Hypothetical Hurricanes Wiki

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Hypothetical Hurricanes Wiki
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Hurricane Alex
Category 3 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Alexhurricane.jpg
Hurricane Alex just before landfall on June 30, 2022
FormedJune 24
DissipatedJuly 4
Highest winds1-minute sustained:
120 mph (195 km/h)
Lowest pressure955 mbar (hPa); 28.2 inHg
Fatalities47 direct, 12 indirect
Damage> $775-$1.5 million/billion (2022 USD)
Areas affectedNorth Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Northeast of United States, greater tri-state area
Part of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season


Hurricane Alex

Hurricane Alex is tied with Hurricane Audrey of 1957 as the earliest major hurricane (category 3 or greater) to make landfall in the contiguous United States. The first Hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, as well as the first major; It made landfall in Morehead City, North Carolina on July 1, 2022 as a powerful and destructive Category 3 major hurricane with 1-minute sustained max winds of 120 mph (195 km/h), with gusts of up to 145 mph (232 km/h). The storm initially slowed-down as it moved inland which brought very heavy rainfall, major damage, flash flooding and storm surge to the coastline of east-central North Carolina and was the cause of several tornadoes that touched down across the states of North Carolina itself, including Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It did major damage in the town of Morehead City and surrounding keys of Onslow Bay destroying nearly 40% of all buildings in the downtown area and generating a 6-ft storm surge that inundated the Bouge Sound and also assisted in the further flooding of the Newport River and Harlowe Creek. As the hurricane crawled at a very slow pace of 5 mph, extreme damage from flooding was done in Beaufort and Atlantic Beach. As much as 10-ft of additional rainfall water multiplied by the immense storm surge caused the complete failure of the Atlantic Beach Bridge which suffered major damage, collapsing into the sound the next day. Severe damage also occurred in neighboring beachside communities of Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, and Emerald Isle Beach - all of which also experienced storm surge of 4-ft. Quickly following landfall, extensive and indefinite power-outages spread across the region. Over 450,000 people were without power on July 2 as the storm moved inland. A further 150,000 lost power on July 3 as the storm continued to be pushed inland towards the states of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Tornadoes became a severe issue as thunderstorms from the hurricane pummeled the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria-tri-state area. A total of 17 tornadoes touched down across the states of Virginia and Maryland. One tornado, of EF-3 status, touched down just west of Washington D.C as the storm moved northeast. The tornado caused 15 deaths and injured a further 70 people. Fatalities from the hurricane included 47 people in Carteret County as rescue crews came in to search for survivors. A total of 12 indirect-deaths were recorded as well. The National Guard further concluded a missing-person count of 100, although that number immediately dropped as 95 of those people had eventually been accounted for a week later. The other 5 were conclusively added in the fatality-count. Damages exceeded over $700 million with further estimations as high as $800 million and just short of $1 billion total, although the exact cost of damage is still unknown. Due to Alex being incredibly slow at landfall, it allowed the 145 mph gusts to continuously pummel the coast which multiplied the total amount of damage done. In comparison, the damage from the storm closely resembles that of a higher-ranked hurricane. The storm eventually moved back into the North Atlantic on July 4 and became extra-tropical later that night as it passed just south of Novia Scotia.

Meteorological Synopsis

On June 24, 2022, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began monitoring a large area of disorganized thunderstorms wrapped around along a low-pressure region, steered by a ridge located over the mid-Atlantic basin, characterized by distinct low-level cyclonic rotation and deep tropical humidity. At first, the system was mostly lopsided to the southeast, and quickly became more defined in the next few hours as evident by a well-formed area of convection nearest to its eastern outer bands. However, moving within a moderately sheared environment with a few areas of disturbed weather and showers in its proximity, what would become Hurricane Alex struggled to attain tropical depression status even with its starting advantages. During the time it just gaining traction, the next day on June 25, a sudden and distinct push to the northwest and a directional change soon propelled the storm from rough seas and into considerably less wind-sheared environments that were exceptionally favorable for tropical development. At 11:00 UTC on June 25, the NHC ultimately referred to the system as Tropical Depression Five. The classification was due to the organization of the convection and the circulation center as it moved closer toward the area occupied by the Bermuda Triangle. The next day on June 26, exceptionally warm ocean temperatures, a heavily moist environment and considerably low wind-shear made for explosively favorable conditions. At 3;30 UTC that same day, a reconnaissance aircraft Hurricane Hunters flight to investigate the center of the storm and collect data concluded that the depression quickly intensified overnight into Tropical Storm Alex. There, they measured peak 1-minute sustained wind speeds at 50 mph (80.47 km/h). Furthermore, as the storm moved out of sheared waters, its asymmetric lopsided structure corrected itself and began to shapeshift into a more natural and healthy looking cyclone, moving the now more prominent area of convection more towards the center of the storm. The structure of Alex improved, building more outflow and extending rainbands over 80 miles from the center. A central dense overcast tropical storm was created. Later that night, following the formation of a small but well-defined eye in the center of the storm prompted another investigation mission to be completed the following day. On June 27, one of the reconnaissance aircraft Hurricane Hunters made a return to the storm and discovered a rapidly-intensified Hurricane with winds exceeding 75 mph (120 km/h), as it moves towards the center of the Bermuda Triangle directionally facing the east coast of the United States. Later forecasts would place the hurricane as making landfall somewhere along the northern coast of North Carolina as a considerable Category 2 storm. On June 28, the storm began to undergo even more rapid-intensification as it moved into very warm east coastal waters (85+ degrees Fahrenheit) with locally minimal to non-existent wind-shear. Moving slowly at 4 mph, this allowed Alex to churn up more ocean water into its core and eventually become a high-end Category 2 hurricane on June 29 at 17:00 UTC. WIP

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