Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Florida History: "Lusty pre-season hurricane" and other hurricane facts

By Jane Feehan

As we approach the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, a look back at a 1951 pre-season hurricane may be of interest.

A “lusty pre-season hurricane” materialized in the Bahamas mid-May 1951 that slammed the northern fringe of that island chain with 90 mph winds. The heaviest winds struck Walker Cay Club off the Abacos, about 160 miles northeast of Miami.

Little, if any, damage was reported but a rocket range construction crew was driven away from a site on Grand Bahama Island by 75 mph winds. The construction team was building an observation post for the guided missile long range proving ground base at Cape Canaveral.

The cyclone was unofficially referred to as “Able” using the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet. It moved northeast, skirting the North Carolina coast. No other hurricanes made landfall along the U.S. coastline that year. 

Back then hurricane season started June 15 when the U.S. Weather Bureau began tracking tropical cyclones. Hurricanes were not officially named until 1953 when the National Hurricane Center began organizing and keeping lists of names. Today, lists of names for hurricanes are maintained and updated by a committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

For Florida hurricane history, see:
The 1926 hurricane at:
The 1928 hurricane at:
The 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane at:  
The most intense hurricane at:
Palm Beach Post, May 19, 1951, p.1.

See Old Farmer's Almanac for the year's weather:

Tags: Pre-season hurricanes; hurricane history, naming of hurricanes, film researcher

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