La Message Board Archives

1959 Hurricane

Posted by D on October 8, 2008, 3:00 am, in reply to "Re: Tropical Storm Norbert"

I was curious about the way the 1959 Hurricane was marked on the map showing that it came ashore in Tenacatita Bay and not Manzanillo as the news stories mentioned. Seems to me if a CAT 5 Hurricane did a direct hit here there would be more stories about it.

So I wrote to a meteorologist named Hans Resendalhe and to NOAA - asking them about it. Below are their responses.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 6:27 PM
Subject: Re: historical storm tracking

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your email and the information of the late October 1959 hurricane that struck Manzanillo. The storm track was based on ship observations as lots of ships travel between Panama and west coast ports. Late in the season (and also in May and June) storms tend to get caught in the westerlies aloft and moved in toward the coast. Manzanillo and Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas are such places that become vulnerable in such cases. Winds in mountainous terrain along the coast are often very strong or weak depending on exposure as is rainfall and danger of flooding and mudslides.

At the present time Norbert has gone by but another storm will develop behind it and move closer to the coast so there is still a chance of a destructive storm this year. Hopefully not in your area. I will send you in a different email a source of computer forecasts that will give you a chance to follow these storms into the future. Best regards Hans

NCEP Model Analyses and Forecasts

----- Original Message -----

From: Ethan Gibney
To: Daniel
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: From Daniel of La Manzanilla Mexico


Keep in mind that (of course) a hurricane is not a skinny line, as depicted in both our application and on the wikipedia site. Tropical cyclones have breadth (some small, some large) -- what forecasters refer to officially as 'Radius of Maximum Winds - RMW.' So although the track (the center of the center/eye of the storm, if you will) crossed the coast in one location, the worst affects could be felt quite a distance away from the 'line' and back in 1959, it is likely that there was very little objective guidance available (e.g., no satellites or aircraft reconnaissance in the east Pacific) to estimate what the RMW was. Therefore, unfortunately, I can only speak to the actual path of the center of the storm.

Sorry I can't be of more help in this case. You might try re-directing your question to the Public Affairs officer at the National Hurricane Center for further comment or referral to a Hurricane Specialist who might be able to assist you.



Message Thread:

By posting, you confirm that you have read and agreed to be bound by Boardhost's usage terms.


Be sure to visit