in the New Orleans area.

Hurricane Juan hit land near Morgan City on October 29, 1985 in winds of 75 miles per hour. Juan made a few laps near the coast, which caused a lot of rain and storm surges. Coffins popped out of the ground in a cemetery in Lafitte. 70-foot seas were reported off the coast, overturning oil rigs and boats, killing nine people.

Hurricane Lili hit land near Intracoastal City on October 3, 2002 in winds of 90 mph. The wind had blown up to 145 mph on October 2nd. It is believed that the heavy rain from Isidore the week before flowed away and cooled the coastal waters. The cooler water made Lili lose her strength. Lili caused heavy rain in southeast Louisiana.

Tropical storm Matthew hit land at Cocodrie on October 10, 2004 as a minimal storm with winds of 45 miles per hour. It caused a lot of rain. About 16 inches of rain fell in reserve. The storm surge was over 5 feet high at Frenier near Laplace.

You may not remember Hurricane Patricia in the Eastern Pacific in 2015. It was a 215 mph monster. The system broke up over Mexico, but the humidity and middle and upper circulations visited us on October 25th and 26th. In that two day period we had almost 9 inches of rain at the airport. We had been in a drought with a burn ban. So far this month we’ve only had a trace of rain. Thanks to Patricia’s dampness, we went from the fourth driest October on record to the third wettest on record.

Nate wasn’t much for New Orleans. It landed at the mouth of the Mississippi on October 7 and then near Biloxi on October 8, 2017. We saw incredible footage of one of the casino parking garages being flooded. The potential was to have a huge impact on New Orleans. It was not.

Do you remember olga The NHC called it post-tropical as it approached southeast Louisiana. Everyone went to bed thinking it wouldn’t be a problem. Olga landed on October 25, 2019. It wreaked havoc in southeast Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Olga formed in the southwestern Gulf on October 25 and was declared post-tropical six hours later when it merged with a cold front.

That doesn’t tell the story of what happened in southeast Louisiana. The depression moved along this frontal boundary, pouring out heavy rain and causing high winds overnight through Saturday morning, October 26th. The lightning counter indicated that it was a reinforcing system. 130,000 customers lost power, including the airport, which closed on Saturday, October 26th. Winds at the airport reached 59 mph, 58 mph at Hammond, 66 mph at Belle Chasse, and 73 mph south of Mandeville. The persistent winds were high at 30-45 mph all night. Branches and trees fell over, resulting in a lengthy cleanup and delayed power recovery. The message is: Post-tropical storms can cause a lot of damage.

And then there was Zeta!

Zeta hit land on October 28 at 4 p.m. near Cocodrie as Category 3 with winds of 115 miles per hour. The gaze wandered across New Orleans. People went outside in amazement. Many hadn’t been in the eye of a hurricane since Betsy. The leading edge of the eye wall caused strong winds throughout the area. Gusts of wind hit 77 mph at the lakefront and 71 mph at the airport. The wind knocked over trees and branches and caused power outages for days. The back edge of the eye wall wasn’t that strong, but people ran into it quickly when they passed through with strong gusty winds. The rainfall levels weren’t that great as the storm was a quick move.

The good news is that no tropical weather will threaten the Gulf for the next seven days. But just because it’s October doesn’t mean it’s time to lose vigilance. Louisiana has a long history of tropical October weather.

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