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Hurricane animation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHgCi1Y8y7M
Hurricane Kyle
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Irma 2017-09-06 2045Z
Hurricane Kyle at peak intensity nearing its landfall in Puerto Rico on October 1
FormedSeptember 19, 2020
DissipatedOctober 14, 2020
(Remnant low after October 9)
Highest winds1-minute sustained:
175 mph (280 km/h)
Lowest pressure903 mbar (hPa); 26.67 inHg
Fatalities18,291 total (16,725 direct, 1,566 indirect)
(Second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record)
Damage$259 billion (2020 USD)
(Second costliest tropical cyclone on record)
Areas affectedWest Africa, Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Northeastern United States (especially New York)
Part of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Kyle was a super catastrophic and deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico and the Northeastern United States (mainly New York). It was the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, only surpassed by the Great Hurricane of 1780, and the second costliest hurricane on record, surpassing both Katrina and Harvey, which both caused $125 billion of damages, before getting surpassed by Katia 3 years later. The eleventh named storm, eighth hurricane, fourth major hurricane, and first and only Category 5 hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Kyle originated from a tropical wave that emerged off of Africa on early September. It then developed into a tropical storm in the midst of September 19. Later, it became a hurricane, influencing between a Category 1 and 2 hurricane. It made a turn southwest, striking the island of Guadeloupe on September 29 as a Category 2. It then abruptly turned north toward Puerto Rico, as it rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane, the first one of its kind since Hurricane Michael two years prior. It then reached its peak intensity on October 1, shortly before making landfall in Puerto Rico a few hours later. It was the second hurricane to strike the island after the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane roughly 92 years later, and was the strongest hurricane to hit the island. It rapidly weakened due to that landfall, but it strengthened again right after, again reaching Category 5 for 18 hours. On October 5, it impacted Bermuda and then took a turn northwest. It made landfall in Long Island on October 9, also impacting the city of New York there. It became a strong remnant low, still inland on October 10.

Kyle caused a total of 18,291 deaths. Most of them were from Puerto Rico, after Kyle had brought up another human crisis there. Most of the remainder of the deaths were from New York City, due to high amounts of rain contributing to roughly 6 ft of flood there. Damages from Kyle were about $259 billion (USD), most of this were from New York due to having skyscrapers there that were damaged by the hurricane.

Meteorological History

Kyle track 2020

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

On September 12, a tropical wave emerged off of the coast of Africa. For a few days, it drifted westward, with no change in organization. On September 16, it started to organize, the NHC now tracking the system. Then on September 18 at 06:00 UTC, it was designated as a potential tropical cyclone, attaining tropical storm force winds twelve hours later. Eventually, it developed into a tropical storm, named Kyle by the NHC, on September 19 at 12:00 UTC. Moving westward gradually intensifying, Kyle was in warm waters with low wind shear. Finally on September 23 at 00:00 UTC, Kyle strengthened into a hurricane, three and a half days after it developed.

Katia 2011-09-04 1445Z

Kyle as a Category 2 hurricane on September 27

Kyle didn't strengthen further into a Category 2 hurricane until September 25 at 18:00 UTC, when it attained 100 mph (160 km/h). From there on until September 31, it kept on influencing between the hurricane statuses Category 1 and 2, with the exception of weakening to a tropical storm on late September 27, while it took a sharp turn southwest. At the third time of strengthening into a Category 2, it was approaching the island of Guadeloupe, which is in the Lesser Antilles. It hit the island on September 29 at 00:00 UTC, with sustained winds of 105 mph (170 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 970 mbar. After it hit the island, it immediately weakened to a Category 1, six hours later.

The hurricane strengthened back to a Category 2 hurricane on September 30, 06:00 UTC. 6 hours later, it unexpectedly started rapidly intensifying, jumping from a Category 2 to a Category 5 hurricane in a margin of 12 hours. It reached its peak intensity on October 1 at 06:00 UTC, with sustained winds up to 175 mph (280 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 903 mbar (hPa). Six hours later, Kyle made landfall in southern Puerto Rico, just 10 mi (16 km) west of the city of Salinas.

The hurricane weakened inland, becoming a Category 4 once it exited the island. Still, it diminished in the ocean as it still interacted with land, weakening to a Category 2 hurricane on October 2, 00:00 UTC. Once it stopped interacting, it started to intensify again due to favorable conditions, becoming a major hurricane at 12:00 that day, a Category 4 early the next day, and then to a Category 5 on October 3 at 00:00 UTC. It eventually reached its secondary peak intensity at 06:00 that day, with winds up to 160 mph (260 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 917 mbar (hPa).

