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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1981

1981 Storm Tracks Image
1981 Storm Tracks Image

Tropical Storm Bret  (June 29 to July 1, 1981)

Tropical Storm Bret was named on June 30, 1981, though its life cycle began the previous day, as a low pressure system formed 900 kilometres to the east of the North Carolina coast. Bret achieved a maximum wind speed of 111 kilometres per hour (60 knots). The storm crossed the coast on July 1, in the proximity of southern Maryland and southern Chesapeake Bay. Bret weakened before it made landfall.

Damage was limited to minor flooding in Maryland and a brief tornado touched down around Virginia Beach. Bret’s remnants continued well inland, bringing rainfall amounts up to 150 millimetres westward to the Ohio Valley. Tropical Storm Bret had no direct impact on Canada.

Tropical Storm Cindy  (August 2 to August 5, 1981)

Tropical Storm Cindy formed off the mid-Atlantic United States coast on August 2, 1981. Cindy moved northeastward through the western Atlantic, where it reached maximum wind speeds of 93 kilometres per hour (50 knots). Cindy sustained a northeastward motion from the moment it became a tropical storm on August 3 until it developed into an extratropical low on the 5th while passing southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

Tropical Storm Cindy was not credited for any damages nor did it have a direct impact on Canada.

Hurricane Dennis (August 7 to August 22, 1981)

Dennis was the first storm of the 1981 hurricane season to stem from an African disturbance. The storm track for Dennis spread in a westerly direction across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, and then curved northeastward over Cuba and then the southern United States. Dennis momentarily achieved hurricane strength while it was moving away from land into the North Atlantic Ocean. During this time, Dennis attained a maximum wind speed of 129.5 kilometres per hour (70 knots). The storm then moved over colder water and completely lost its tropical characteristics by August 22.

The outcome of Hurricane Dennis contact with land areas was limited essentially to heavy tropical rains, though it is estimated that there was $25 million in damage from this rainfall. Dennis had no direct impact on Canada.

Hurricane Emily (August 31 to September 12, 1981)

Emily formed from a frontal wave and was centered 700 kilometres east of Jacksonville Florida, heading northeastward, on August 31, 1981. This system intensified and the centre passed within 75 kilometres of Bermuda early on September 2. Hurricane Emily then moved through the mid-Atlantic looping and curving until September 4, when a northeastward movement was resumed. Emily continued moving in this generally direction for eight more days, though its track was slow and erratic. The hurricane weakened as it continued to move in a northeasterly direction. By September 12, Emily had degenerated into a broad, weak area of low pressure located in the central North Atlantic.

Emily attained a maximum wind speed of 147 kilometres per hour (79 knots). No damages or deaths were associated with Emily, nor did it have a direct impact on Canada.

Subtrop. 3  (November 12 to November 17, 1981)

On November 12, 1981, a low pressure centre was discovered 750 kilometres east of Jacksonville, Florida. The low moved generally northward for five days, paralleling the United States coastline. On November 17, Subtrop. 3 reached Nova Scotia. There was coastal flooding and beach erosion along a great deal of the Atlantic Seaboard, from Florida to Maine, as result of this slow-moving storm. Gale warnings were in effect at numerous times from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to Eastport, Maine, and also extended into Nova Scotia. Subtrop. 3 attained maximum wind speeds of 111 kilometres per hour (60 knots).

This storm did not have a direct impact on Canada.

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