The South Carolina Storms 2004
Hurricane Alex & Hurricane Gaston

Historical Hurricane Data

The Facts

Alex sets a record

Late Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2004 as Hurricane Alex raced away from the USA, forecasters estimated its winds as 120 mph, making it a Category 3, "major" hurricane with winds faster than 110 mph. This makes Alex the strongest recorded hurricane on record north of latitude 38 degrees north. It was about 800 miles southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland, at latitude 38.9 degrees north, the latitude of Washington, D.C.

Source: The National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Alex Archive Hurricane Alex brought a powerful start to the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. It first formed as a depression on July 31, and strengthened to a hurricane early on August 3 less than 100 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC. Alex then moved northeastward, paralleling the North Carolina coastline and brushing the Outer Banks just before noon on the same day. A peak wind gust of 102 mph was registered at Hatteras Village while Alex passed close by. As Alex moved away from the US coast, it continued to gain strength and became a major hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.

Gaston surprised meteorologists, who had expected the storm to move through more quickly as it came north from the Carolinas and predicted no more than 4 inches of rain. Downtown Richmond got up to 12 inches of rain Monday afternoon and evening and suburban King William County measured 14 inches of precipitation, source: National Weather Service.

Hurricane Gaston was reported the have sustained winds of 60 mph. on CNN and CBS national news, but the hurricane center reported 75mph.

Hurricanes Charley, Gaston, and Alex, as well as Tropical Storms Hermine and Bonnie have hit the East Coast since early August. Two other storms, Hurricane Danielle and Tropical Storm Earl, didn't reach the coastline, bringing August's total to eight "named" storms — tying the U.S. record for most storms in any single month.



The Rebuttal


Quote from  “Hurricane Alex was just an area of concern off the South Carolina coast, but in a couple of days became a hurricane.”

Response from a certain forum

Anonymous Coward
4:46 am EDT 

Spontaneous Hurricane Intensification and Formation

Grant you are so full of it with your make believe world you live in...

First of, ocean temps while are one part of helping a storm intensify it by no means is the major cause. On top of that there hasn´t been a major recorded jump in surface temps that would support your theory that all of a sudden the sun has become so intense as to raise the ocean temps a noticeable amount.

As far as your assumption that Hurrican Alex, was just an area of concern that is untrue. It started as any other tropical wave from south america moved northward and then sat stationary for 2 days. That is what caused it to intensify into a hurricane. It churned in the warm waters off the coast of the carolina´s and grew in strength. When it finally started to move again it was a tropical storm and since it was a rather slow moving system intensified further into a hurricane, just like every other hurrincane in history has.

As far as your other claim that few storms develop so close to the eastern seaboard is another load of BS.
I will be showing data from 1944 to 1999. 

I´ve got news for you Grant. Just about every Atlantic hurricane or tropical storm starts as a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa and I think that´s what the poster intended to say, NOT South America. Please note, I did NOT say that all tropical storms start this way. Most do and never develop into anything. Some are late bloomers. Alex started off as a an area of disorganized thunderstorms just east of the Bahamas and reached tropical depression status on July 31st when it was 175 miles south-southeast of Charleston, SC.

Check the historical data to see how often storms form in the Carolina region and their related strength.






Hurricane Alex formed off the Georgia-South Carolina coast in a few days.





Upgraded to

Hurricane Gaston

Maps and data provided by the courtesy of Weather Underground


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