- 1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco
Name=San Ciriaco Hurricane of 1899
Image location=San Ciriaco Hurricane SWA (1899).jpg
August 3, 1899
September 4, 1899
Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bahamas, North Carolina, Azores
1899 Atlantic hurricane season
1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco, also known as the 1899 Puerto Rico Hurricane, was an intense and long-lived Atlantic
Cape Verde-type hurricanewhich crossed Puerto Ricoover the two day period August 8to August 9, 1899. Many deaths occurred as a result, due to flooding. The cyclone kept tropical storm strength or higher for 28 days, which makes it the longest duration Atlantic hurricaneon record and the second-longest anywhere in the world (behind Hurricane John in 1994). The estimated ACE of 73.57 is the highest ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.
The tropical storm that later ravaged Puerto Rico developed on
August 3in the tropical Atlantic, likely from a tropical wave. It moved in a west-northwest direction, becoming a hurricane on the 5th. As it neared the northern Lesser Antilles, it strengthened into a major hurricane, bringing strong winds to Dominica, St. Kitts, and Guadeloupeon the 7th. It continued to intensify to its peak of convert|150|mph|km/h|abbr=on|lk=on before hitting southeast Puerto Ricoon the 8th, the namesday of Saint Cyriacus. It crossed the island in an east-southeast to west-northwest direction, causing maximum wind speeds between convert|110|and|140|mph|km/h|abbr=on|lk=off throughout. [A good account of the hurricane's passage through the city of Ponce, where he was stationed at the time, is given by cite book |title=A Soldier in Science |last=Ashford |first=Bailey |authorlink=Bailey Ashford |coauthors= |year=1998 |origyear=1934 |publisher=Morrow |location=New York |isbn=0847703517 |pages= ]
After it passed Puerto Rico, it brushed northern
Dominican Republicas a Category 3 hurricane, but passed north enough to not cause major damage. It passed through the Bahamas, retaining its strength as it moved slowly northward. After drifting northeastward, the hurricane turned northwestward, hitting the Outer Bankson August 17. It drifted northeastward over the state, re-emerging into the Atlantic on the 19th. It continued eastward, where it became extratropical on the 22nd.
The extratropical cyclone turned southeastward where, on
August 26, it became a tropical storm again. Like most of the rest of its lifetime, it drifted, first to the northwest then to the east. It strengthened as it moved eastward, and on September 3, as it was moving through the Azores, it again became a hurricane. The intensification didn't last long, and the hurricane became extratropical for the final time on the 4th. It dissipated that day while racing across the northeastern Atlantic.
Estimates of storm-related fatalities range from 3,100 to 3,400, with millions of dollars in crop damage in Puerto Rico. North Carolina had considerable
tobaccoand corndamage from the longevity of the strong winds and rain.
Overall, the island was swamped by 28 days of rain, contributing to the overall disaster (see
History of Puerto Rico).
Hurricane San Ciriaco set many records on its path. Killing nearly 3,500 people in
Puerto Rico, it was the deadliest hurricane to hit the island and the strongest at the time, until 30 years later when the island was hit by the Hurricane San Felipe Segundo, a Category 5 hurricane, in 1928. It was also the tenth deadliest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded.
Also, with an
Accumulated cyclone energyof 73.57, it has the highest ACE of any Atlantic hurricane in history. In 2004, Hurricane Ivanbecame the second Atlantic hurricane to surpass an ACE value of 70, but did not surpass the San Ciriaco hurricane either.
San Ciriaco is also the longest lasting Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, lasting for 28 days (31 including subtropical time).
History of Puerto Rico
List of tropical cyclones
List of Atlantic hurricanes
* cite journal | last = Schwartz | first = Stuart B. | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 1982 | month = | title = The Hurricane of San Ciriaco: Disaster, Politics, and Society in Puerto Rico, 1899-1901 | journal = Hispanic American Historical Review | volume = 72 | issue = | pages = 303–334 | doi = 10.2307/2515987 | url = | accessdate = | quote =
* [http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/index.html Highlights of Re-analysis]
* [http://www.weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/index.html Unisys Track archive]
* [http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/sanciriaco.html Hurricane San Ciriaco]
* [http://tunapointlighthouse.homestead.com/Hurricane.html Puerto Rico Hurricanes and Tropical Storms]
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