Record Low Temperature

A new record low temperature was established in Baltimore Tuesday morning. The temperature dropped to 37.9 degrees around daybreak at BWI-Marshall Airport. This is a preliminary reading and after verification it will probably be rounded up to 38 degrees. The old record low was 39 degrees, set in 2003.


The morning satellite picture shows clear skies over the Chesapeake Bay region. The clouds to the south are related to the weather system that passed through the area over the weekend. The cloud mass over Florida is a weather system that was thought could possibly develop some tropical characteristics. As of Tuesday morning, hurricane forecasters think that significant development is unlikely and a hurricane hunter flight into the storm has been cancelled. It is a reminder, though, that the official start of the hurricane season is only a couple of weeks away. The weak organization of the storm over Florida is an indication that oceanic and atmospheric conditions are becoming more favorable for tropical storm and hurricane development.

While on the subject of hurricanes, on May 1, NOAA announced that four hurricane names have been retired. Here is the text of the news release:


Four Hurricane Names Retired From List of Storms

May 1, 2009

Three hurricane names in the Atlantic and one in the eastern North Pacific were retired from the official name rotation by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee because of the deaths and damage they caused in 2008.

The names Gustav, Ike and Paloma in the Atlantic and Alma in the North Pacific will not be used again. Those names would have been used again in 2014. In their place will be Gonzalo, Isaias and Paulette in the Atlantic and Amanda in the North Pacific. The committee issues the list of potential names for tropical cyclones to be used every six years for both the Atlantic basin and eastern North Pacific basin.

Details of the retired 2008 named storms are shown below:

  • Gustav became a hurricane on Aug. 26, making landfall in Haiti as a Category 1 hurricane. Gustav then struck western Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane, making its final landfall near Cocodrie, La., on Sept. 1 as a Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane force winds, storm surge and heavy rain produced more than $4 billion damage in Louisiana. Gustav killed 112 people, including 77 in Haiti.
  • Ike became a hurricane on Sept. 3 and rapidly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane northeast of the Leeward Islands. The storm struck the Turks and Caicos Islands and Great Inagua Island in the Southeastern Bahamas on Sept. 7, and the northeast coast of Cuba later that day. Ike made its final landfall at Galveston Island, Texas on Sept. 13 as a Category 2 hurricane. Ike killed more than 80 people across the Caribbean and Bahamas, and another 20 in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Total estimated U.S. property damage from Ike is estimated at $19.3 billion.
  • Paloma reached hurricane intensity on Nov. 7 and became the second strongest November Atlantic hurricane on record the next day, reaching Category 4. According to the Cuban government, more than 1,400 homes were destroyed on that island with $300 million U.S. dollars in damage. 
  • Alma was the first eastern North Pacific basin tropical cyclone to make landfall along the Pacific Coast of Central America since records began in 1949. The storm formed quickly on May 28 west-northwest of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica. Alma was responsible for two direct deaths and the destruction of thousands of homes. 


John Collins


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