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The Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017, The Breaking and Developing Story 1: Mandatory Evacuation Ordered For South Florida — Floridians Flee Monster “Nuclear” Hurricane Irma With Wind Speeds Exceeding 185 MPH That Could Hit Either Coast and Miami/Dade County By Saturday — High Rise Buildings With Glass Windows Near Construction Cranes A Major Concern — Gas Shortage A Serious Major Problem For Those Evacuating — Get Out If You Can Now! — When Will Irma Turn North? — Videos — Story 2: Perspective Please — Over 1200 Killed by Flood in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan) vs. Over 60 in Texas By Raining Weather Not Climate Change — Worst Flooding in Decades — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 955, August 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 953, August 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 952, August 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 951, August 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939,  August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 921, June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920, June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919, June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918, June 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 917, June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916, June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915, June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914, June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913, June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912, June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911, June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909, June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907, June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905, June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904, June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903, June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902, May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901, May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900, May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899, May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898, May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897, May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896, May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895, May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894, May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893, May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892, May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891, May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890, May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889, May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888, May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887, May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886, May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885, May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884, May 1, 2017

 

The Breaking and Developing Story 1: Mandatory Evacuation Ordered For South Florida — Floridians Flee Monster “Nuclear” Category 5 Hurricane Irma With Wind Speeds Exceeding 185 MPH That Could Hit Either Coast and Miami/Dade County By Saturday — High Rise Buildings With Glass Windows Near Construction Cranes A Major Concern — Gas Shortage A Serious Major Problem For Those Evacuating — Get Out If You Can Now! — When Will Irma Turn North? — Videos —Image result for map of florida and path of Hurrican Irma as of 5 pm 7 September 2017Image result for hurricane irma most likely track 5pm september 7, 2017

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Image result for map of florida and path of Hurrican Irma as of 5 pm 7 September 2017

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Update

Hurricane Irma 6 p.m. September 8, 2014

 

Tracking Hurricane Irma and Jose: Outlook for Sept. 7, 2017

Gov. Scott: Fuel Top Priority Before Effects Of Hurricane Irma Begin

Miami Beach mayor: Irma is a ‘nuclear hurricane’

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TRAPPED IN FLORIDA (HURRICANE IRMA)

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Hurricane Irma Causes Damage Across The Caribbean | NBC News

Hurricane Irma an Extreme Storm Surge Threat to the U.S. and Bahamas

September 6, 2017, 8:26 PM EDT

Above: Radar image of Irma from the Puerto Rico radar at 9 pm EDT September 6, 2017.

After clobbering the Lesser Antilles islands of BarbudaSaint BarthelemyAnguilla, and Saint Martin/Sint Maarten early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Irma carried its march of destruction into the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday afternoon, still packing top winds of 185 mph. As of 5 pm EDT Wednesday, Irma had spent a remarkable 1.5 days as a Category 5 hurricane, which is the 7th longest stretch on record in the Atlantic, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach.

Irma
Figure 1. MODIS image of Irma on Wednesday afternoon, September 6, 2017. The eye of the storm was over the British Virgin Islands. Image credit: NASA.

Longer-range outlook for Irma:  Cuba, The Bahamas, and Southeast U.S.

The 12Z Wednesday runs of our top four track models—the European, GFS, HWRF, and UKMET models—were in strikingly close agreement that Irma will continue on a west-northwest track till Saturday, then arc sharply to the north-northwest. All four model runs placed the center of Irma within roughly 50 miles of Miami on Sunday morning; the latest 18Z GFS was also there. The average track error in a 4-day forecast is 175 miles, but this remarkable agreement among the models lends additional confidence to the NHC forecast track, which brings Irma over or very near southeast Florida on Sunday. All four models move Irma northward along or near Florida’s east coast, with landfall in Georgia or South Carolina on Monday.

Bahamas:  From late Thursday into Friday, Irma will be moving through or just south of the Southeast Bahamas, which are under a Hurricane Warning along with the Central Bahamas. Irma has the potential to be a devastating storm for The Bahamas, especially its southern islands, and residents should rush any needed preparations to completion.

Cuba:  From Friday into Saturday, Irma will be paralleling the north coast of Cuba, and it is possible Irma’s center will move just inland along the coast for some period of time. Parts of central Cuba are within the “cone of uncertainty” in the official NHC forecast. Residents of Cuba will need to pay very close attention to Irma’s track. The eastern two-thirds of Cuba was under a Hurricane Watch as of Wednesday afternoon. Irma is not expected to cross Cuba and move into the Caribbean.

Florida:  Where and when Irma makes its right-hand turn will largely determine its track with respect to the Florida peninsula. Based on recent ensemble models (in which a large number of parallel runs are carried out to simulate uncertainty in the atmosphere), it is still possible that Irma could take a south-to-north inland track across the Florida peninsula, or a track that stays just east of Florida’s East Coast. However, it appears most likely that Irma will hug the state’s East Coast from south to north, potentially moving inland over some sections. This type of track is far different from those of Hurricane Andrew (1992) and Katrina (2005), which moved from east to west across the Miami metro area. A south-to-north track would affect a much larger part of this elongated metroplex. In an interview published in Capital Weather Gang in August, Bryan Norcross touches on the many issues that a hurricane like Irma could bring to South Florida, which has not experienced a storm this strong in 25 years.

Depending on Irma’s track, hurricane conditions could extend well inland, as well as northward along the length of the peninsula. The entire Florida peninsula is within the five-day cone of uncertainty in the official NHC forecast, and all residents of these areas should pay close attention to the progress of Irma, especially along Florida’s East Coast. NHC may issue Hurricane Watches for parts of South Florida and the Keys on Thursday.

Irma’s intensity will likely undergo fluctuations over the next couple of days, but intensity models show only gradual weakening, and NHC maintains Irma as a Cat 5 storm through Friday. Wind shear is predicted to remain low to moderate along Irma’s path until Saturday, and Irma will be passing over waters that are as warm or slightly warmer than its current environment (see discussion in our Tuesday PM post). Land interaction with Cuba could weaken Irma somewhat, but we must assume that Irma will be at least a Category 4 as it nears South Florida on Sunday, as predicted by NHC.

Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina:  The GFS, European, and UKMET models from 12Z Wednesday track Irma from just off the northeast Florida coast inland near the Georgia/South Carolina border on Monday. The official NHC forecast places Irma near the Georgia coast on Monday afternoon at Category 3 strength. Even if Irma’s winds weaken and its Saffir-Simpson category drops, Irma could still be capable of extreme storm surge, depending on its track and the geography of its landfall location(s). Storm surge expert Dr. Hal Needham noted in a blog postWednesday: “The region from northeast Florida (St. Augustine) through all of the Georgia coast and southwest South Carolina is particularly vulnerable to storm surge, whether or not Irma makes a direct landfall in that region.”

Irma forecast
Figure 2. The 20 track forecasts for Irma from the 12Z Wednesday, September 6, 2017 GFS model ensemble forecast. Image credit: CFAN.
Irma forecast
Figure 3. The 12Z September 6, 2017, track forecast by the operational European model for Irma (red line, adjusted by CFAN using a proprietary technique that accounts for storm movement since 12Z Wednesday), along with the track of the average of the 50 members of the European model ensemble (heavy black line), and the 50 track forecasts from the 12Z Wednesday European model ensemble forecast (grey lines). Image credit: CFAN.
Irma forecast
Figure 4. The 12Z September 6, 2017, track forecast by the operational European model for Irma (red line, adjusted by CFAN using a proprietary technique that accounts for storm movement since 12Z Wednesday), along with the track of the average of the 50 members of the European model ensemble (heavy black line), and the track forecasts from the “high probability cluster” (grey lines)—the four European model ensemble members that have performed best with Irma thus far. Image credit: CFAN.

Irma’s storm surge

Irma is a medium-large hurricane, and is expected to grow in size as it progresses west-northwest over the next four days. As of 5 pm EDT Wednesday, the diameter of hurricane-force winds surrounding Irma was up to 105 miles wide, and the diameter of tropical storm-force winds was up to 310 miles. The official NHC forecast predicted that these diameters would grow to 115 miles and 345 miles, respectively, by Friday, when Irma will be pounding the central Bahamas. This increase in size will be due to eyewall replacement cycles, which spread out the wind field over a larger area, and due to the fact that storms moving towards the pole get more spin from the Earth’s spin.

Irma’s large wind field is putting in motion a vast amount of water, which is spiraling into the center of Irma and creating a large mound. In the open ocean, that water is forced downward, pushing deeper water outward, and the sea surface is not elevated more than a few feet. However, once the hurricane drives that mound of water into a shallow area near land, the water cannot flow downwards, and instead piles up and is forced on land, creating a storm surge. In the Turks and Caicos Island and in the southeastern and central Bahamas, a highly destructive storm surge of 15 – 20 feet above ground is expected near the coast to the right of where the eyewall hits.

A potentially catastrophic storm surge for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina

If Irma makes a trek up the East Coast from Miami to southern South Carolina as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, as the models currently suggest, the portions of the coast that the eyewall touches will potentially see a massive and catastrophic storm surge, breaking all-time storm surge records and causing many billions of dollars in damage. Even areas up to a hundred miles to the north of where the center makes landfall could potentially see record storm surges. The area of most concern is the northern coast of Florida, the coast of Georgia, and the southern coast of South Carolina, due to the concave shape of the coast, which will act to funnel and concentrate the storm surge to ridiculous heights. If we look at wunderground’s storm surge maps for the U.S. East Coast, we see that in a worst-case Category 3 hurricane hitting at high tide, the storm tide (the combined effect of the storm surge and the tide) ranges from 17 – 20’ above ground along the northern coast of Florida, and 18 – 23 feet above ground along the Georgia coast. If Irma is a Cat 4, these numbers increase to 22 – 28 feet for the coast of Georgia. This is a Katrina-level storm surge, the kind that causes incredible destruction and mass casualties among those foolish enough to refuse to evacuate.

Storm surge
Figure 5. Maximum of the “Maximum Envelope of Waters” (MOM) storm tide image for a composite maximum surge for a large suite of possible mid-strength Category 3 hurricanes (sustained winds of 120 mph) hitting at high tide (a tide level of 3.5’) along the coast of Georgia. What’s plotted here is the storm tide–the height above ground of the storm surge, plus an additional rise in case the storm hits at high tide. Empty brownish grid cells with no coloration show where no inundation is computed to occur. Inundation of 19 – 23’ will occur in a worst-case scenario along most of the coast. Note that not all sections of the coast will experience this surge level simultaneously.

