Today, I will be writing a blog post about an unusual tropical cyclone curse in the North Atlantic.
Before 1990, "I" storms were not very notable overall. Only a handful of seasons even reached that letter, and when they did, the "I" storm was not very notable. In fact, only two "I" names, Ione of 1955 and Inez of 1966, were retired before then. However, starting in 1990, the "I"'s would get extremely notable. Let me explain...
- Hurricane Isidore (1990): It all started in 1990. Hurricane Isidore began a streak of "I" storms attaining hurricane intensity. Despite a lack of land impact, Isidore formed further south than any other Atlantic tropical cyclone on record.
- 1991 did not use the "I" letter.
- 1992 did not use the "I" letter.
- 1993 did not use the "I" letter.
- 1994 did not use the "I" letter.
- Hurricane Iris (1995): Iris continued the streak. The Lesser Antilles were flooded by the hurricane, which set the stage for Luis's and Marilyn's rampages. Combined with an erupting volcano, Iris halted air travel and murdered five to death. Not only did she cause hype on land, but she was very aggressive out at sea. Iris got into a fight with Humberto before consuming Karen alive, not to mention she shared the Atlantic with three other siblings.
- Hurricane Isidore (1996): Isidore returned in 1996 with a stronger show. This time, he twirled about the Atlantic, becoming a major, and capped it off with a slow death, all while staying out to sea.
- 1997 did not use the "I" letter.
- Hurricane Ivan (1998): Ivan was not so terrible in 1998. He avoided land at all costs, and he shared the Atlantic with three siblings, Georges, Jeanne, and Karl.
- Hurricane Irene (1999): Forgotten in the wake of Dennis and Floyd, Irene was a very naughty girl. It all began in Cuba. Roads were blocked off, banana crops suffered severely, and thousands of houses were punched by the monster. Miami was next on Irene's list. She ate away all the beaches there and drenched the region, not to mention the poor stranded cattle. North Carolina was also hit badly. All that rain flooded rivers to their breaking point and washed out tons of roads. Finally, Irene sped out to sea, but not after causing 18 deaths and $800 million (2011 USD) in damage.
- Hurricane Isaac (2000): One of the more intense systems of 2000, Isaac stayed away from land, but it still caused a death and flipped over a boat.
- Hurricane Iris (2001): Iris began a decade-long assault of "I" names in the Atlantic. Starting from a western Atlantic tropical depression, Iris first passed over the Lesser Antilles, bringing some rain. Then Belize got a super hard punch. Whole villages were wiped off the map, and many other areas lost power. Some Mayan people lost all of their belongings! The crops did not turn out very well either. Thousands of acres of crops were decimated, causing high damage prices. Overall, Iris caused 36 deaths and $250 million (2001 USD) in damage, Belize's worst storm in decades.
- Hurricane Isidore (2002): Isidore continued the bad luck. At first, it struck Venezuela as a tropical depression and dissipated. Then it came back to life, and boy, was he destructive!!! First, heavy rainfall and considerable damage across Jamaica and Cuba. But the Yucatan fared much worse. Its rare landfall shut down oil production and caused 30 inches worth of rain in the region. This caused the destruction of many farms, warehouses, and the loss of thousands of square kilometres of crops. Whole roads were swept up by Isidore's surge and carried away, as well as the loss of power. The United States also got hit. Heavy rainfall and the increase of oil prices profoundly affected much of the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Mountains. All in all, Isidore resulted in 22 fatalities and nearly $1.3 billion (2002 USD) in losses.
- Hurricane Isabel (2003): Once again, the "I"'s struck. This time, the Northeastern United States was the victim. After a long track across the Atlantic, it punched North Carolina full force. Her terror can not be described in intensity. The vulnerable state took a big punch from Isabel. A whole section of Hatteras Island was washed out, creating the Isabel Inland. Thousands of homes were destroyed. But the impact was much worse in Virginia. Millions in damages and thousands lost power after a 10 foot storm surge came through and inundated towns, which also destroyed hundreds of houses. Washington D.C. suffered blown-down trees from strong gusts and Eastern Maryland fared no better. Otherwise, Canada got hit good as well. Isabel's legacy - 51 deaths and $3.5 billion (2003 USD) in damage.
- Hurricane Ivan (2004): The name emphasizes the storm's misery. Ivan put on a rush to explode. He passed over Grenada, turning the island into a major ruin by destroying over three quarters of the island's infrastructure. Jamaica was next on Ivan's list. Thousands lost their homes. However, the Cayman Islands fared worse. Most of the buildings were damaged or destroyed despite strict building codes, and it took months to recover. The United States also saw Ivan's terrible wrath. The Florida Panhandle and Alabama's Gulf Coast saw the leveling of many communities and the closure of numerous roads, all from a high storm surge. Following additional damage in Canada and the Northeastern U.S., Ivan looped back down to Florida and pulled a big stunt by regenerating in the Gulf, and then crashing into Texas as a tropical storm. $18 billion (2004 USD) in damage and 123 deaths are responsible due to Ivan.
