List of Arizona hurricanes

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The remnants of Hurricane Nora over the Southwestern United States.

An Arizona hurricane is a tropical cyclone forming in the eastern Pacific Ocean that affects the state of Arizona in the United States. Usually, the storm makes landfall in the Mexican states of Baja California or Sonora, with the remaining moisture normally having mild rainfall effects on the state. However, a few storms have crossed into Arizona while they still had tropical storm strength.

It is difficult for a hurricane to form in Arizona, because the normal storms that form in the eastern Pacific Ocean move either parallel or away from the Pacific coast of northwestern Mexico. As a result, most storms that could affect Arizona are carried away from the United States, and only 6% of all Pacific hurricanes enter US territory.[1] In average, Arizona experiences the effects of tropical cyclones once every five years.[1] Many, but not all, of these systems also affected California.

Tropical storms are one of Arizona's main sources of rainfall, and they infuse the monsoon over the southwestern United States.[2] However, all of the storms that have impacted Arizona have formed in the latter parts of the Pacific hurricane season, and no storm has affected the state before August.[1]

Storm Peak intensity Season Intensity Date[3]
Unnamed[4] Unknown 1921 Remnant low August 20, 1921
Unnamed[5] Unknown 1921 Tropical depression September 30, 1921
Unnamed[3] Unknown 1926 Remnant low September 20, 1926
Unnamed[3] Unknown 1927 Remnant low September 7, 1927
Unnamed[6] Unknown 1935 Tropical storm August 22, 1935
Unnamed[7] Tropical Storm[8] 1951 Tropical storm August 3, 1951
Unnamed[7] Category 1[8] 1958 Tropical storm October 6, 1958
Claudia[3] Tropical Storm 1962 Tropical storm September 25, 1962
Emily[7] Category 1[8] 1965 Remnant low September 6, 1965
Katrina[3] Category 1[8] 1967 Tropical storm August 29, 1967
Hyacinth[7] Tropical Storm[8] 1968 Tropical depression August 20, 1968
Norma[3] Tropical Storm 1970 Remnant Low Labor day
Joanne[3] Category 2 1972 Tropical storm October 4, 1972
Kathleen[3] Category 1 1976 Tropical storm September 10, 1976
Liza[9] Category 4 1976 Remnant low October 2, 1976
Doreen[3] Category 1 1977 Tropical storm August 13, 1977
Heather[3] Category 1 1977 Tropical depression October 4, 1977
Octave[3] Tropical Storm 1983 Tropical storm September 28, 1983
Raymond[7] Category 3[8] 1989 Tropical depression October 5, 1989
Boris[10] Category 1 1990 Remnant low[10] June 11, 1990
Lester[7] Category 1[11] 1992 Tropical storm August 22, 1992
Ismael[7] Category 1[8] 1995 Remnant low September 15, 1995
Nora[3] Category 4 1997 Tropical storm September 25, 1997
Isis[12] Category 1[8] 1998 Remnant low September 5, 1998
Marty[7] Category 2[8] 2003 Remnant low September 22, 2003
Javier[13] Category 4[8] 2004 Remnant low September 20, 2004
John Category 4 2006 Remnant low September 5, 2006
Julio Tropical Storm 2008 Tropical Storm August 25, 2008
Jimena Category 4 2009 Remnant low September 5, 2009

Deadly storms[change | change source]

Tropical Storm Octave.

Some of these tropical cyclones have caused deaths or a lot of property damage, usually because of flooding created by rain.

In August of 1935, the remnants of an unnamed tropical storm that landed on southern California causing heavy rains and flooding across Arizona, especially along the Santa Cruz River and Rillito Creek on Southern Arizona. The rainfall due to the storm still holds the record rainfall at the National Weather Service office in Tucson.[6]

In September of 1970, the remnants of Tropical Storm Norma became Arizona's deadliest storm when they contributed to the disaster known as the "Labor Day storm of 1970". As Norma dissipated, moisture from the cyclone was captured in a large extratropical low. The resulting rainfall created deadly floods that killed 23 people and caused huge damages.[3] Two years later, the remnants of Hurricane Joanne caused flooding that created damages up to $10 million (1972 USD) and eight deaths.[2]

On September 11, 1976, Hurricane Kathleen killed a man when a gust of wind blew a palm tree down onto his mobile home. Strong flooding and hailstorms also resulted.[3]

A weather system, including moisture from Tropical Storm Octave, caused heavy rains over a ten-day period. Fourteen people drowned, 975 were injured, and roughly 10,000 people were left homeless when the flooding ended. The amount of damage from the disaster was put at 370 million (year unknown) USD.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Corbosiero, Kristen L. (2003). "The Contribution of Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclones to the Warm Season Rainfall Climatology of the Southwestern United States". University of Albany. http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/kristen/monsoon.html. Retrieved 2006-3-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 United States Geological Survey (September 2005). "Hydrologic Conditions in Arizona During 1999 – 2004: A Historical Perspective". http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3081/pdf/FS2005-3081WEB.pdf. Retrieved 2006-3-20.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 National Weather Service, Phoenix Regional Office. "Top Arizona Hurricane/Tropical Storm Events". http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/psr/tropics/hurricanes.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-19.
  4. Williams, Jack (May 17, 2005). "Background: California's tropical storms". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/whhcalif.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  5. Hurd, Willis E. (February 1929). "Tropical Cyclones of the Eastern North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review 57 (2). http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/057/mwr-057-02-0043.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  6. 6.0 6.1 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "Santa Cruz River, Paseo de las Iglesias (Pima County, Arizona) Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement" (PDF). USACE. http://rfcd.pima.gov/reports/pdli2/appxa.pdf. Retrieved 2006-03-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Coastal Services Center. "Historical Hurricane Tracks". NOAA. http://hurricane.csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/viewer.html. Retrieved 2006-03-20.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Research Division (2007). "East Pacific hurricane best track ("HURDAT"), 1949–2007". National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tracks1949to2007_epa.txt. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  9. Roth, David (2008). "Tropical Cyclone Rainfall for the West". Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Climatology. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/tcwest.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Roth, David (2008). "Hurricane Boris - June 7-11, 1990". Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Climatology. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/boris1990.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  11. National Hurricane Center (1992). "Preliminary Report: Hurricane Lester, 20–24 August 1992". National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/epacific/ep1992-prelim/lester/. Retrieved 2006-03-20.
  12. Roth, David (2008). "Hurricane Isis - September 1-5, 1998". Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Climatology. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/isis1998.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  13. Roth, David (2008). "Hurricane Javier - September 18-21, 2004". Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Climatology. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/javier2004.html. Retrieved 2008-05-15.