The image was created using the National Hurricane Center’s Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model. This model divides the U.S. coast up into 20 or so separate grids (called basins) that storm surge simulations are performed for. If one takes the maximum the water reaches at any point in time at every grid cell in a SLOSH basin, a composite “Maximum Envelope of Water” (MEOW) plot can be made. MEOW plots are created for every category of storm moving in a particular direction, usually stratified by forward speed and tide elevation. Simulations are run using a variety of storm sizes. If one takes the maximum storm surge height for all the MEOW plots at every grid cell, one can generate a worst-case storm surge for the coast for each Saffir-Simpson hurricane category: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. These so-called “Maximum Of the MEOWs”, or “MOMs” are what are plotted in the SLOSH storm surge images on wunderground, and are the composite worst-case scenario storm surges from about 15,000 different hypothetical hurricanes for each SLOSH basin. All of the MOM images we provide are for high tide, and were performed using the 2009 version of the SLOSH Display Package provided to wunderground by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Interstate highways are the thick grey-green lines, and smaller highways are shown as dark green and light green lines. If a road is inundated by storm surge, it will not appear. County boundaries are shown in red.

Storm surge
Figure 6. Maximum of the “Maximum Envelope of Waters” (MOM) water depth image for a composite maximum surge for a large suite of possible mid-strength Category 3 hurricanes (sustained winds of 120 mph) hitting at high tide (a tide level of 2.5’) along the coast of South Carolina near Charleston. If Irma is a Cat 3 in South Carolina, a worst-case 17 – 21’ storm tide can occur. Not all sections of the coast will experience this surge level simultaneously.
Storm tide
Figure 7. South Florida is not at as great of a risk of a high storm surge, since there is deep water offshore, and the mound of water the hurricane piles up can flow downward into the deep ocean instead of getting piled up on land. The worst-case storm tide from a Category 4 hurricane for the coast from Miami Beach to West Palm Beach is 7 – 9 feet. However, that deep water allows much larger waves to build up, and Irma will create big waves that will pound the coast and cause heavy damage. There is a region of the coast from downtown Miami southwards, including Biscayne Bay, where the water is shallow, and the storm tide can be up to 15 feet in a Category 4 hurricane. The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, a Category 4 storm, brought a 10 – 15’ storm surge to the coast of Miami along Biscayne Bay.

Shown here is the Maximum of the “Maximum Envelope of Waters” (MOM) storm tide image for a composite maximum surge for a large suite of possible mid-strength Category 4 hurricanes (sustained winds of 140 mph) hitting at high tide (a tide level of 2.0’) along the coast of South Florida. Not all sections of the coast will experience this surge level simultaneously.

Storm tide
Figure 8. The Atlantic (Florida Straits) side of the Florida Keys also has deep water offshore, limiting the maximum storm surge in a Cat 4 to 8 – 10 feet. The risk is higher on the west (Florida Bay) side of the Keys, where the water is shallower; a worst-case storm tide of 12 – 15 feet can occur there. Any storm tide over six feet is extremely dangerous in the Florida Keys, due to the low elevation of the land. The greatest risk in the Keys, if the current NHC forecast verifies, would be on the Florida Bay (west) side of the Upper Keys, after the center of Irma moves just to the north. The counter-clockwise flow of air around the hurricane will then bring winds out of the southwest that will drive a large storm surge into the west side of the Upper Keys.

Shown here is the Maximum of the “Maximum Envelope of Waters” (MOM) storm tide image for a composite maximum surge for a large suite of possible mid-strength Category 4 hurricanes (sustained winds of 140 mph) hitting at high tide (a tide level of 2.0’) affecting the Florida Keys. Not all sections of the coast will experience this surge level simultaneously.

Two more hurricanes: Jose and Katia

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have their hands full with two new hurricanes joining Irma on Wednesday afternoon. Not since 2010 has the Atlantic had three hurricanes at once, as noted by David Roth (NOAA/NWS) on Twitter. The Atlantic record for simultaneous hurricanes is four, set in 1893 and 1998. The 2017 hurricane season to date is more than twice as active as usual—we’ve had a season’s worth of named storms, hurricanes, and intense hurricanes before even getting to the climatological halfway point of the season (September 10). Phil Klotzbach noted on Twitterthat only one other Atlantic season, 1893, has seen this many hurricanes (six) forming between Aug. 7 and Sept. 6.

Rapidly strengthening Hurricane Jose was located about 1040 miles east of the Lesser Antilles at 5 pm EDT Wednesday, with top sustained winds at 75 mph. Jose is headed at 16 mph on a steady west to west-northwest track, steered by the same ridge that is helping to direct Irma. Jose is just far enough east of Irma for the two storms to coexist without one impeding the other. Jose is traveling over warm SSTs of 28-29°C (82-84°F) in a moist atmosphere (mid-level relative humidity around 65%), and wind shear is predicted to remain around 10 knots for the next day or so. This should allow Jose to strengthen at a rapid clip, and NHC predicts Jose will be a major Category 3 hurricane by Friday. Increasing wind shear from that point on should tamp down the rapid intensification and may weaken Jose over time. On its current track, Jose would reach the northern Leeward Islands by Saturday, but the ridge is predicted to weaken enough by Saturday to allow Jose to arc just northeast of the islands.

Only a tropical depression early Wednesday, Hurricane Katia has also intensified quickly, with estimated top winds of 75 mph as of 5 pm EDT. Located in the Bay of Campeche about 185 miles north-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico, Katia is embedded in a very moist environment with numerous showers and thunderstorms along and south of a frontal zone. Wind shear will decrease to 5-10 knots by Thursday, and with help from the bay’s very warm waters (30-31°C or 86-88°F), Katia could continue to strengthen dramatically. The SHIPS model’s rapid intensification index indicates a near-even chance that Katia’s top sustained winds will increase by 45 mph by late Thursday, although the official NHC forecast at 5 pm EDT Wednesday brings Katia only to top-end Cat 1 intensity. Our top track models are unanimous in drifting Katia for a couple of days before driving it southwestward into the Mexican coast this weekend. Extremely heavy rains of 10 – 20” are possible along and near parts of the northeast Mexican coast, especially in the state of Veracruz, as Katia approaches and moves inland.

3 hurricanes
Figure 9. Triple trouble: three simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic for the first time in 7 years.

 

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/hurricane-irma-extreme-storm-surge-threat-us-and-bahamas

Story 2: Perspective Please — Over 1200 Killed by Flood in South Asia (India, Bangladesh and Nepal) vs. Over 60 in Texas By Raining Weather Not Climate Change — Worst Flooding in Decades — Videos

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South Asia floods kill 1,200 and shut 1.8 million children out of school

Hundreds dead in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, while millions have been forced from their homes and 18,000 schools shut down across the region

Heavy monsoon rains have brought Mumbai to a halt for a second day as the worst floods to strike south Asia in years continued to exact a deadly toll.

More than 1,200 people have died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal as a result of flooding, with 40 million affected by the devastation. At least six people, including two toddlers, were among the victims in and around India’s financial capital.

The devastating floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools, meaning that about 1.8 million children cannot go to classes, Save the Children warned on Thursday.

The charity said that hundreds of thousands of children could fall permanently out of the school system if education was not prioritised in relief efforts.

“We haven’t seen flooding on this scale in years and it’s putting the long-term education of an enormous number of children at great risk. From our experience, the importance of education is often under-valued in humanitarian crises and we simply cannot let this happen again. We cannot go backwards,” said Rafay Hussain, Save the Children’s general manager in Bihar state.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/uploader/embed/2017/08/india-floods-map/giv-3902n4x7dwBsKxh7/

“We know that the longer children are out of school following a disaster like this the less likely it is that they’ll ever return. That’s why it’s so important that education is properly funded in this response, to get children back to the classroom as soon as it’s safe to do so and to safeguard their futures.”

On Wednesday, police said a 45-year-old woman and a one-year-old child, members of the same family, had died after their home in the north-eastern suburb of Vikhroli crumbled late on Tuesday, and a two-year-old girl had died in a wall collapse.

They said another three people had died after being swept away in the neighbouring city of Thane.

The rains have led to flooding in a broad arc stretching across the Himalayan foothills in Bangladesh, Nepal and India, causing landslides, damaging roads and electric towers and washing away tens of thousands of homes and vast swaths of farmland.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says the fourth significant floods this year have affected more than 7.4 million people in Bangladesh, damaging or destroying more than 697,000 houses.

They have killed 514 in India’s eastern state of Bihar, where 17.1 million have been affected, disaster management officials have been quoted as saying. In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, about 2.5 million have been affected and the death toll stood at 109 on Tuesday, according to the Straits Times. The IFRC said landslides in Nepal had killed more than 100 people.

The IFRC – working with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and the Nepal Red Cross – has launched appeals to support almost 200,000 vulnerable people with immediate relief and long-term help with water and sanitation, health and shelter.

A passenger bus moves through a waterlogged road in Mumbai.
 A passenger bus moves through a waterlogged road in Mumbai. Photograph: Shailesh Andrade

Streets in Mumbai have turned into rivers and people waded through waist-deep waters. On Tuesday, the city received about 12.7cm (5ins) of rain, paralysing public transport and leaving thousands of commuters stranded in their offices overnight.

Poor visibility and flooding also forced airport authorities to divert some flights while most were delayed by up to an hour.

The National Disaster Response Force has launched a rescue mission with police to evacuate people from low-lying areas but operations were thwarted by the continuous rain.

“The heavy rains, flooding, are delaying our rescue work. Even we are stranded,” said Amitesh Kumar, the joint police commissioner in Mumbai.

Images and video posted on social media showed the extent of the flooding.

Rainwater swamped the King Edward Memorial hospital in central Mumbai, forcing doctors to vacate the paediatric ward.

“We are worried about infections … the rain water is circulating rubbish that is now entering parts of the emergency ward,” said Ashutosh Desai, a doctor in the 1,800-bed hospital.

Although Mumbai is trying to build itself into a global financial hub, parts of the city struggle to cope during annual monsoon rains.

Floods in 2005 killed more than 500 people in the city. The majority of deaths occurred in shanty town slums, home to more than half of Mumbai’s population.

The meteorological department warned that the rains would continue for the next 24 hours.

Unabated construction on flood plains and coastal areas, as well as storm-water drains and waterways clogged by plastic garbage, have made the city increasingly vulnerable to storms.

Snehal Tagade, a senior official in Mumbai’s disaster management unit, said 150 teams were being deployed to help the population in low-lying residential areas.

Low-lying parts of the city with a population of more than 20 million people experience flooding almost every year but large-scale flooding of this magnitude has not been seen in recent years.

