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Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1972

1972 Storm Tracks Image
1972 Storm Tracks Image

Hurricane Agnes (June 14 to June 23, 1972)

A strong depression was formed on June 14 and moved eastward from the Yucatan peninsula on the 15th. The depression reached tropical storm strength while drifting eastward during the night of the 15th and was named early on the 16th. On June 16, satellite pictures revealed an extension of the disturbed weather area from the Agnes centre eastward to Puerto Rico and northeastward more than 3700 kilometres in the Atlantic. Agnes became a hurricane on the 18th with sustained surface winds of 138 kilometres per hour (75 knots). Agnes weaken before its initial landfall in early afternoon of the 18th near Cape San Blas, Florida. Agnes reduced to depression strength as it turned northeastward into Georgia on June 20.

As the ridge of high pressure over the western Atlantic continued to build, a major extratropical trough approached the weakened depression. Agnes’ circulation experienced renewed acceleration and the central pressure fell again. Early on the 21st, a secondary low centre developed west of the old Agnes depression centre. The two lows then moved in tandem. This complex system again reached tropical storm strength late on the 21st while the centres were still over land in North Carolina. The secondary low centre remained inland and ultimately became dominant, but not before the Agnes centre moved offshore near Norfolk, Virginia, that evening to almost regain it previous strength. The two centres turned northward and westward. The seaward centre crossed the western tip of Long Island, New York, on the afternoon of the 22nd and was absorbed that night over Connecticut into the circulation of the dominant secondary low centre, which had moved to northeastern Pennsylvania.

Hurricane Betty (August 22 to September 1, 1972)

The first evidence of the disturbance that was to develop into Hurricane Betty appeared on August 21, 1972 in an area located about 460 kilometres north-northwest of Bermuda. The disturbance was designated Subtropical Storm Bravo on August 23 as ship reports suggested winds had reached gale force. Bravo continued eastward with little change in intensity during the next 24 hours. By the morning of the 25th, however, reports indicated that a warm core system was in progress. Unfavourable northwest winds over Bravo delayed further intensification until late on the 26th when acceleration and intensification took place. On the morning of the 27th, Subtropical Storm Bravo became Hurricane Betty in the north central Atlantic about 1480 kilometres west of the Azores. Records indicate that this is the highest latitude at which a storm ever first became a hurricane. Betty began to weaken and as pressures built to the east of the centre, deceleration took place. By the morning of the 30th, Betty turned to the west, after coming close to the island of Corvo in the Azores. Later that day, winds dropped below hurricane force, and by late on the 31st they were barely of tropical storm strength. The storm accelerated northward and became extratropical about 925 kilometres northwest of Corvo on the morning of September 1.

No warnings other than marine were required and no damages or deaths associated with Betty were reported.

Tropical Storm Carrie (August 29 to September 5, 1972)

On August 29, a disturbance off the southeast Florida coast, began moving northward. Due to an unfavourable environment, no further development occurred. On September 1, the strongest sustained winds were only 75 kilometres per hour (40 knots), and the storm appeared to be ‘torn apart’ on satellite pictures. However, on September 2, Carrie gained strength again. Carrie began losing its tropical characteristics on the 2nd, and, by late afternoon, there was no evidence of tropical properties. The centre finally crossed the coast near Eastport, Maine, on the morning of the 4th and gradually weakened as it proceeded up the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

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