Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

1935 Labor Day hurricane

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on August 22, 2012

1935 Labor Day hurricaneThe 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was the strongest tropical cyclone of the 1935 Atlantic hurricane season, and one of the most intense hurricanes to make landfall in the United States in recorded history. The second tropical cyclone, second hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, the Labor Day Hurricane was the first of three Category 5 hurricanes at landfall that the United States endured during the 20th Century (the other two being 1969’s Hurricane Camille and 1992’s Hurricane Andrew). After forming as a weak tropical storm east of the Bahamas on August 29, it slowly proceeded westward and became a hurricane on September 1. As Labor Day approached, hurricane warnings went up over the Keys. A train was dispatched from Miami to evacuate the Works Progress Administration (WPA) construction workers, consisting almost entirely of Bonus Army veterans and their families, from the ramshackle camps they were living in Windley Key and Lower Matecumbe Key. The train was almost entirely swept away before reaching the camps late on September 2. When it finally arrived in Upper Metecumbe Key only the engine survived the winds and wall of water that swept through the area. [1] The hurricane struck the Upper Keys on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. The storm continued northwest along the Florida west coast, weakening before its second landfall near Cedar Key, Florida on September 4.

The compact and intense hurricane caused extreme damage in the upper Florida Keys, as a storm surge of approximately 18 to 20 feet (5.5-6 meters) swept over the low-lying islands. The hurricane’s strong winds and the surge destroyed most of the buildings in the Islamorada area, and more than 200 World War I veterans housed in work camps were killed[2] by the storm surge and flying debris. Portions of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway were severely damaged or destroyed. The hurricane also caused additional damage in northwest Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. The hurricane killed more than 400 people, nearly all in the Florida Keys.

The storm was born as a small tropical disturbance due east of Florida near the Bahamas in late August. The disturbance moved westward toward the Gulf Stream, and U.S. weather forecasters became aware of a potential tropical storm. The tropical storm strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane as it neared the southern tip of Andros Island in the Bahamas early on September 1.

As the hurricane passed over the warm Gulf Stream late on September 1 it underwent rapid deepening. It intensified without pause for a day and a half while its track made a gentle turn to the northwest, toward Islamorada in the Upper Keys. The hurricane reached peak intensity on September 2, making landfall between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. EST at Craig Key.

Most intense Atlantic hurricanes
Rank Hurricane Season Pressure

1 Wilma 2005 882 26.0
2 Gilbert 1988 888 26.2
3 “Labor Day” 1935 892 26.3
4 Rita 2005 895 26.4
5 Allen 1980 899 26.5
6 Katrina 2005 902 26.6
7 Camille 1969 905 26.7
Mitch 1998 905 26.7
Dean 2007 905 26.7
10 “Cuba” 1924 910 26.9
Ivan 2004 910 26.9
Source: HURDAT[3]

After striking the Keys the hurricane moved northward, weakening as it paralleled the west coast of Florida. It made a second landfall in northwest Florida near Cedar Key as a Category 2 hurricane on September 4. It quickly weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland, passing over Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina before emerging into the Atlantic Ocean near Norfolk. The storm quickly re-intensified to hurricane status on September 6 as it reached winds of 90 mph (145 km/h). It quickly weakened and the system rapidly became extratropical. The remnants continued northeast until it became non-tropical south of Greenland on September 10.

The Labor Day Hurricane was the only storm known to make landfall in the United States with a minimum central pressure below 900 mbar; only two others have struck the country with winds of Category 5 strength. It remains the third-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, surpassed only by Hurricanes Gilbert (1988) and Wilma (2005).

The maximum sustained wind speed at landfall is estimated to have been near 185 mph (260 km/h). Recent re-analysis studies conducted by the NOAA Hurricane Research Division (HRD), however, suggest that the maximum sustained winds were more likely around 200 mph (295 km/h) at landfall.[4] A landfall intensity of 200 mph makes it both the most intense land-falling hurricane and hurricane in general on record in the Western Hemisphere in terms of maximum sustained wind speed. The recorded central pressure was reported as 26.35 inHg (892 mbar hPa). This was the record low pressure for a hurricane anywhere in the Western Hemisphere until surpassed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Distributed by Viestly


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