“We are mapping all the flooding zones to launch a project to build emergency shelters to make evacuation easy,” said Tagade.

Many businesses asked employees to leave early in expectation of worsening traffic jams. Rains and a high tide in the western coastal city threaten to overload an ageing drainage system.

People walk along a flooded street in Mumbai
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 People walk along a flooded street in Mumbai. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

Several companies have arranged for food and resting facilities for employees stuck in offices. Temples and other Ganesh pandals have been offering food and water to people stranded on streets.

People on social media have been offering help to strangers who have been stuck at various locations.

The education minister has asked all schools and colleges in the city to remain shut on Wednesday.

The flooding led to some power outages in parts of the city and the municipal corporation warned of more such cuts if water levels continued to rise.

A spokeswoman for Mumbai international airport said flights in and out of the airport, India’s second busiest, were delayed while some had had to be diverted.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/30/mumbai-paralysed-by-floods-as-india-and-region-hit-by-worst-monsoon-rains-in-years

 

South Asia floods: Mumbai building collapses as monsoon rains wreak havoc

Flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh leaves parts of cities underwater as storm moves on to Pakistan

At least 21 people are dead and more than a dozen others trapped after monsoon downpours caused a building to collapse in Mumbai.

The four-storey residential building gave way on Thursday morning in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar, after roads were turned into rivers in India’s financial capital. The city has been struggling to cope with some of the heaviest rainfall in more than 15 years.

Rescue workers, police and residents helped pull 13 people out of the rubble and were looking for those buried beneath. Authorities have advised people living in an adjacent building to evacuate after it developed cracks following the collapse.

The death toll could have been much worse, officials said, because the building, which houses a nursery school, collapsed half an hour before children were due to arrive at 9am.

Thousands more buildings that are more than 100 years old are at risk of collapse due in part to foundations being weakened by flood waters.

Across the region more than 1,200 people are feared to have died and 40 million are estimated to have been affected by flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Vast swaths of land are underwater in the eastern part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where more than 100 people have reportedly died, 3,097 villages are submerged and almost 3 million villagers have been affected by flooding, according to officials. Army personnel have joined rescuers to evacuate people from the area.

The storm reached Pakistan on Thursday, lashing the port city of Karachi, where at least 14 people have died, and streets have been submerged by water. The country’s meteorological department forecast that the rains would continue for three days in various parts of Sindh province, where authorities closed schools as a precaution.

People make their way through flooded streets after a heavy downpour in Karachi on Thursday.
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 People make their way through flooded streets after a heavy downpour in Karachi on Thursday. Photograph: Rehan Khan/EPA

Up to 97mm (3.8in) of rain has been recorded in some areas of Karachi, filling the streets with muddy water, sewage and rubbish.

Among the dead was an eight-year-old boy who was crushed when a building belonging to the Federal Investigation Agency collapsed. Most of the dead were electrocuted, leading the city’s energy provider, K-Electric, to cut power to certain areas.

“Some feeders have been switched off in view of safety concerns in areas with waterlogging, and restoration work will be expedited in affected areas as soon as standing water is wiped out,” Sadia Dada, the director of marketing and communication for K-Electric, told Dawn newspaper.

About 6,000 villagers are threatened with flooding after the rains breached the Thado dam on the Malir river. The army has been called in to help with evacuation, and has also provided Karachi’s city administration with water extraction pumps.

Windstorms and rain are also expected in the Balochistan and Punjab provinces. The meteorological department said rains were also expected in the capital, Islamabad, and in Pakistan’s portion of Kashmir.

One third of Bangladesh was believed to be underwater and the UN described the situation in Nepal, where 150 people have died, as the worst flooding in a decade.

The floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools in the south Asia region, meaning that about 1.8 million children cannot go to classes, Save the Children said on Thursday.

The charity said hundreds of thousands of children could fall permanently out of the school system if education was not prioritised in relief efforts.

“We haven’t seen flooding on this scale in years and it’s putting the long-term education of an enormous number of children at great risk. From our experience, the importance of education is often undervalued in humanitarian crises and we simply cannot let this happen again. We cannot go backwards,” said Rafay Hussain, Save the Children’s general manager in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

“We know that the longer children are out of school following a disaster like this the less likely it is that they’ll ever return. That’s why it’s so important that education is properly funded in this response, to get children back to the classroom as soon as it’s safe to do so and to safeguard their futures.”

Floods have caused devastation in many parts of India. Unprecedented rainfall in Assam in the north-east has killed more than 150 people. About 600 villages are still underwater even though the torrential rain began earlier this month.

Rhinos in Assam’s Kaziranga nature reserve had to flee to higher ground. “We get flooding every year but I have never seen anything quite like this in my life,” Ashok Baruah, a farmer, told journalists.

In Bihar, the death toll has reached 514, with people still living in makeshift huts days after the flooding started. However, the flood waters, which turned fields into lakes, appear to be receding.

In Mumbai, the rain forced nurses and doctors at the busiest hospital in the city to wade through wards knee-high in filthy water to move patients to the first floor. Outside the King Edward memorial hospital, a man going to visit his wife who was due to have a caesarean had to wade through flooded streets to reach her. Children swam or paddled down the streets lying on planks of wood.

Flood victims in the city included a doctor who fell down a manhole and another who died after being trapped in his car while waiting for the water to recede. Others living in the low-lying areas most affected by the flooding were swept away into the sea or died when walls collapsed.

As train services ground to a halt, hundreds of thousands of commuters were stranded, unable to go home.

TV commentators voiced the anger of those caught in the chaos. The TV personality Suhel Seth lashed out at the “scoundrels, rogues, villains, rascals, incompetents and useless fools” in the municipal authority for not being better prepared for the annual monsoon flooding.

The deluge brought back memories of the 2005 floods that killed more than 500 people in the city.

“Why does nothing change? Why are we left to fend for ourselves when they had weather forecasts warning them of extremely heavy rainfall?” asked the author and columnist Shobhaa De.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/31/south-asia-floods-fears-death-toll-rise-india-pakistan-mumbai-building-collapses

Death toll from South Asia flooding tops 1,000

The death toll from floods sweeping South Asia has climbed above 1,000, officials said Thursday, as rescue teams try to reach millions stranded by the region's worst monsoon disaster in recent years.

The death toll from floods sweeping South Asia has climbed above 1,000, officials said Thursday, as rescue teams try to reach millions stranded by the region’s worst monsoon disaster in recent years.

The death toll from floods sweeping South Asia has climbed above 1,000, officials said Thursday, as rescue teams try to reach millions stranded by the region’s worst monsoon disaster in recent years.

Thousands of soldiers and emergency personnel have been deployed across India, Bangladesh and Nepal, where authorities say a total of 1,013 bodies have been recovered since August 10 when intense rainfall started falling.

All three countries suffer frequent flooding during the monsoon rains, but the Red Cross has termed the latest disaster the worst in decades in some parts of South Asia.

It says entire communities have been cut off and many are short of food and clean water.

“It has been a difficult year,” said Anil Shekhawat, spokesman for India’s national disaster response force.

“In the last few months there have been floods in western, eastern and northern parts of the country,” Shekhawat told AFP.

Twenty-six bodies were found Wednesday in Bihar, a hard-hit state in India’s east, taking the death toll there to 367, said Anirudh Kumar, a top state disaster management official.

“We still have nearly 11 million people affected in 19 districts of the state,” he told AFP, adding nearly 450,000 flood evacuees had taken shelter in government refuges.

In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, floods have swamped nearly half the vast state of 220 million, India’s most populous.

Thousands of soldiers and emergency personnel have been deployed across India, Bangladesh and Nepal, where authorities say a total of 1,009 bodies have been recovered since August 10 when intense rainfall started falling.

Thousands of soldiers and emergency personnel have been deployed across India, Bangladesh and Nepal, where authorities say a total of 1,009 bodies have been recovered since August 10 when intense rainfall started falling.

Disaster management agency spokesman T.P. Gupta said 86 people had died and more than two million were affected by the disaster there.

The state borders Nepal, where 146 people have died and 80,000 homes destroyed in what the United Nations is calling the worst flooding in 15 years.

Nepal’s home ministry warned the death toll could rise as relief teams reach more remote parts of the impoverished country.

– Widespread destruction –

In India’s northwest, landslides caused by heavy rain have claimed 54 lives, the vast majority in one huge avalanche of mud that swept two buses off a mountainside.

The situation was slowly easing in West Bengal and Assam, two states in India’s east and northeast where 223 people have died.

Floods in Assam — the second wave to hit the state in less than four months — have wrought widespread destruction, killing 71 people and forcing animals in a local wildlife sanctuary to seek higher ground.

One Bengal tiger and 15 rare one-horned rhinos were found dead and conservationists feared there could be further loss of life as poachers sought to capitalise on the exodus.

In the low-lying state of West Bengal, where 152 people have died, hundreds of thousands have escaped submerged villages by boats and makeshift rafts to reach government aid stations.

Across the border in Bangladesh, water levels were slowly returning to normal in the main Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers.

The government’s disaster response body said Thursday the death toll stood at 137, with more than 7.5 million affected since flooding hit the riverine nation.

Every year hundreds die in landslides and floods during the monsoon season that hits India’s southern tip in early June and sweeps across the South Asia region for four months.

Last year nearly 1,500 people died and half a million homes were destroyed in floods across the country, according to India’s home ministry.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4818822/Death-toll-South-Asia-flooding-tops-1-000.html

 

Monsoon flooding kills at least 160 across South Asia

GAUHATI, India (AP) – Heavy monsoon rains have unleashed landslides and floods that have killed at least 160 people and displaced millions of others across northern India, southern Nepal and Bangladesh.

Officials said Monday they were still trying to determine the scale of the disaster, with casualties and damage reported in multiple locations across the Himalayan foothills of South Asia.

The seasonal floodwaters damaged bridges, toppled power lines and washed away thousands of homes in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Officials say people have been killed by drowning or being caught inside collapsing houses or beneath falling trees.

A Nepalese man looses his balance while crossing a flooded street in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)

A Nepalese man looses his balance while crossing a flooded street in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)

In neighboring Nepal, police spokesman Pushkar Karki were searching for 85 people reported missing after rivers burst their banks and killed at least 75. Another 20 people died over the last few days in Bangladesh.

