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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1971

1971 Storm Tracks Image
1971 Storm Tracks Image

Tropical Storm Arlene (July 4 to July 8, 1971)

Arlene, the first tropical storm of the 1971 season, was named on July 5, when a depression that was located 220 kilometres off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina strengthened and its central pressure had fallen to 1002 millibars. As the tropical storm formed, Arlene began a steady northward movement. Arlene never deepened significantly after its initial development. Arlene lost tropical characteristics as it passed over the cold waters east of Newfoundland on July 7.

There were no deaths or damages associated with Tropical Storm Arlene.

Hurricane Beth (August 10 to August 17, 1971)

The initial evidence of the season’s hurricane was the formation of an upper low off the east coast of Florida on August 9. On the following day a tropical depression was formed. After moving steadily northeastward in a relatively cold environment without further development during the next two days, the storm structure gradually changed to a warm core system during August 13 and 14 as the depression passed offshore of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Rapid deepening followed and Beth was named on the 14th and just 10 hours later Beth became a hurricane.

Beth began moving more rapidly northeastward on the 14th while continuing to gradually intensify. On the 15th, the hurricane passed to the east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Slight weakening occurred thereafter as Beth made landfall on the afternoon of the 16th near Copper Lake on the eastern tip of Nova Scotia. Subsequently, the hurricane passed over Cape Breton and was swept up by a cold front as it reached southwestern Newfoundland early the next day.

Record rainfall amounts occurred in Nova Scotia. Nearly 25 centimetres of rain fell in Halifax. Damage to crops, mainly due to flooding, was extensive. Sections of highways and bridges were washed out. Fresh water supplies at Dartmouth remained contaminated for days following the storm because of excessive runoff into the supply lakes. Total damage in Nova Scotia was estimated at $3.5 million. No fatalities were reported.

Tropical Storm Doria (August 20 to August 29, 1971)

On August 20, 1971, a depression just barely formed. Little change was observed until August 25 when there was indication of better organization. The following day winds had increased and the tropical cyclone was named as it reached a point 370 kilometres east of Daytona Beach, Florida, moving on a more northerly track. As the storm moved northward through the middle Atlantic States, the centre almost straddled the coastline until it moved far inland across New England with gradually weakening circulation. Even though Doria never attained hurricane status, it was by far the most damaging to the United Stated of any named storm in the 1971 season. This is largely because it traversed a heavily populated area of the country, and the heavy rain that it carried caused extensive damage to property and crops as rivers and streams overflowed their banks.

Tropical Storm Heidi (September 11 to September 15, 1971)

Heidi never became a well-developed tropical system, but it did have a warm central core. Heidi reached tropical storm strength when located about 740 kilometres east of Jacksonville, Florida. As it approached New England, a large low pressure system developed over the northern Appalachian Mountains, the circulation of which completely engulfed Heidi a few hours before the storm moved over Maine. Maximum sustained winds had decreased to less than gale force when it crossed the Maine coast on the afternoon of the 14th.

No casualties or damages due to Heidi were reported.

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