The 2019 hurricane season has been a year of tropical milestones.
In August, meteorologists watched the slow development of Hurricane Dorian which is the strongest hurricane of the year so far. It also took the title of one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded to make landfall in the western Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. Dorian hit the same strength observed in the devastating 1935 Labor Day hurricane.
There are 56 confirmed deaths in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and 600 people still missing after the storm, according to the International Medical Corps Sept. 30 report.
But 2019 saw another storm make history with Hurricane Lorenzo before it began fading into obscurity.
The Category 5 storm developed quickly in the eastern Atlantic Ocean with maximum sustained wind speeds of 160 mph, making it the strongest hurricane to develop in the eastern Atlantic, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But Lorenzo’s strength did not last long, as the storm soon began losing power while it approached the western Azores archipelago as a Category 1 hurricane. It then became an extratropical storm eastbound to the United Kingdom.
The Portuguese government reported minimal storm damage with the exception of fallen trees and downed power lines, The Associated Press reported.
The hurricane season doesn’t end until Nov. 30 and more milestones are still possible.
The strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded was the 1979 Typhoon Tip. It formed in the Northwest Pacific Ocean on Oct. 12 1979, and was measured to have a central pressure of 870 mb with estimated surface sustained winds of 190 mph. It was also one of the largest storms in history with winds extending out 675 miles from its core and gale-force winds covering 2.4 million square miles. Some records measure the 1996 Tropical Cyclone Olivia as the strongest storm after it hit Australia. The winds were measured at 253 mph. However, it has been noted that typhoons measured between 1940 and 1960 had increased recorded wind speeds, indicating a flaw in measurement as speeds were “too high,” according to the NOAA.