A Nepalese man sits on the wall of his house in a partially submerged village in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)

A Nepalese man sits on the wall of his house in a partially submerged village in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)

Army soldiers and rescue workers recover bodies of landslide victims even as they try to pull out two buses that were covered in mud after a landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain in Urla village, Himachal Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. The landslide that occurred early Sunday buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars. (AP Photo/Shailesh Bhatnagar)
Army soldiers and rescue workers recover bodies of landslide victims even as they try to pull out two buses that were covered in mud after a landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain in Urla village, Himachal Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. The landslide that occurred early Sunday buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars. (AP Photo/Shailesh Bhatnagar)
People watch army soldiers and rescue workers recover bodies of landslide victims even as they try to pull out two buses that were covered in mud after a landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain in Urla village, Himachal Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. The landslide that occurred early Sunday buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars. (AP Photo/Shailesh Bhatnagar)
People watch army soldiers and rescue workers recover bodies of landslide victims even as they try to pull out two buses that were covered in mud after a landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain in Urla village, Himachal Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. The landslide that occurred early Sunday buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars. (AP Photo/Shailesh Bhatnagar)
Nepalese villagers wade through flood waters in Ramgadhwa area in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)
Nepalese villagers wade through flood waters in Ramgadhwa area in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)
Nepalese men carry children on their shoulders as they wade through flood waters in village Ramgadhwa in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)
Nepalese men carry children on their shoulders as they wade through flood waters in village Ramgadhwa in Birgunj, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. An official said torrential rain, landslides and flooding have killed dozens of people in Nepal over the past three days, washing away hundreds of homes and damaging roads and bridges across the Himalayan country. (AP Photo/Manish Paudel)
People watch army soldiers and rescue workers recover bodies of landslide victims even as they try to pull out two buses that were covered in mud after a landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain in Urla village, Himachal Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. The landslide that occurred early Sunday buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars. (AP Photo/Shailesh Bhatnagar)

People watch army soldiers and rescue workers recover bodies of landslide victims even as they try to pull out two buses that were covered in mud after a landslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain in Urla village, Himachal Pradesh state, India, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. The landslide that occurred early Sunday buried part of a highway, trapping two buses and at least three cars. (AP Photo/Shailesh Bhatnagar)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-4788288/Monsoon-flooding-kills-160-South-Asia.html#ixzz4s8CteUw7

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Galveston Storm of 1900

Galveston: Home of America’s Deadliest Natural Disaster

Published on Sep 28, 2011

On Sept. 8, 1900, an unnamed hurricane slammed into the unprotected barrier island of Galveston, Texas, killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people. More than 111 years later, the natural disaster stands as the worst in the history of the United States. Watch the NewsHour Health Unit’s report on long-term recovery efforts after Hurricane Ike, Galveston’s most recent disaster: http://to.pbs.org/oFWSso.

1935 Labor Day Hurricane-Graphic Death & Destruction!

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Earth’s Biggest Typhoon Superstorms (720p)

Published on Sep 1, 2014

This educational HD video explains the phenomena known as a typhoon or cyclone the the people survived. Typhoons originate mostly in Asia with six conditions required for formation: warm sea surface temperatures, atmospheric instability, high humidity in the lower to middle levels of the troposphere, enough Coriolis force to develop a low pressure center, a pre-existing low level focus or disturbance, and low vertical wind shear.

 

Saffir–Simpson scale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saffir–Simpson scale
Category Wind speeds
Five ≥70 m/s, ≥137 knots
≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h
Four 58–70 m/s, 113–136 knots
130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h
Three 50–58 m/s, 96–112 knots
111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h
Two 43–49 m/s, 83–95 knots
96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h
One 33–42 m/s, 64–82 knots
74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h
Related classifications
Tropical
storm
18–32 m/s, 34–63 knots
39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h
Tropical
depression
≤17 m/s, ≤33 knots
≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h

The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS), formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS), classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions, and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (33 m/s; 64 kn; 119 km/h) (Category 1). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, is reserved for storms with winds exceeding 156 mph (70 m/s; 136 kn; 251 km/h).

The classifications can provide some indication of the potential damage and flooding a hurricane will cause upon landfall.

Officially, the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale is used only to describe hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Other areas use different scales to label these storms, which are called “cyclones” or “typhoons“, depending on the area.

There is some criticism of the SSHS for not taking rain, storm surge, and other important factors into consideration, but SSHS defenders say that part of the goal of SSHS is to be straightforward and simple to understand.

History

In 1967 Robert Simpson became the director of the National Hurricane Center and started to look at the problem of communicating the forecasts to the public better. During 1968 Robert spoke to Herbert Saffir about work that he had just completed for the United Nations, about damage to structures that was expected by winds of different strengths.

The scale was developed in 1971 by civil engineer Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Robert Simpson, who at the time was director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).[1] The scale was introduced to the general public in 1973,[2] and saw widespread use after Neil Frank replaced Simpson at the helm of the NHC in 1974.[3]

The initial scale was developed by Saffir, a structural engineer, who in 1969 went on commission for the United Nations to study low-cost housing in hurricane-prone areas.[4] While performing the study, Saffir realized there was no simple scale for describing the likely effects of a hurricane. Mirroring the utility of the Richter magnitude scale in describing earthquakes, he devised a 1–5 scale based on wind speed that showed expected damage to structures. Saffir gave the scale to the NHC, and Simpson added the effects of storm surgeand flooding.

In 2009, the NHC made moves to eliminate pressure and storm surge ranges from the categories, transforming it into a pure wind scale, called the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (Experimental) [SSHWS].[5] The new scale became operational on May 15, 2010.[6]The scale excludes flood ranges, storm surge estimations, rainfall, and location, which means a Category 2 hurricane which hits a major city will likely do far more cumulative damage than a Category 5 hurricane that hits a rural area.[7] The agency cited various hurricanes as reasons for removing the “scientifically inaccurate” information, including Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Ike (2008), which both had stronger than estimated storm surges, and Hurricane Charley (2004), which had weaker than estimated storm surge.[8] Since removed from the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, storm surge predicting and modeling is now handled with the use of a computerized numerical model developed by the National Weather Service called “Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes” (SLOSH).

In 2012, the NHC expanded the windspeed range for Category 4 by 1 mph in both directions, to 130–156 mph, with corresponding changes in the other units (113–136 kn, 209–251 km/h), instead of 131–155 mph (114–135 kn, 210–249 km/h). The NHC and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center assign tropical cyclone intensities in 5 knot increments, and then convert to mph and km/h with a similar rounding for other reports. So an intensity of 115 knots is rated Category 4, but the conversion to miles per hour (132.3 mph) would round down to 130 mph, making it appear to be a Category 3 storm. Likewise, an intensity of 135 knots (~155 mph, and thus Category 4) is 250.02 km/h, which according to the definition used before the change would be Category 5. To resolve these issues, the NHC had been obliged to incorrectly report storms with wind speeds of 115 kn as 135 mph, and 135 kn as 245 km/h. The change in definition allows storms of 115 kn to be correctly rounded down to 130 mph, and storms of 135 kn to be correctly reported as 250 km/h, and still qualify as Category 4. Since the NHC had previously rounded incorrectly to keep storms in Category 4 in each unit of measure, the change does not affect the classification of storms from previous years.[5] The new scale became operational on May 15, 2012.[9]

Categories

The scale separates hurricanes into five different categories based on wind. The U.S. National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes of Category 3 and above as major hurricanes, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies typhoons of 150 mph or greater (strong Category 4 and Category 5) as super typhoons (although all tropical cyclones can be very dangerous). Most weather agencies use the definition for sustained winds recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which specifies measuring winds at a height of 33 ft (10.1 m) for 10 minutes, and then taking the average. By contrast, the U.S. National Weather ServiceCentral Pacific Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center define sustained winds as average winds over a period of one minute, measured at the same 33 ft (10.1 m) height,[10][11] and that is the definition used for this scale. Intensity of example hurricanes is from both the time of landfall and the maximum intensity.

The scale is roughly logarithmic in wind speed, and the top wind speed for Category “c” (c=1 to 4, as there is no upper limit for category 5) can be expressed as 83×10^(c/15) miles per hour rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 – except that after the change mentioned above, Category 4 is now widened by 1 mph in each direction.

The five categories are, in order of increasing intensity:

Category 1

Category 1
Sustained winds Example
33–42 m/s
64–82 kn
119–153 km/h
74–95 mph
Newton 2016-09-06 1825Z.jpg
Hurricane Newton in 2016 making landfall.

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage

Category 1 storms usually cause no significant structural damage to most well-constructed permanent structures; however, they can topple unanchored mobile homes, as well as uproot or snap weak trees. Poorly attached roof shingles or tiles can blow off. Coastal flooding and pier damage are often associated with Category 1 storms. Power outages are typically widespread to extensive, sometimes lasting several days. Even though it is the least intense type of hurricane, the storm can still produce widespread damage and can be a life-threatening storm.[5]

Hurricanes that peaked at Category 1 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Flossy (1956), Gladys (1968), Agnes (1972), Juan (1985), Ismael (1995), Claudette (2003), Gaston (2004), Stan (2005), Humberto (2007), Isaac (2012), Manuel (2013), Earl (2016), Hermine (2016), Newton (2016), and Franklin (2017).

Category 2

Category 2
Sustained winds Example
43–49 m/s
83–95 kn
154–177 km/h
96–110 mph
Arthur Jul 3 2014 1615Z.jpg
Arthur in 2014 approaching North Carolina

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage

Storms of Category 2 intensity often damage roofing material (sometimes exposing the roof) and inflict damage upon poorly constructed doors and windows. Poorly constructed signs and piers can receive considerable damage and many trees are uprooted or snapped. Mobile homes, whether anchored or not, are typically damaged and sometimes destroyed, and many manufactured homes also suffer structural damage. Small craft in unprotected anchorages may break their moorings. Extensive to near-total power outages and scattered loss of potable water are likely, possibly lasting many days.[5]

Hurricanes that peaked at Category 2 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Alice (1954), Fifi (1974), Diana (1990), Calvin (1993), Gert (1993), Rosa (1994), Erin (1995), Alma (1996), Juan (2003), Alex(2010), Tomas (2010), Carlotta (2012), Ernesto (2012), Richard (2012), and Arthur (2014).

Category 3

Category 3
Sustained winds Example
50–58 m/s
96–112 kn
178–208 km/h
111–129 mph
Otto 2016-11-24 1605Z.jpg
Hurricane Otto near its landfall on Nicaragua.

