Hurricane Gladys (1964)

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Hurricane Gladys
Image location=Hurricane Gladys of 1964.jpg

Formed=September 13, 1964
Dissipated=September 25, 1964
1-min winds=125

Fatalities=0 direct, 1 indirect
Areas=East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada
Hurricane season=1964 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Gladys was the ninth tropical cyclone (including two unnamed tropical storms), seventh named storm, fourth hurricane and fourth major hurricane of the 1964 Atlantic hurricane season. [cite web|author=Unisys|year=2007|title=Unisys 1964 Archive|accessdate=2007-02-22|url=] Gladys formed from on September 13, 1964 as a tropical depression and moved westward where it quickly became a Category 4 hurricane. Gladys reached a peak intensity of 145 mph (225 km/h) before recurving to the northeast and brushing past eastern North Carolina and Atlantic Canada. Gladys then became extratropical dissipated on September 25.

Although the storm stayed offshore, Gladys managed to cause moderate beach erosion and flood damage in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Overall damage was minor and there was only one indirect fatality as the result of the storm.

Meteorological history

A weak tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on September 9 and moved westward across the Atlantic Ocean. On September 13, a ship reported winds of 63 mph (101 km/h) confirming that the disturbance had rapidly intensified to a tropical storm. As a result, the National Hurricane Center named the storm "Gladys". A hurricane hunter plane flew into Gladys but was unable to obtain wind data due to darkness.cite web|National Hurricane Center|year=1964|title=Hurricane Gladys report page 1|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-02-22|url=]

The following day, the hurricane hunter plane flew into Gladys again and the crew determined that the storm had rapidly reached hurricane status as it moved west-northwest at 18 mph. Gladys continued on that heading as it reached Category 4 status. On September 17, Gladys winds peaked at 145 mph (225 km/h) and the barometric pressure dropped to 945 mbar.

On September 19 a weak trough caused Gladys to turn northward and weaken to a Category 3 hurricane and later to a Category 2 hurricane. Gladys drifted northward for 48 hours before turning to the northwest again. Gladys then turned to the northeast on September 23 in response of a developing area of low pressure over the Great Lakes. The center of the storm reached its closest proximity to the East Coast of the United States by 150 miles (241 km). Gladys then weakened to a minimal hurricane as it continued moving northeastward. [cite web|author=Weather Underground|year=2007|title=Weather Underground Archive of Gladys|accessdate=2007-02-22|url=] The hurricane accelerated rapidly and became extratropical on September 23. The extratropical remnants of Gladys brushed past Nova Scotia and passed over Newfoundland on September 24 prior to dissipating on September 25.


As Gladys strengthened in the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predicted that the storm will bring high surf to areas as far north as North Carolina and suggested that Gladys might head towards northern Florida as the storm was on a similar path as Hurricane Dora. As a result, forecasters advised residents along the southeastern coast of the United States and small craft advisories were issued.cite web|author=United Press International|year=1964|title=Hurricane Gladys, Big and Dangerous|publisher=The Times Recorder|accessdate=2007-02-27|url=
] [cite web|author=UPI|year=1964|title=Hurricane Gladys plods towards Carolinas|publisher=The Valley Independent|accessdate=2007-02-27|url=
] On September 20, the concern of Gladys hitting Florida dwindled as the storm turned northeast and small craft advisories were issued for the Bahamas.cite web|author=AP and UPI|year=1964|title=Hurricane Moving on Georgia|publisher=Oakland Tribune|accessdate=2007-02-27|url=

On September 22, Gladys turned back towards the northwest, prompting forecasters at the National Hurricane Center to place the states of North Carolina, Virginia and Mid Atlantic under a hurricane watch.cite web|author=AP|year=1964|title=Shore put on Hurricane Watch|publisher=The Salisbary Times|accessdate=2007-02-27|url=
] Gale warnings and small craft advisories were issued on September 23 from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. [cite web|author=Tenenbaun|year=1964|title=NWS Advisory on Gladys|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-01|url=] In Rhode Island, ships of the United States Navy were diverted to Narraganselt Bay as a precaution.cite web|author=Newport Daily News|year=1964|title=Navy City takes storm precautions|accessdate=2007-03-01|url=
] At 11 p.m. EDT, the gale warnings for New England were lowered as Gladys turned northeastward away from the coast however, small water craft were advised to remain in port until the seas subside. [cite web|author=Tenenbaum|year=1964|title=NWS Advisory on Gladys|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-02|url=]


Hurricane Gladys' wind field extended 275 miles (443 km) from the center and produced rough seas that affected the eastern Caribbean, northern Bahamas and coastal sections of Florida and Georgia.

