Camille Downgraded to 2nd Strongest ‘Cane

camille 1969 map 0710cbdb8baa1454 0710cbdb8baa14541 Camille Downgraded to 2nd Strongest CaneHurricane Camille has been downgraded 

On the night of August 17, 1969, mighty Category 5 Hurricane Camille smashed into the Mississippi coast with incredible fury, bringing the largest U.S. storm surge on record–an astonishing 24.6 feet in Pass Christian, Mississippi (a record since beaten by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.) Camille barreled up the East Coast and dumped prodigious rains of 12 – 20 inches with isolated amounts up to 31″ over Virginia and West Virginia, with most of the rain falling in just 3 – 5 hours. The catastrophic flash flooding that resulted killed 113 people, and the 143 people the storm killed on the Gulf Coast brought Camille’s death toll to 256, making it the 15th deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. Up until now, Camille’s landfall intensity had been rated at 190 mph–the highest on record for an Atlantic hurricane, and second highest on record globally, behind Super Typhoon Haiyan’s 195 mph winds at landfall in the Philippines in November 2013. However, Camille’s landfall intensity has now been officially downgraded to 175 mph, thanks to a reanalysis effort by Margie Kieper and Hugh Willoughby of Florida International University and Chris Landsea and Jack Beven of NHC. Camille’s central pressure at landfall was lowered from the previous 909 mb to 900 mb, though. The re-analysis results, presented Tuesday at the American Meteorological Society’s 31st Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology , puts Camille in second place for the strongest landfalling hurricane in U.S. history. The top spot is now held by the Great 1935 Labor Day Hurricane that hit the Florida Keys, which reanalysis showed had 185 mph winds and a central pressure of 892 mb at landfall. The only other Category 5 hurricanes on record to hit the U.S. were 1992’s Hurricane Andrew (165 mph winds and a 922 mb central pressure) and the 1928 “San Felipe” Hurricane in Puerto Rico (160 mph winds, 931 mb central pressure.) Category 5 hurricanes have maximum sustained winds of 156 mph or greater. Revisions to Camille were accomplished by obtaining the original observations from ships, weather stations, coastal radars, Navy/Air Force/Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) Hurricane Hunter aircraft reconnaissance planes, ESSA/NASA satellite imagery, and by analyzing Camille based upon our understanding of hurricanes today. (ESSA is now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration–NOAA.)

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