Devastating damage will occur

Tropical cyclones of Category 3 and higher are described as major hurricanes in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific basins. These storms can cause some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, particularly those of wood frame or manufactured materials with minor curtain wall failures. Buildings that lack a solid foundation, such as mobile homes, are usually destroyed, and gable-end roofs are peeled off. Manufactured homes usually sustain severe and irreparable damage. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures, while larger structures are struck by floating debris. A large number of trees are uprooted or snapped, isolating many areas. Additionally, terrain may be flooded well inland. Near-total to total power loss is likely for up to several weeks and water will likely also be lost or contaminated.[5]

Hurricanes that peaked at Category 3 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Carol (1954), Hilda (1955), Audrey (1957), Celia (1970), Eloise (1975), Olivia (1975), Alicia (1983), Elena (1985), Roxanne(1995), Fran (1996), Isidore (2002), Lane (2006), Karl (2010), Sandy (2012) and Otto (2016).

Category 4

Category 4
Sustained winds Example
58–70 m/s
113–136 kn
209–251 km/h
130–156 mph
Joaquin 2015-10-02 1530Z.jpg
Joaquin at Bahamian landfall

Catastrophic damage will occur

Category 4 hurricanes tend to produce more extensive curtainwall failures, with some complete structural failure on small residences. Heavy, irreparable damage and near complete destruction of gas station canopies and other wide span overhang type structures are common. Mobile and manufactured homes are often flattened. Most trees, except for the heartiest, are uprooted or snapped, isolating many areas. These storms cause extensive beach erosion, while terrain may be flooded far inland. Total and long-lived electrical and water losses are to be expected, possibly for many weeks.[5]

The 1900 Galveston hurricane, the deadliest natural disaster to hit the United States, peaked at an intensity that corresponds to a modern-day Category 4 storm. Other examples of storms that peaked at Category 4 intensity, and made landfall at that intensity include: Hazel (1954), Gracie (1959), Flora (1963), Cleo (1964), Madeline (1976), Frederic (1979), Joan (1988), Iniki (1992), Luis (1995), Iris (2001), Charley (2004), Dennis (2005), Gustav (2008), Ike (2008) and Joaquin (2015).

Category 5

Category 5
Sustained winds Example
≥ 70 m/s
≥ 137 kn
≥ 252 km/h
≥ 157 mph
Felix from ISS 03 sept 2007 1138Z.jpg
Felix near peak intensity

Catastrophic damage will occur

Category 5 is the highest category of the Saffir–Simpson scale. These storms cause complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings, and some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Collapse of many wide-span roofs and walls, especially those with no interior supports, is common. Very heavy and irreparable damage to many wood frame structures and total destruction to mobile/manufactured homes is prevalent. Only a few types of structures are capable of surviving intact, and only if located at least 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km) inland. They include office, condominium and apartment buildings and hotels that are of solid concrete or steel frame construction, public multi-story concrete parking garages, and residences that are made of either reinforced brick or concrete/cement block and have hipped roofs with slopes of no less than 35 degrees from horizontal and no overhangs of any kind, and if the windows are either made of hurricane-resistant safety glass or covered with shutters. Unless all of these requirements are met, the absolute destruction of a structure is certain.[5]

The storm’s flooding causes major damage to the lower floors of all structures near the shoreline, and many coastal structures can be completely flattened or washed away by the storm surge. Virtually all trees are uprooted or snapped and some may be debarked, isolating most communities impacted. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required if the hurricane threatens populated areas. Total and extremely long-lived power outages and water losses are to be expected, possibly for up to several months.[5]

Historical examples of storms that made landfall at Category 5 status include: Janet (1955), Camille (1969), Edith (1971), Anita (1977), David (1979), Gilbert (1988), Andrew (1992),Katrina (2005), Dean (2007), and Felix (2007). No Category 5 hurricane is known to have made landfall as such in the eastern Pacific basin.

Criticism

Some scientists, including Kerry Emanuel and Lakshmi Kantha, have criticized the scale as being simplistic, indicating that the scale takes into account neither the physical size of a storm nor the amount of precipitation it produces.[7] Additionally, they and others point out that the Saffir–Simpson scale, unlike the Richter scale used to measure earthquakes, is not continuous, and is quantized into a small number of categories. Proposed replacement classifications include the Hurricane Intensity Index, which is based on the dynamic pressure caused by a storm’s winds, and the Hurricane Hazard Index, which bases itself on surface wind speeds, the radius of maximum winds of the storm, and its translational velocity.[12][13] Both of these scales are continuous, akin to the Richter scale;[14] however, neither of these scales have been used by officials.

Should a ‘Category 6’ be introduced?

After the series of powerful storm systems of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, a few newspaper columnists and scientists brought up the suggestion of introducing Category 6, and they have suggested pegging Category 6 to storms with winds greater than 174 or 180 mph (78 or 80 m/s; 151 or 156 kn; 280 or 290 km/h).[7][15] Only a few storms of this intensity have been recorded. Of the 31 hurricanes currently considered to have attained Category 5 status in the Atlantic, only 16 had wind speeds at 175 mph (78 m/s; 152 kn; 282 km/h) or greater and only 6 had wind speeds at 180 mph (80 m/s; 160 kn; 290 km/h) or greater. Of the 15 hurricanes currently considered to have attained Category 5 status in the eastern Pacific, only five had wind speeds at 175 mph (78 m/s; 152 kn; 282 km/h) or greater (PatsyJohnLindaRick and Patricia), and only three had wind speeds at 180 mph (80 m/s; 160 kn; 290 km/h) or greater (Linda, Rick and Patricia). However, most storms which would be eligible for this category were typhoons in the western Pacific, most notably Typhoon Tip in 1979 with sustained winds of 190 mph (310 km/h) and typhoons Haiyan and Meranti in 2013 and 2016, respectively, with sustained winds of 195 mph (314 km/h).[16]

According to Robert Simpson, there are no reasons for a Category 6 on the Saffir–Simpson Scale because it is designed to measure the potential damage of a hurricane to man-made structures. Simpson stated that “…when you get up into winds in excess of 155 mph (249 km/h) you have enough damage if that extreme wind sustains itself for as much as six seconds on a building it’s going to cause rupturing damages that are serious no matter how well it’s engineered”.[3]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Williams, Jack (May 17, 2005). “Hurricane scale invented to communicate storm danger”USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  2. Jump up^ Staff writer (May 9, 1973). “’73, Hurricanes to be Graded”. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 19, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  3. Jump up to:a b Debi Iacovelli (July 2001). “The Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale: An Interview with Dr. Robert Simpson”Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  4. Jump up^ Press Writer (August 23, 2001). “Hurricanes shaped life of scale inventor”. Retrieved March 20, 2016.[dead link]
  5. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale National Hurricane Center. Accessed 2009-05-15.
  6. Jump up^ National Hurricane Operations PlanNOAA. Accessed July 3, 2010.
  7. Jump up to:a b c Ker Than (October 20, 2005). “Wilma’s Rage Suggests New Hurricane Categories Needed”LiveScience. Retrieved October 20, 2005.
  8. Jump up^ “Experimental Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale” (PDF). National Hurricane Center. 2009.
  9. Jump up^ Public Information StatementNOAA. Accessed March 9, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ Tropical Cyclone Weather Services Program (June 1, 2006). “Tropical cyclone definitions” (PDF). National Weather Service. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
  11. Jump up^ Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004). “Hurricane Glossary of Terms”. Archived from the original on December 14, 2005. Retrieved March 24, 2006. Accessed through the Wayback Machine.
  12. Jump up^ Kantha, L. (January 2006). “Time to Replace the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale?” (PDF). Eos87 (1): 3, 6. Bibcode:2006EOSTr..87….3Kdoi:10.1029/2006eo010003. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  13. Jump up^ Kantha, Lakshmi (February 2008). “Tropical Cyclone Destructive Potential by Integrated Kinetic Energy” (PDF). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Boston: American Meteorological Society89 (2): 219–221. Bibcode:2008BAMS…89..219Kdoi:10.1175/BAMS-89-2-219.
  14. Jump up^ Benfield Hazard Research Centre (2006). “Atmospheric Hazards”Hazard & Risk Science Review 2006University College London. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  15. Jump up^ Bill Blakemore (May 21, 2006). “Category 6 Hurricanes? They’ve Happened: Global Warming Winds Up Hurricane Scientists as NOAA Issues Its Atlantic Hurricane Predictions for Summer 2006”ABC News. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  16. Jump up^ Debi Iacovelli and Tim Vasquez (1998). “Supertyphoon Tip: Shattering all records” (PDF). Monthly Weather Log. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 19, 2010.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffir%E2%80%93Simpson_scale

List of United States hurricanes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Continental United States hurricane strikes 1950-2007

The list of United States hurricanes includes all tropical cyclones officially recorded to have produced sustained winds of greater than 74 mph (118 km/h) in the United States, which is the minimum threshold for hurricane intensity. The list, which is sorted by U.S. state, begins in 1851 with the start of the official Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT), as provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Hurricane Research Division; the data from 1951 to 1979 is subject to change, due to the lack of official wind speed estimates during the time period. Since 1851, a total of 291 North Atlantic hurricanes produced hurricane-force winds in 19 states along the Atlantic coast. Some of these storms may not have made a direct landfall (i.e. remained just offshore) while producing hurricane-force winds on land; some of them may have weakened to a tropical storm or became extratropical before landfall but produced hurricane conditions on land while still a hurricane and some of them made landfall in an adjacent state but produced hurricane conditions over multiple states. This list does not include storms that only produced tropical storm conditions on land in the United States.

Additionally, three Pacific hurricanes struck Hawaii, and one Pacific tropical cyclone brought hurricane-force winds to California. The tables list hurricanes by category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, based on winds that occurred in each state.