Nicole 2016-10-13 1520Z

Kyle at its closest approach to Bermuda on October 5

Due to a decrease in water temperature, Kyle started gradually weakening, down to a Category 4 hurricane at 18:00 UTC the same day and then to a Category 3 an exact day later. It then abruptly intensified back to a Category 4 on October 5, 06:00 UTC, despite cooler waters. It then made its closest approach to the island of Bermuda 6 hours later, roughly 50 mi (80 km/h) from it. At 18:00 UTC, Kyle weakened to a Category 3, just as it started interacting with a nearby cold-core low, turning it toward the northwest. Early on October 7, the hurricane weakened below major hurricane strength, just as it was heading toward New York.

Eventually, on October 9 at 12:00 UTC, Kyle made landfall in western Long Island, with maximum winds up to 100 mph (160 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 963 mbar. The hurricane then went over New York City as it was rapidly weakening over land. It then finally became non-tropical on October 10, turning east out of the United States and back into the Atlantic.

Preparations

Puerto Rico

The island of Puerto Rico had come less prepared than Maria 2 years ago. The sharp turn of the hurricane to the north unexplained panicked the people since they had less time to prepare for the hurricane. Hurricane watches and warnings in Puerto Rico were put right after it took the turn. People quickly put up protection on their houses and got their things ready for the hurricane. Since this is an island and they were unable to fly away due to the incoming hurricane, people were trapped there and had to find a shelter somewhere in the island, since the government had issued an evacuation there.

New York

Sacred that this’ll be another Sandy, the government of New York ordered a mass evacuation at NYC. More than 5 million people evacuated out of this city, making it one of the largest evacuations for a hurricane ever. The evacuation clogged most of the streets there; people were unable to get a faster evacuation.

Impact

Deaths and damage by region
Region Fatalities Missing Damage
(2020 USD)
Bermuda 7 6 $425 million
Guadeloupe (France) 9 5 $48 million
Haiti 3 5 $10 million
Montserrat 0 1 $2 million
Dominica 1 0 $1 million
Puerto Rico 9835 5203 $105 billion
United States Virgin Islands 25 19 $514 million
United States 8411 1063 $153 billion
Totals: 18,291 6,306 $259 billion

Lesser Antilles

The island of Guadeloupe got hit by Category 2 Hurricane Kyle on September 29. 5 people were killed when the trees were falling toward them. 9 more people were killed due to storm surge and flooding. The island received 15 in (381 mm) of rain and 110 mph (180 km/h) wind gusts. 14 people were killed during the hurricane and it caused $48 million of damages.

Puerto Rico

“It’s the worse disaster that can ever happen to us,”- says Lucien Guzman, a resident who lives in Puerto Rico.

When Kyle made landfall at peak intensity in Puerto Rico on October 1 at 1200 UTC, the island had much more impacts than Maria. Kyle triggered many landslides, killing more than 5,000 people there. About 3,000 more would die from storm surge. It shut off the power grid there again, causing those people who live in Puerto Rico left without power for 6 months. Connection signals were lost during the hurricane.

Puerto Rico received more than 15 inches (380 mm) of rain and reported gusts up to 145 mph (235 km/h). Most buildings didn't withstand the hurricane and were completely destroyed. Kyle caused a total of 9,835 people there and damages totaled $105 billion (USD) by the end of 2020.

Bermuda

New York

Kyle near new york

Kyle nearing New York on October 9

Kyle made landfall in New York on October 9 as a Category 2 hurricane, causing serious problems for the city. New York City got 32 in (813 mm) of rain and reported up to 100 mph (160 km/h) wind gusts. The whole city got totally flooded causing most of the deaths there, including its subway system underground. The gusts and the flood damaged most of the skyscrapers there, some of them even got destroyed by the hurricane. The whole of Brookyln and Manhattan were devastated and left all the debris by the hurricane. The World Trade Center was left partially destroyed, 19 years after 9/11. The Empire State Building suffered the least of the buildings in Manhattan. The streets and highways were damaged. Even the whole Broadway was left severely damaged and with lots of debris. The total damage that the hurricane caused was $153 billion and it caused a total of 8,411 fatalities.

Aftermath

Retirement

Due to the catastrophic damage and high death toll the hurricane caused, the name Kyle was retired by the WMO in April 2021. It will never be used for any Atlantic tropical cyclone again. It will be replaced by Kurt for the 2026 Atlantic hurricane season.

New York

The devastation that the hurricane hurricane caused were kinda severe. Despite it, the people have found a way to repair most of the buildings and they completed them by a year.

Puerto Rico

Unlike New York, people there were having a hard time getting the island back to the way it was before the hurricane. Puerto Rico was beyond devastated with damaged buildings and debris everywhere. Since the damage was extensive, the people couldn't get the island back to normal. Many of the survivors of the hurricane fled somewhere else from the island, causing the population to plummet dramatically. By 2022, the island had a population of only 8000 people. The people there managed to restore the island 5 years later in 2025, and the island started to increase in population again.