- Hurricane Irene (2005): After four consecutive years of destructive "I" names, 2005 was a break in the trend. Irene caused just one fatality and some rough waves along the U.S. East Coast, but otherwise stayed out to sea as a minimal hurricane.
- Hurricane Isaac (2006): Isaac continued a short break in the trend. Some minor impacts occurred in Newfoundland, but they were extremely minor.
- Tropical Storm Ingrid (2007): Following nine consecutive seasons that had an "I" hurricane, 2007 stopped the streak. For the most part, Ingrid was a very weak cyclone with no land effects whatsoever. However, the curse was not over yet...
- Hurricane Ike (2008): Ike continued the curse. Forming out at sea, it exploded east of the Bahamas. As it closed in, the Turks and Caicos were hit severely. Almost all of the island's structures were damaged to some extent, and quite a few were damaged beyond repair. Hispaniola suffered horrendously. The island could not take another beating from tropical cyclones following Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. The flooding caused stress in relief efforts. Yet it was Cuba that took a harder punch from Ike. The hurricane destroyed hundreds of homes from its surge and ruined the sugar cane crops. By the time it was said and done, Ike had become the costliest Cuban tropical cyclone on record. However, the hurricane was not done. It smashed into Texas and Louisiana. Both states suffered a severe storm surge, and Galveston was damaged considerably. Whole suburbs were decimated by Ike's surge, and the seawall built to protect the city barely held. The piers that collapsed into the ocean, flattened houses, and glass-less skyscrapers illustrate the hurricane's mighty destructive effects. Poverty remained a huge issue after the storm in Houston and Galveston. Inland North America suffered just as bad. Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio all suffered flood and water damage from Ike's remnants, causing severe flooding across the region. Even Canada and Iceland got rainy days from Ike. This historic monster suffocated 195 to their deaths and left $37.5 billion (2008 USD) in damage, making it America's third costliest hurricane.
- Hurricane Ida (2009): Just because storms form in the year does not mean it will be destructive. Nicaragua got a surprise from Ida. Flooding destroyed tons of structures across the nation and left 40,000 homeless. Costa Rica and Honduras both were swamped to an extent as well. As Ida moved northward, it eroded beaches in the Yucatan before causing slight effects in Alabama and Florida. However, its degenerated remnants fueled a nor-easter that soaked the Northeast. Luckily, only one fatality and $11.3 million in damage (2009 USD) were reported.
- Hurricane Igor (2010): Igor was Newfoundland's reminder they can suffer hurricanes as well. As the storm formed, it caused minimal effects in Cape Verde. Next, it caused huge swells in the Lesser Antilles. Bermuda was next. Despite fears of a re-Fabian, little impact was reported aside from prolonged rain and widespread power outages. The United States also received some heavy surf from Igor. However, Canada suffered very extreme damage. A storm surge of 42 inches and rainfall in excess of 10 inches devastated Newfoundland, washing away roads, homes, bridges, sewage systems, and numerous other structures. Despite causing only four fatalities, $200 million (2010 USD) was reported, making it Newfoundland's costliest tropical cyclone.
- Hurricane Irene (2011): Irene served as a warning for Hurricane Sandy the following year. First, power outages and tropical storm conditions were reported across the Leeward Islands. In Puerto Rico, Irene caused flood damage to the crop and affected thousands across the island. Next, Hispaniola saw flooded rivers and displaced citizens from the hurricane, although the effects were not as bad. Some flooding and a minor surge was reported in Cuba, but in the Bahamas, many homes and settlements were destroyed by Irene's wind and storm surge, but no fatalities were reported. While the Southeastern United States made it out okay, North Carolina was whipped with a storm surge causing extensive structural damage, the Mid-Atlantic also suffered badly, but it was New Jersey and New York that got the worst of it. All that flooding caused widespread effects such as power outages. In New York and New England, damage was beyond extreme, ranging from twisted rail lines and impassable roads to severe tree damage. Fortunately, New York made it out okay, as well as much of Canada. Irene showed the Northeast what a hurricane can really do, and Sandy enforced that lesson. Its 56 deaths and $16.6 billion (2011 USD) were a truckload for the nations it affected.
- Hurricane Isaac (2012): Isaac, forgotten in the wake of Sandy, was a severe storm for the Caribbean and the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Lesser Antilles and Venezuela suffered from flooding and hundreds of evacuations. Haiti suffered from 24 fatalities due to various deaths in the 2010 earthquake tent zones. Rains and gusty winds from Isaac also had slight effects on Cuba. In Florida, Isaac's large size caused significant rainfall and the loss of several sea turtles. Louisiana was hit significantly by the hurricane. The storm surge flooded a number of homes and caused a struggle in rescue efforts. In fact, even Katrina's surge failed in comparison with Isaac in some regions. Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama all saw some rain and strong winds as well, but they did not get hit as badly as Louisiana did. In conclusion, Isaac caused 41 deaths and $2.39 billion (2012 USD) in damage.
Now, to finish off my blog post, I will answer a question about this season -
Will our "I" name this year continue this curse described?
My answer - I do not know, but I would prefer a Category 1 or stronger storm from our "I" name this year.
Thank you for reading my blog!