Statistics

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Delaware Maryland New Hampshire New Jersey Massachusetts Connecticut West Virginia Vermont Rhode Island

Map of USA with state names.svg

About this image
Map of the United States; click on individual states to be directed to its article,
or click on some coastal states to be directed to a list of tropical cyclones in those locations

A total of 291 Atlantic tropical cyclones have produced hurricane-force winds in every state along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, as well as PennsylvaniaFlorida was affected by 118 hurricanes, which is more than any other state; Texas ranked second. Hurricane Donna affected a total of eight states—more than any other hurricane.[1]

The earliest time in the year for a hurricane to strike the nation was June 9, which was set by Hurricane Alma in 1966. The earliest major hurricane to strike the nation occurred in 1934, when an unnamed tropical cyclone made landfall on June 16. The latest in the year for a hurricane to strike the nation was on November 24 with Hurricane Iwa in Hawaii; for the Atlantic basin the latest was on November 22, which was set by Hurricane Kate in 1985. The latest in the year for a major hurricane to strike the nation was from the 1921 Tampa Bay hurricane, which moved ashore on October 25.[1]

The 1880s were the most active decade for the United States, with a total of 25 hurricanes affecting the nation. By contrast, the least active decade was the 1970s, with a total of only 12 hurricanes affecting the American coastline. A total of 33 seasons on record passed without an Atlantic hurricane affecting the country—the most recent of which was the 2015 season. Seven Atlantic hurricanes affected the country in the 1886 season, which was the year with the most United States hurricanes.[1]

Impact

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was the most intense hurricane to make landfall on the country, having struck the Florida Keys with a pressure of 892 mbar. It was one of only three hurricanes to move ashore as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale; the others were Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which had a landfalling pressure of 900 mbar and 922 mbar, respectively. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the third most intense hurricane to strike the country with a pressure of 920 mbar, though its winds were not as strong as Andrew.[2]

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was the deadliest hurricane in the history of the United States, killing at least 8,000 people. The 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane caused at least 2,500 casualties, and in 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,500 people. In the 1893 season, two hurricanes each caused over 1,000 deaths.[2]

Accounting for inflation, nine Atlantic hurricanes caused a damage total of over $10 billion (2006 USD), including three from the 2005 season. The costliest was Hurricane Katrina, with damage amounting to $84.6 billion, though in normalized dollars it may only be second to the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. Of the thirty costliest United States hurricanes, ten were after the year 2000.[2]

A 2010 study published in Natural Hazards Review, a journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers, “Normalized Hurricane Damage in the United State: 1900-2005” (PDF), analyzed storm-related property damage figures from 1900 through 2005 adjusted (“normalized”) for inflation, wealth and population factors over time. The study found that: 1) Using normalized figures, hurricane-related damages steadily increased from 1900 to 2005; 2) Based on the adjusted data, Hurricane Katrina is the second-most destructive storm in U.S. history. The top-ranking storm in terms of property damage is the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, with losses between $140–157 billion in 2005 dollars; 3) While 1996–2005 was the second-most costly period for storm-related damages, the preceding periods of 1976–1985 and 1986–1995 were “anomalously benign,” accounting for only 10% of all storm damage reported since 1900; 4) Approximately 85% of all storm-related damages occur in the months of August (35%) and September (50%).[3]

States bordering the Atlantic Ocean

The category listed for each state indicates the maximum category of sustained winds that was recorded or analyzed to have occurred in that state. It is not necessarily the category of the storm at the time of landfall or closest approach (if the strongest winds were occurring elsewhere or only over water at the time).

Alabama

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 3 August 26 1852 Unnamed 2 October 18 1916
Unnamed 1 September 29 1917 Unnamed 3 August 21 1926
Unnamed 1[notes 1] August 31 1856 Unnamed 1 September 1 1932
Unnamed 1 September 16 1859 Baker 1 August 31 1950
Unnamed 2 August 12 1860 Camille 1 August 18 1969
Unnamed 1 September 16 1860 Eloise 1[notes 1] September 23 1975
Unnamed 1 July 30 1870 Frederic 3 September 13 1979
Unnamed 1[notes 1] September 10 1882 Elena 3 September 2 1985
Unnamed 2 October 3 1893 Opal 1[notes 1] October 4 1995
Unnamed 1 August 15 1901 Danny 1 July 19 1997
Unnamed 2 September 27 1906 Ivan 3 September 16 2004
Unnamed 1 September 14 1912 Dennis 1[notes 1] July 10 2005
Unnamed 2 July 5 1916 Katrina 1 August 29 2005
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]
Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT[4]

Connecticut

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 September 16 1858 Carol 3 August 31 1954
Unnamed 1 September 8 1869 Donna 1 September 12 1960
Unnamed 1 August 24 1893 Agnes 1 June 22 1972
Unnamed 1 October 10 1894 Gloria 2 September 27 1985
Unnamed 3 September 21 1938 Bob 2 August 19 1991
Unnamed 2 September 15 1944
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Delaware

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 October 23 1878
Unnamed 1 September 16 1903
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Florida

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 3 August 23 1851 Unnamed 1 October 21 1924
Unnamed 1 August 26 1852 Unnamed 2 July 27 1926
Unnamed 1 September 12 1852 Unnamed 4 September 18 1926
Unnamed 2 October 9 1852 Unnamed 1[notes 2] October 21 1926
Unnamed 1 September 8 1854 Unnamed 2 August 8 1928
Unnamed 2 August 31 1856 Unnamed 4 September 17 1928
Unnamed 1 September 16 1859 Unnamed 3 September 28 1929
Unnamed 1 October 28 1859 Unnamed 1 September 1 1932
Unnamed 1[notes 2] August 16 1861 Unnamed 1 July 30 1933
Unnamed 2 October 23 1865 Unnamed 3 September 4 1933
Unnamed 1 October 6 1867 “Labor Day” 5 September 3 1935
Unnamed 1[notes 2] October 9 1870 Unnamed 2 November 4 1935
Unnamed 1 October 20 1870 Unnamed 2 July 31 1936
Unnamed 3 August 16 1871 Unnamed 1 August 11 1939
Unnamed 2 August 25 1871 Unnamed 2 October 6 1941
Unnamed 1 September 6 1871 Unnamed 3 October 19 1944
Unnamed 1 September 19 1873 Unnamed 1 June 24 1945
Unnamed 3 October 7 1873 Unnamed 3 September 15 1945
Unnamed 1 September 28 1874 Unnamed 1 October 8 1946
Unnamed 2 October 20 1876 Unnamed 4 September 17 1947
Unnamed 1 September 19 1877 Unnamed 1 October 11 1947
Unnamed 3 October 3 1877 Unnamed 4 September 21 1948
Unnamed 2 September 10 1878 Unnamed 2 October 5 1948
Unnamed 2 August 29 1880 Unnamed 4 August 26 1949
Unnamed 1 October 8 1880 Easy 3 September 5 1950
Unnamed 3 September 10 1882 King 4 October 18 1950
Unnamed 1 October 11 1882 Florence 1 September 26 1953
Unnamed 1 August 24 1885 Hazel 1 October 9 1953
Unnamed 2 June 21 1886 Flossy 1 September 24 1956
Unnamed 2 June 30 1886 Donna 4 September 10 1960
Unnamed 1 July 18 1886 Cleo 2 August 27 1964
Unnamed 1 July 27 1887 Dora 2 September 10 1964
Unnamed 3 August 16 1888 Isbell 2 October 14 1964
Unnamed 2 October 11 1888 Betsy 3 September 8 1965
Unnamed 1 August 24 1891 Alma 2 June 9 1966
Unnamed 1 August 27 1893 Inez 1 October 8 1966
Unnamed 2 September 25 1894 Gladys 2 October 19 1968
Unnamed 3 October 9 1894 Agnes 1 June 19 1972
Unnamed 2 July 7 1896 Eloise 3 September 23 1975
Unnamed 3 September 29 1896 David 2 September 3 1979
Unnamed 1 August 3 1898 Elena 3 September 1 1985
Unnamed 2 October 2 1898 Kate 2 November 21 1985
Unnamed 2 August 1 1899 Floyd 1 October 12 1987
Unnamed 1 August 11 1903 Andrew 5 August 24 1992
Unnamed 1 October 17 1904 Erin 2 August 3 1995
Unnamed 1 June 16 1906 Opal 3 October 4 1995
Unnamed 2 September 27 1906 Earl 1 September 3 1998
Unnamed 3 October 18 1906 Georges 2 September 25 1998
Unnamed 3 October 11 1909 Irene 1 October 15 1999
Unnamed 2 October 18 1910 Charley 4 August 13 2004
Unnamed 1 August 11 1911 Frances 2 September 5 2004
Unnamed 1 September 14 1912 Ivan 3 September 16 2004
Unnamed 1 August 1 1915 Jeanne 3 September 26 2004
Unnamed 1 September 4 1915 Dennis 3 July 10 2005
Unnamed 2 July 5 1916 Katrina 1 August 25 2005
Unnamed 2 October 18 1916 Rita 1[notes 2] September 20 2005
Unnamed 3 September 29 1917 Wilma 3 October 24 2005
Unnamed 4 September 10 1919 Hermine 1 September 2 2016
Unnamed 3 October 25 1921 Matthew 2[notes 2] October 7 2016
Unnamed 1 September 15 1924
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Georgia

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1[notes 1] August 24 1851 Unnamed 2 September 29 1896
Unnamed 1[notes 1] October 10 1852 Unnamed 1 August 31 1898
Unnamed 1 October 21 1853 Unnamed 4 October 2 1898
Unnamed 3 September 8 1854 Unnamed 1 August 28 1911
Unnamed 1[notes 1] August 31 1856 Unnamed 1 September 18 1928
Unnamed 1[notes 1] October 3 1877 “Labor Day” 1[notes 1] September 5 1935
Unnamed 1 September 11 1878 Unnamed 1 August 11 1940
Unnamed 2 August 28 1881 Unnamed 2 October 15 1947
Unnamed 1 August 25 1885 Unnamed 1 August 27 1949
Unnamed 1[notes 1] June 21 1886 David 2 September 4 1979
Unnamed 1[notes 1] June 30 1886 Kate 1[notes 1] November 22 1985
Unnamed 3 August 28 1893 Matthew 1[notes 2] October 8 2016
Unnamed 1[notes 1] October 9 1894
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]
Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT[4]

Louisiana

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 2 August 25 1852 Unnamed 3 August 26 1926
Unnamed 3 September 16 1855 Unnamed 2 June 16 1934
Unnamed 4 August 11 1856 Unnamed 1 August 15 1938
Unnamed 3 August 11 1860 Unnamed 2 August 7 1940
Unnamed 2 September 15 1860 Unnamed 2 September 19 1947
Unnamed 2 October 2 1860 Unnamed 1 September 4 1948
Unnamed 2 September 13 1865 Flossy 2 September 24 1956
Unnamed 2 October 4 1867 Audrey 3 June 27 1957
Unnamed 1 September 5 1869 Ethel 1 September 15 1964
Unnamed 1 September 18 1877 Hilda 3 October 3 1964
Unnamed 2 August 23 1879 Betsy 3 September 10 1965
Unnamed 3 September 1 1879 Camille 5 August 17 1969
Unnamed 2 June 14 1886 Edith 2 September 16 1971
Unnamed 3 October 12 1886 Carmen 3 September 8 1974
Unnamed 1 October 19 1887 Babe 1 September 5 1977
Unnamed 2 August 19 1888 Bob 1 September 11 1979
Unnamed 1 September 23 1889 Danny 1 August 15 1985
Unnamed 2 September 7 1893 Juan 1 October 28 1985
Unnamed 4 October 2 1893 Florence 1 September 10 1988
Unnamed 1 September 12 1897 Andrew 3 August 26 1992
Unnamed 1 August 14 1901 Danny 1 July 18 1997
Unnamed 1 September 27 1906 Lili 1 October 3 2002
Unnamed 3 September 20 1909 Cindy 1 July 6 2005
Unnamed 1 August 17 1915 Katrina 3 August 29 2005
Unnamed 3 September 29 1915 Rita 3 September 24 2005
Unnamed 2 September 29 1917 Humberto 1 September 13 2007
Unnamed 3 August 7 1918 Gustav 2 September 1 2008
Unnamed 2 September 21
Unnamed 1 October 16 1923 Isaac 1 August 28 2012
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]
Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT[4]

