Then and Now, Weather

Thursday Then and Now: Hurricane Prediction

IMG_1319
San Antonio Express. (San Antonio, Tex.), Vol. 55, No. 264, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 22, 1920newspaperSeptember 22, 1920; San Antonio, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth431159/accessed June 21, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Library Consortium.

Hurricane prediction has come a long way in the past few years as evidenced by this map published on September 22, 1920, showing the “probable” path of a tropical storm that had intensified into a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Just a map with an arrow pointing to the area where it was thought to make landfall. People along the Gulf Coast knew what to do:  evacuate.

This storm would make landfall that day near Houma, Louisiana as a modern-day category 2 hurricane.  It quickly lost its strength once over land, but caused considerable flooding throughout the Southeastern United States. The National Weather Service did not begin assigning names to tropical storms and hurricanes until 1953, thus this hurricane is just known as the second hurricane of the season.

IMG_1318
San Antonio Express. (San Antonio, Tex.), Vol. 55, No. 264, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 22, 1920newspaperSeptember 22, 1920; San Antonio, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth431159/accessed June 21, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Library Consortium.

We all know that today modern hurricane prediction is a highly developed science that gives accurate data as long as the hurricane doesn’t decide to develop a “mind of its own” and chart its own course as Hurricane Harvey did over Texas 2 years ago.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Thursday Then and Now: Hurricane Prediction”

  1. I did not realize it was 1953 before they began to name hurricanes. It was interesting in the 1920s – how they could only tell you in the newspaper what the weather was going to do. Had never thought how lucky we are to have a better warning system for weather now. Great post Beth – enjoyed it very much. I learned something new again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can you imagine preparing for a disaster depending on the newspaper? And remember when hurricanes were only given feminine names? I do not recall what year it was that it changed, but I do recall it happening.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes I remember when it was only feminine names and I did not like that. Made me think they were trying to say only women cause such turmoil. Things were very different 50 or 60 years ago.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. We were in Mississippi in 1969 when Hurricane Camille was forming in the Gulf. I remember that Daddy was closely watching television weather updates and listening to the radio to monitor its progress. The updates were every few hours and then you had to be watching or listening to hear them. Now the NHC is just a click away at any time.

        Liked by 1 person

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