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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1976

1976 Storm Tracks Image
1976 Storm Tracks Image

Subtrop 1 (May 21 to May 25, 1976)

On May 21, a low pressure system developed over the central Gulf of Mexico. The low gained strength and drifted northward until it became nearly stationary on May 22. By the 23rd, the system strengthened to subtropical storm intensity. Subtrop. 1 accelerated toward the east-northeast and crossed north Florida and southwest Georgia on the afternoon of the 23rd. The system continued into the Atlantic and merged with a frontal system by May 25.

Tides of 60 centimetres above normal occurred along the Gulf Coast from Tampa to Pensacola, and combined with large swells, caused beach erosion in that area. Heavy rain was reported over South Carolina. Damage from the storm was minimal and the rainfall was beneficial to the southeastern states since precipitation had been below normal in that area.

Hurricane Belle (August 6 to August 10, 1976)

On August 6, a tropical depression was formed to the east of northern Bahamas. As a tropical depression and for the first few hours as a tropical storm, Belle’s position remained about 460 kilometres east-northeast of Nassau in the Bahamas. Intensification was rather steady from the 6th to the 9th. As Belle increased in strength, its status was upgraded to a tropical storm on the evening of the 6th and to a full hurricane late in the afternoon of the 7th. Soon after reaching tropical storm intensity, acceleration began toward the northwest and toward the north by the 8th. This northward motion continued for the next two days.

Landfall was made early on August 10 on the south coast of Long Island. The point of landfall is estimated to be in the vicinity of Jones Beach on western Long Island. The storm moved northward across Long Island, then over Long Island Sound, reaching the Connecticut coast near Bridgeport. Belle’s course continued across west central Massachusetts into southwest New Hampshire, finally northeastward into western Maine. During this later period, over New Hampshire and Maine, Belle lost its tropical characteristics.

Estimated damage caused by strong winds were minimal, though the total damage for the United States was $100 million. This was mainly a result of agricultural crop damage in the northeast United States, although other property damage (dwellings, boats, commercial and beach-front structures) accounts for a considerable percentage.

Hurricane Candice (August 18 to August 24, 1976)

On August 18, a low that formed southeast of Bermuda, was classified as a tropical depression, while located about 370 kilometres west of Bermuda. Development continued and it was named Candice later on the same day. As the storm moved northeastward, slight weakening occurred beginning on the afternoon of the 19th and continuing until the following afternoon, when the storm began to deepen once again. Candice became a hurricane during the night of the 20th. Early on August 24, the hurricane was overtaken by a rapidly moving cold front east of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Candice rapidly lost its identity as a tropical system while accelerating northeastward over the open Atlantic. There were no known casualties or damages associated with Candice.

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