Maine

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 2 October 4 1869
Gerda 1 September 10 1969
Gloria 1 September 27 1985
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Maryland

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 October 23 1878
Unnamed 1 August 23 1933
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Massachusetts

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 September 16 1858 Unnamed 2 September 21 1938
Unnamed 3 September 8 1869 Unnamed 1 September 15 1944
Unnamed 1 October 4 1869 Carol 2 August 31 1954
Unnamed 1 August 19 1879 Edna 2 September 11 1954
Unnamed 1 September 10 1896 Donna 1 September 12 1960
Unnamed 1 August 26 1924 Bob 2 August 19 1991
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Mississippi

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 3 August 26 1852 Unnamed 3 July 6 1916
Unnamed 3 August 16 1855 Unnamed 1 October 16 1923
Unnamed 3 August 12 1860 Unnamed 1 September 21 1926
Unnamed 2 September 15 1860 Unnamed 2 September 19 1947
Unnamed 1[notes 1] August 20 1888 Ethel 1 September 15 1960
Unnamed 2 October 2 1893 Camille 5 August 18 1969
Unnamed 1 August 15 1901 Frederic 3 September 13 1979
Unnamed 2 September 27 1906 Elena 3 September 2 1985
Unnamed 2 September 21 1909 Georges 2 September 29 1998
Unnamed 2 September 29 1915 Katrina 3 August 29 2005
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

New Hampshire

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Gloria 2 September 27 1985
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

New Jersey

Although Hurricane Sandy struck the state in October 2012 and produced hurricane-force winds, it became an extratropical cyclone before landfall or producing any hurricane-strength winds.[5]

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1[notes 2] October 23 1878
Unnamed 1 September 16 1903
Unnamed 1[notes 2] September 8 1934
Unnamed 1[notes 2] September 14 1944
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

New York

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 September 16 1858 Edna 1 September 11 1954
Unnamed 1 September 8 1869 Donna 2 September 12 1960
Unnamed 1 August 24 1893 Agnes 1 June 22 1972
Unnamed 1 October 10 1894 Belle 1 August 10 1976
Unnamed 1 September 8 1934 Gloria 3 September 27 1985
Unnamed 3 September 21 1938 Bob 2 August 19 1991
Unnamed 2 September 15 1944 Sandy 1[notes 3] October 29 2012
Carol 3 August 31 1954
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

North Carolina

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 September 13 1857 Unnamed 2[notes 2] September 14 1944
Unnamed 1 September 27 1861 Unnamed 1[notes 2] August 24 1949
Unnamed 1 November 2 1861 Barbara 1 August 14 1953
Unnamed 1 September 24 1874 Carol 1[notes 2] August 31 1954
Unnamed 1 September 17 1876 Edna 1[notes 2] September 11 1954
Unnamed 2 October 23 1878 Hazel 4 October 15 1954
Unnamed 3 August 18 1879 Connie 2 August 12 1955
Unnamed 1 September 9 1880 Ione 2 September 19 1955
Unnamed 2 September 9 1881 Helene 3[notes 2] September 27 1958
Unnamed 2 September 11 1883 Donna 2 September 12 1960
Unnamed 2 September 25 1885 Ginger 1 September 30 1971
Unnamed 1[notes 2] August 20 1887 Diana 2 September 13 1984
Unnamed 1[notes 1] August 28 1893 Gloria 3 September 27 1985
Unnamed 1 October 13 1893 Charley 1 August 17 1986
Unnamed 1[notes 1] September 29 1896 Hugo 1[notes 1] September 22 1989
Unnamed 3 August 18 1899 Emily 3[notes 2] August 31 1993
Unnamed 2 October 31 1899 Bertha 2 July 12 1996
Unnamed 1 July 11 1901 Fran 3 September 6 1996
Unnamed 1 September 17 1906 Bonnie 2 August 27 1998
Unnamed 1 July 31 1908 Floyd 2 September 16 1999
Unnamed 1 September 3 1913 Irene 2[notes 2] October 18 1999
Unnamed 1 August 24 1918 Isabel 2 September 18 2003
Unnamed 1[notes 2] August 26 1924 Alex 1[notes 2] August 3 2004
Unnamed 1 August 23 1933 Charley 1 August 14 2004
Unnamed 2[notes 2] September 16 1933 Ophelia 1[notes 2] September 14 2005
Unnamed 1[notes 2] September 9 1934 Irene 1 August 27 2011
Unnamed 1 September 18 1936 Arthur 2 July 4 2014
Unnamed 1 August 1 1944 Matthew 1[notes 2] October 8 2016
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]
Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT[4]

Pennsylvania

Though not directly bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the Gale of 1878 produced hurricane-force winds in the state, the only tropical cyclone on record to do so.[1] Furthermore, Hurricane Agnes (1972) had a severe impact on the state. Although it had been only a Category 1 storm, and had weakened to a tropical depression by the time it reached Pennsylvania, Hurricane Agnes nevertheless caused severe flooding, as well as enormous economic damage.

Rhode Island

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 September 16 1858 Unnamed 2 September 15 1944
Unnamed 1 September 8 1869 Carol 3 August 31 1954
Unnamed 1 October 10 1894 Edna 1 September 11 1954
Unnamed 1 September 10 1896 Donna 1 September 12 1960
Unnamed 3 September 21 1938 Bob 2 August 19 1991
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

South Carolina

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 2 September 8 1854 Unnamed 1 October 8 1913
Unnamed 1 June 22 1867 Unnamed 2 July 14 1916
Unnamed 1 September 28 1874 Unnamed 1 September 18 1928
Unnamed 1 September 12 1878 Unnamed 2 August 11 1940
Unnamed 1 August 28 1881 Unnamed 2 October 15 1947
Unnamed 1 September 11 1883 Able 2 August 31 1952
Unnamed 3 August 25 1885 Hazel 4 October 15 1954
Unnamed 3 August 28 1893 Cindy 1 July 9 1959
Unnamed 3 October 13 1893 Gracie 4 September 29 1959
Unnamed 1 September 27 1894 David 2 September 4 1979
Unnamed 1 September 29 1896 Bob 1 July 25 1985
Unnamed 1 August 31 1898 Hugo 4 September 22 1989
Unnamed 2 October 31 1899 Charley 1 August 14 2004
Unnamed 1 September 14 1904 Gaston 1 August 29 2004
Unnamed 1 September 17 1906 Matthew 1 October 8 2016
Unnamed 2 August 28 1911
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Texas

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 June 25 1851 Unnamed 4 August 14 1932
Unnamed 1 June 26 1854 Unnamed 2[notes 4] August 7 1933
Unnamed 2 September 18 1854 Unnamed 3 September 5 1933
Unnamed 1 September 13 1865 Unnamed 2 July 25 1934
Unnamed 2 July 15 1866 Unnamed 1 June 27 1936
Unnamed 1 October 2 1867 Unnamed 2 August 8 1940
Unnamed 2 August 17 1869 Unnamed 3 September 23 1941
Unnamed 3 September 16 1875 Unnamed 1 August 21 1942
Unnamed 2 August 23 1879 Unnamed 3 August 30 1942
Unnamed 3[notes 4] August 13 1880 Unnamed 2 July 27 1943
Unnamed 2 June 14 1886 Unnamed 2 August 27 1945
Unnamed 4 August 20 1886 Unnamed 1 August 24 1947
Unnamed 1[notes 4] September 23 1886 Unnamed 2 October 4 1949
Unnamed 2 October 12 1886 Audrey 2 June 27 1957
Unnamed 2 September 21 1887 Debra 1 July 25 1959
Unnamed 1 June 17 1888 Carla 4 September 11 1961
Unnamed 1 July 5 1891 Cindy 1 September 17 1963
Unnamed 1[notes 4] August 30 1895 Beulah 3 September 20 1967
Unnamed 1 September 13 1897 Celia 3 August 3 1970
Unnamed 4 September 9 1900 Fern 1 September 10 1971
Unnamed 2 June 29 1909 Allen 3 August 10 1980
Unnamed 3 July 21 1909 Alicia 3 August 18 1983
Unnamed 1[notes 4] August 27 1909 Bonnie 1 June 28 1986
Unnamed 2 September 14 1910 Chantal 1 August 1 1989
Unnamed 2 October 16 1912 Jerry 1 October 16 1989
Unnamed 1 June 27 1913 Bret 3 August 23 1999
Unnamed 4 August 17 1915 Claudette 1 July 15 2003
Unnamed 4 August 18 1916 Rita 2 September 24 2005
Unnamed 1 August 7 1918 Humberto 1 September 13 2007
Unnamed 3 September 14 1919 Dolly 1 July 23 2008
Unnamed 1 June 22 1921 Ike 2 September 13 2008
Unnamed 1 June 28 1929
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

Virginia

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Unnamed 1 September 17 1876 Unnamed 1[notes 2] September 16 1933
Unnamed 1 October 23 1878 Unnamed 1 September 18 1936
Unnamed 2 August 18 1879 Unnamed 2[notes 2] September 14 1944
Unnamed 1[notes 1] October 13 1893 Connie 1 August 12 1955
Unnamed 1 September 29 1894 Donna 1[notes 2] September 12 1960
Unnamed 1[notes 1] September 30 1896 Isabel 1 September 18 2003
Unnamed 1 August 23 1933
Source: Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012[1]

States bordering the Pacific Ocean

Southwestern United States

The 1858 San Diego Hurricane is the only Pacific tropical cyclone known to have produced hurricane-force winds in California; it affected San Diego on October 2, 1858, though its center remained just offshore. In the 20th century, only four tropical cyclones produced tropical storm force winds in the southwestern United States: a tropical storm in September 1939 in California, Hurricane Joanne in October 1972 in Arizona, Hurricane Kathleen in September 1976 in Arizona and California, and Hurricane Nora in September 1997 in Arizona.[6]

Hawaii

Name Saffir-Simpson
Category
Date of closest approach Year
Dot 1 August 7 1959
Iwa 1 November 24 1982
Iniki 4 September 11 1992
Source: 1959 Central Pacific Hurricane Season[7]
1982 Central Pacific Hurricane Season[8]
1992 Central Pacific Hurricane Season[9]

Climatological statistics

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Hurricane conditions in this state were limited to inland areas.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z This hurricane did not made landfall, but produced hurricane conditions over the state indicated.
  3. Jump up^ This storm became extratropical before landfall, but produced hurricane conditions over the state indicated while still a tropical cyclone.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e This hurricane made landfall in Mexico but produced hurricane conditions in Texas.

