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Tropical Storm Kirsten was the sixteenth tropical depression and eleventh tropical storm of the 1966 Pacific hurricane season.[1] The tropical cyclone formed southwest of Mexico on September 25 and moved northeast, with two landfalls occurring near the city of La Paz on the Baja Peninsula and near Los Mochis, Mexico on September 28. Damage from Kirsten, adjusted for inflation, totaled $35.18 million (2008 USD).

Meteorological history

During the evening of September 25, a tropical wave off the coast of Mexico became more organized and strengthened to become Tropical Depression Sixteen. The depression slowly drifted to the north toward the Baja Peninsula. After drifting northward for 24 hours, the depression began to curve eastward. The curve was completed the next evening. After this curve, the depression sharply turned to the north and strengthened to reach a peak of Template:Convert/mph and was named "Kirsten", the eleventh tropical storm of the season.[2]

As the storm strengthened, it picked up speed. Kirsten crossed the Baja Peninsula during the afternoon of September 28 without weakening. It is unknown why the storm failed to weaken, though the speed with which it crossed the peninsula may have been a factor. After crossing the Baja, Kirsten veered to the northwest, making landfall about halfway between Los Mochis and Ciudad Obregón, Mexico, and weakening to a remnant low after crossing the Sierra Madre mountains. Finally curving to the west, the remnant low dissipated south of the Mexico–US border.[2]

Impact and naming

Most of Kirsten's impact was in and around Ciudad Obregón. There, eight people were killed and more than 150 injured. Kirsten caused $5.6 million (1966 USD) of damage in Ciudad Obregón. Flooding and strong winds destroyed more than 1000 homes. The total cost of damage, adjusted for inflation, was $35.18 million (2008 USD). After the storm dissipated, the Mexican Defense Ministry gave food, medical supplies, and temporary shelter to the victims of the storm.[3].

Kirsten's naming marked the busiest hurricane season since naming began in 1960. This record would be broken by the following two seasons.[2]

The name "Kirsten" was not retired after this season. Four years later, it was changed to "Kristen", perhaps due to a clerical error. The change was reverted in time for the 1974 season. The name was last used that year, as the 1978 change in naming did not include the name on the new lists.[4]


  1. "Annex A: Summary of Tropical Cyclones in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean (180 degrees to the North American Coast) for 1966" (PDF). Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Eastern North Pacific Tracks File 1949-2007" (Plaintext). National Hurricane Center. 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  3. Tuscan Daily Citizen Hurricane Center (1966). "Effects of Tropical Storm Kirsten on Mexico". Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  4. "Untitled" (Plaintext). Atlantic Tropical Weather Center. Retrieved 2008-10-12.