Records

Most intense Atlantic hurricanes
Rank Hurricane Season Pressure
hPa inHg
1 Wilma 2005 882 26.05
2 Gilbert 1988 888 26.23
3 "Labor Day" 1935 892 26.34
4 Rita 2005 895 26.43
5 Allen 1980 899 26.55
6 Camille 1969 900 26.58
7 Katrina 2005 902 26.64
8 Kyle 2020 903 26.67
9 Mitch 1998 905 26.73
Dean 2007
Source: HURDAT
Costliest Atlantic hurricanes
Rank Hurricane Season Damage[1]
1 Katia 2023 $375 billion
2 Kyle 2020 $259 billion
3 Katrina 2005 $125 billion
Harvey 2017
5 Maria 2017 $91.6 billion
6 Sandy 2012 $68.7 billion
7 Irma 2017 $64.8 billion
8 Ike 2008 $38 billion
9 Wilma 2005 $27.4 billion
10 Andrew 1992 $27.3 billion
Deadliest Atlantic hurricanes
Rank Hurricane Season Fatalities
1 "Great Hurricane" 1780 22,000–27,501
2 Kyle 2020 18,291
3 Mitch 1998 11,374+
4 Fifi 1974 8,210–10,000
5 "Galveston" 1900 8,000–12,000
6 Flora 1963 7,193
7 "Pointe-à-Pitre" 1776 6,000+
8 Rene 2020 4,177
9 "Okeechobee" 1928 4,112+
10 "Newfoundland" 1775 4,000–4,163
See also: Wikipedia:List of deadliest Atlantic hurricanes
Most intense landfalling Atlantic hurricanes
Intensity is measured solely by central pressure
Rank Hurricane Season Landfall pressure
1 "Labor Day" 1935 892 mbar (hPa)
2 Camille 1969 900 mbar (hPa)
Gilbert 1988
4 Kyle 2020 903 mbar (hPa)
5 Dean 2007 905 mbar (hPa)
6 "Cuba" 1924 910 mbar (hPa)
7 Janet 1955 914 mbar (hPa)
Irma 2017
9 "Cuba" 1932 918 mbar (hPa)
Katia 2023
Sources: Atlantic Hurricane Best Track Data
Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones
Greatest duration as a Category 5
Sources: HURDAT2
Rank Duration
(days, hours)
Name Date
1 3d, 6h "Cuba" November 1932
2 3d Hurricane Allen August 1980
Hurricane Irma September 2017
4 2d, 12h Hurricane Ivan September 2004
5 1d, 18h Hurricane David August 1979
Hurricane Mitch October 1998
Hurricane Isabel September 2003
8 1d, 6h Hurricane Camille August 1969
Hurricane Maria September 2017
Hurricane Kyle September–October 2020
Highest 1-minute sustained winds (175 mph or greater)
Rank Hurricane Season Winds
mph km/h
1 Allen 1980 190 305
2 "Labor Day" 1935 185 295
Gilbert 1988
Wilma 2005
5 Mitch 1998 180 285
Rita 2005
Irma 2017
8 "Cuba" 1932 175 280
Janet 1955
Carla 1961
Camille 1969
Anita 1977
David 1979
Andrew 1992
Katrina 2005
Dean 2007
Felix
Maria 2017
Kyle 2020
Most intense landfalling tropical cyclones in the United States
Intensity is measured solely by central pressure
Rank System Season Landfall pressure
1 "Labor Day" 1935 892 mbar (hPa)
2 Camille 1969 900 mbar (hPa)
Yutu 2018
4 Kyle 2020 903 mbar (hPa)
5 Katia 2023 918 mbar (hPa)
6 Michael 2018 919 mbar (hPa)
7 Katrina 2005 920 mbar (hPa)
Maria 2017
Gert 2023
10 Andrew 1992 922 mbar (hPa)
Source: HURDAT, Hurricane Research Division
Deadliest United States hurricanes
Rank Hurricane Season Fatalities
1 Kyle 2020 18,271
2 "Galveston" 1900 8,000–12,000
3 Rene 2020 4,177
4 "San Ciriaco" 1899 3,400
5 Maria 2017 2,982*
6 "Okeechobee" 1928 2,823
7 Katia 2023 2,450
8 "Cheniere Caminada" 1893 2,000
9 Katrina 2005 1,200
10 "Sea Islands" 1893 1,000–2,000

Notes

  1. All damage figures are in United States dollars, and are not adjusted for inflation.
Was a Category 5 hurricane on more than one occasion, fluctuating between Category 5 strength and an inferior category, therefore the time period at Category 5 intensity is discontinuous.

See also

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