Carolinas and Virginia

Hurricane Gladys' effects on South Carolina was minimal as the center of the hurricane was a considerable distance from the coastline. The only effects Gladys brought to South Carolina was an 1 inch (25.4 mm) of rainfall which was reported in Myrtle Beach and storm tides two feet (0.6 meters) above normal. [cite web|author=Nathan Kronberg|year=1964|title=South Carolina report on Gladys|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-02|url=]

In North Carolina, Gladys' large wind field produced strong tropical storm force winds near Manteo. Waves produced by the strong winds flooded a highway leading away from Manteo. Near Cape Hatteras, a weather station recorded winds of 40 mph (65 km/h) with gust up to 41 mph (66 km/h) and tides 2-2.5 feet (0.6-0.76 meters) above normal.cite web|author=Hardy|year=1964|title=Hurricane Gladys Report page 3|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-16|url=] The abnormal tides and heavy wave action flooded two small villages, leaving many homes and buildings under 2 feet (0.6 meters) of water and washed away grasses that were planted to stabilize the sand dunes. A weather station in Wilmington reported winds of 25 mph (40 km/h) with a peak gust of 28 mph (45 km/h)cite web|author=Duke|year=1964|title=Wilmington, North Carolina report on Gladys|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-16|url=] and tides 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters) above normal. Elsewhere in the Outer Banks, high winds caused a mobile home to fall off its foundations and blew down two television antennas. [cite web|author=Weddle|year=1964|title=Hurricane Gladys damage report|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-16|url=]

In Virginia, a weather station in Norfolk recorded gusts of 38-44 mph (61-71 km/h), a barometric pressure of 29.71 inches (1006 millibars) and .17 inches (4.31 mm) of rain. A weather station in Cape Henry recorded sustained winds of 42 mph (68 km/h)and rainfall of .02 inches (0.5 mm). Coastal sections of southeastern Virginia experienced tides 2.2-6.1 feet (0.6-1.8 meters) above normal, resulting in minor tidal flooding. [cite web|author=Sasche|year=1964|title=Norfolk report on Gladys|publisher=NOAA|accessdate=2007-03-16|url=] One indirect fatality was attributed from Gladys when a man suffered fatal wounds to his throat due to flying debris.cite web|author=AP|year=1964|title=East Coast Sparred as Hurricane Veers|publisher=Oshkosh Daily Northwestern|accessdate=2007-03-19|url=

Northeast United States, Bermuda and Canada

High winds and strong ocean currents form Gladys produced heavy surf and beach erosion in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. [cite web|author=AP|year=1964|title=Fickle Gladys heads away into open sea|publisher=The Greeley Daily Tribune|accessdate=2007-03-19|url=
] In Rhode Island, the outer bands of Gladys produced light rainfall of .38 inches (9.6 mm) across the state. [cite web|author=AP|year=1964|title=Hurricane only brought heavy rains, crashing seas to R.I.|publisher=The Newport Daily News|accessdate=2007-03-19|url=
] In Narragansett, Rhode Island, a boy was washed into the sea by the waves and was rescued by the United States Coast Guard servicemen who dove into the water to rescue the boy after two previous attempts to rescue him failed. [cite web|author=Independent News|year=1964|title=Ocean Ordeal: I Thought I Was Going to Die|accessdate=2007-03-19|url=
] The outer bands of Gladys also lashed Bermuda with winds but little damage if any was reported. In Atlantic Canada, Gladys passed over Newfoundland as a 70 mph (113 km/h) extratropical storm but no damage was reported. [cite web|author=Weather Underground|year=2007|title=Weather Underground archive of Gladys|accessdate=2007-03-13|url=]

Because its effects was minimal, the name Gladys was not retired and it was reused again in 1968 and 1975. A change in the hurricane naming list in 1979 prevented the further use of the name Gladys and it is not on the current list of tropical cyclone names for the Atlantic basin.

ee also

*List of Atlantic hurricanes


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