Racer’s hurricane was a destructive tropical cyclone in early October 1837. It was the worst of the hurricanes of the century, with winds of up to 100 mph (160 km/h) and heavy rains. It killed an estimated 105 people, mostly on the Texas coast and in the interior of the U.S. Gulf Coast. It is still one of the most famous and destructive storms of the 20th century.
About Racer’s hurricane in brief
Racer’s hurricane was a destructive tropical cyclone that had severe effects in northeastern Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the Gulf Coast of the United States in early October 1837. It takes its name from the Royal Navy ship HMS Racer, which encountered the cyclone in the northwestern Caribbean Sea. Little is known about the origins of the storm, but may have been a Cape Verde type hurricane arising from a westward-moving tropical wave. The storm first affected Jamaica with flooding rainfall and strong winds on September 26 and 27, before entering the Gulf of Mexico by October 1. As the hurricane struck northern Tamaulipas and southern Texas, it slowed to a crawl and turned sharply northeastward. After crossing the Southeastern United States, it emerged into the Atlantic shipping lanes off the Carolinas by October 9. Overall, Racer’s hurricane killed an estimated 105 people, mostly on the Texas coast and in the interior of the U.S. Gulf Coast. It passed the Sabine River on the night of October 5–6, and made landfall in Louisiana, New Orleans, late on October 6 with winds from the storm. According to weather historian David Ludlum, the storm moved ashore, likely between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, on October 8. Over the next few days, it regained some strength, before emerging into the open Atlantic near Wilmington as a low-end hurricane.
The system moved northeastward across the interior South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, before losing strength and emerging in the Atlantic on October 10. It was the worst of the hurricanes of the century, with winds of up to 100 mph (160 km/h) and heavy rains. It peaked at the equivalent of Category 4 or 5 on the modern-day Saffir–Simpson scale, and caused damage in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. It is still one of the most famous and destructive storms of the 20th century, according to meteorology historian David Ludlum. In recognition of this ordeal, writers and historians have commonly referred to the system as Racer’s storm or Racer’s hurricane, and it is still referred to as a major hurricane to this day. The hurricane was first noted at Barbados on September 22, but it may have was a CapeVerde-type hurricane. It had passed just south of Jamaica on September 24 and 25, affecting the island with strong winds and heavy rain. The center briefly moved ashore over extreme northern Mexico near the mouth of the Rio Grande by early on October 3, but a strong high pressure area to the north halted the hurricane’s forward progress. The slow-moving hurricane traced the Texas shoreline for several days from October 3 through October 5, and continued eastward.
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This page is based on the article Racer’s hurricane published in Wikipedia (as of Nov. 04, 2020) and was automatically summarized using artificial intelligence.