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Hurricane Research Division (2012). “Chronological List of All Hurricanes which Affected the Continental United States: 1851-2012”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Eric S. Blake; Edward N. Rappaport; Christopher W. Landsea (2007). “The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones From 1851 to 2006” (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  3. Jump up^ “Normalized Hurricane Damage in the United States: 1900–2005”. Journalist’s Resource.org.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d Hurricane Research Division (2008). “Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  5. Jump up^ Eric S. Blake; et al. (2013-02-12). Hurricane Sandy Tropical Cyclone Report (PDF) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  6. Jump up^ Michael Chenoweth & Chris Landsea (2004). “The San Diego Hurricane of October 2, 1858” (PDF). American Meteorological Society. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  7. Jump up^ Central Pacific Hurricane Season. “1959 Central Pacific Hurricane Season”. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  8. Jump up^ Central Pacific Hurricane Season. “1982 Central Pacific Hurricane Season”. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  9. Jump up^ Central Pacific Hurricane Season. “1992 Central Pacific Hurricane Season”. Retrieved 2008-01-26.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_hurricanes

List of natural disasters by death toll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

natural disaster is a sudden event that causes widespread destruction, lots of collateral damage or loss of life, brought about by forces other than the acts of human beings. A natural disaster might be caused by earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption, landslide, hurricanes etc. In order to be classified as a disaster, it will have profound environmental effect and/or human loss and frequently incurs financial loss.

Ten deadliest natural disasters

Rank Death toll (estimate) Event Location Date
1. 1,000,000–4,000,000*[1] 1931 China floods China July 1931
2. 900,000–2,000,000[2] 1887 Yellow River flood China September 1887
3. 830,000[3] 1556 Shaanxi earthquake China January 23, 1556
4. 300,000[4] 1839 India cyclone India November 26, 1839
4. 300,000[5] 1737 Calcutta cyclone India October 7, 1737
5. 280,000 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami Indian Ocean December 26, 2004
6. 273,400[6] 1920 Haiyuan earthquake China December 16, 1920
7. 250,000–500,000[1] 1970 Bhola cyclone East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) November 13, 1970
7. 250,000–300,000[7] 526 Antioch earthquake Byzantine Empire (now Turkey) May 526
8. 242,000–655,000 1976 Tangshan earthquake China July 28, 1976
9. 230,000 1138 Aleppo earthquake Zengid dynasty (now Syria) October 11, 1138
10. 229,000 Typhoon Nina—contributed to Banqiao Dam failure China August 7, 1975

* Estimate by Nova’s sources are close to 4 million and yet Encarta’s sources report as few as 1 million. Expert estimates report wide variance.

The list does not include several volcanic eruptions with uncertain death tolls resulting from collateral effects (crop failures, etc.), though these may have numbered in the millions; see List of volcanic eruptions by death toll.

The list does not include the man-made 1938 Yellow River flood, caused entirely by a deliberate man-made act (an act of war, destroying dikes).

An alternative listing is given by Peter Hough in his 2008 book Global Security.[8]

Ten deadliest natural disasters since 1900

Rank Death toll (estimate) Event* Location Date
1. 1,000,000–4,000,000 1931 China floods China July 1931
2. 280,000 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami Indian Ocean December 26, 2004
3. 273,400 1920 Haiyuan earthquake China December 16, 1920
4. 250,000–500,000 1970 Bhola cyclone East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) November 1970
5. 242,000–655,000 1976 Tangshan earthquake China July 28, 1976
6. 229,000 Typhoon Nina—contributed to Banqiao Dam failure China August 7, 1975
7. 160,000[9] 2010 Haiti earthquake Haiti January 12, 2010
8. 145,000 1935 Yangtze river flood China 1935
9. 143,000 1923 Great Kanto earthquake Japan September 1, 1923
10. 138,866 1991 Bangladesh cyclone Bangladesh April 1991

This list does not include industrial or technological accidents, epidemics, or the 1938 Yellow River flood.

Lists of natural disasters by cause

Deadliest earthquakes

Rank Death toll (estimate) Event Location Date
1. 820,000–830,000 1556 Shaanxi earthquake China January 23, 1556
2. 280,000 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake Indonesia December 26, 2004
3. 242,769–700,000[10][11][12] 1976 Tangshan earthquake China July 28, 1976
4. 273,400[6] 1920 Haiyuan earthquake NingxiaChina December 16, 1920
5. 250,000–300,000[7] 526 Antioch earthquake Byzantine Empire (now Turkey) May 526
6. 260,000[13] 115 Antioch earthquake Roman Empire (now Turkey) December 13, 115
7. 230,000 1138 Aleppo earthquake Zengid dynasty (now Syria) October 11, 1138
8. 200,000[14] 1303 Hongdong earthquake Mongol Empire (now China) September 17, 1303
8. 200,000 856 Damghan earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Iran) December 22, 856
8. 200,000[15] 1780 Tabriz earthquake Iran January 8, 1780
9. 170,000[16] 896 Udaipur earthquake India 896
10. 160,000[9] 2010 Haiti earthquake Haiti January 12, 2010
11. 150,000 893 Ardabil earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Iran) March 23, 893
12. 142,807[17][18] 1923 Great Kanto earthquake Japan September 1, 1923
13. 130,000[19] 533 Aleppo earthquake Byzantine Empire (now Syria) November 29, 533
14. 123,000[1] 1908 Messina earthquake Italy December 28, 1908
15. 110,000 1948 Ashgabat earthquake Turkmen SSRSoviet Union (now Turkmenistan) October 5, 1948
16. 100,000 1290 Chihli earthquake Mongol Empire (now China) September 27, 1290
16. 100,000[20] 2005 Kashmir earthquake Pakistan (Azad Kashmir) October 8, 2005
17. 87,587[21][22] 2008 Sichuan earthquake China May 12, 2008
18. 80,000[23] 1721 Tabriz earthquake Iran April 26, 1721
18. 80,000[24] 458 Antioch earthquake Byzantine Empire (now Turkey) September 458
18. 80,000 1667 Shamakhi earthquake Safavid dynasty (now Azerbaijan) November 1667
18. 80,000 1854 Great Nankaidō earthquake Japan November 1854
18. 80,000[25][26] 1169 Aleppo earthquake Zengid dynasty (now Syria) 1169
19. 77,000 1727 Tabriz earthquake Iran November 18, 1727
20. 73,000[27] 1718 Gansu earthquake Qing Empire (now China) June 19, 1718
21. 70,000 1970 Ancash earthquake Peru May 31, 1970[28]
21. 70,000[29] 1033 Ramala earthquake Fatimid Caliphate (now West Bank) December 10, 1033
21. 70,000[30] 847 Damascus earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Syria) 847
21. 70,000[31] 1868 Ecuador earthquakes Ecuador August 15, 1868 and August 16, 1868
22. 60,000[32] 587 Antioch earthquake Byzantine Empire (now Turkey) September 30, 587
22. 60,000[33] 1101 Khorasan earthquake Great Seljuq Empire (now Iran) 1101
22. 60,000 1268 Cilicia earthquake Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (now Turkey) 1268
22. 60,000 1693 Sicily earthquake Kingdom of Sicily (now Italy) January 11, 1693
22. 60,000 1935 Quetta earthquake India (now part of Pakistan) May 31, 1935
23. 50,000[34] 844 Damascus earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Syria) September 18, 844
23. 50,000[35] 1042 Tabriz earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Iran) November 4, 1042
23. 50,000 1783 Calabrian earthquakes Kingdom of Naples (now Italy) 1783
23. 50,000 1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake Iran June 21, 1990
24. 40,000–50,000[36] 1755 Lisbon earthquake Portugal November 1, 1755
25. 45,000[37] 850 Iran earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Iran) July 15, 850
25. 45,000[38] 856 Corinth earthquake Byzantine Empire (now Greece) November 856
25. 45,000[39][40] 856 Tunisia earthquake Abbasid Caliphate (now Tunisia) December 3, 856
26. 42,571[41] 1668 Shandong earthquake Qing Empire (now China) July 25, 1668
27. 40,900 1927 Gulang earthquake GansuChina May 22, 1927
28. 40,000[42] 342 Antioch earthquake Roman Empire (now Turkey) 342
28. 40,000[43] 662 Damghan earthquake Umayyad Caliphate (now Iran) April 26, 662
28. 40,000[44] 1455 Naples earthquake Crown of Aragon (now Italy) December 5, 1455
28. 40,000[45] 1754 Cairo earthquake Ottoman Empire (now Egypt) September 2, 1754
28. 40,000[46] 1755 Tabriz earthquake Iran June 7, 1755
28. 40,000 1797 Riobamba earthquake Spanish Empire (now Ecuador) February 4, 1797

Deadliest famines

Note: Some of these famines may be caused or partially caused by humans.

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 15,000,000–43,000,000 Great Chinese Famine China 1958–1961
2. 25,000,000[citation needed] Chinese Famine of 1907 China 1907
3. 13,000,000[47] Northern Chinese Famine of 1876–1879 China 1876–1879
4. 11,000,000 Doji bara famine or Skull famine India 1789–1792
5. 10,000,000 Bengal famine of 1770, incl. Bihar & Orissa India 1769–1771
6. 6,000,000+ Indian Famine British India 1896–1902
7. 7,500,000 Great European Famine Europe (all) 1315–1317
8. 7,000,000–10,000,000 Soviet famine of 1932–1933 (Holodomor in Ukraine) Soviet Union 1932–1934
9. 5,250,000 Indian Great Famine of 1876–78 India 1876–1878
10. 5,000,000 Chinese Famine of 1936 China 1936
10. 5,000,000 Russian famine of 1921 RussiaUkraine 1921–1922
11. 3,000,000 Chinese famine of 1928–1930 China 1928–1930
12. 2,000,000–3,000,000 Chinese Drought 1941 China 1942–1943
12. 2,000,000 Russian famine of 1601–1603 Russia (Muscovy) 1601–1603
12. 2,000,000 Deccan Famine of 1630–32 India 1630–1632
12. 2,000,000 Upper Doab famine of 1860–61 India 1860–1861
12. 2,000,000 French Famine France 1693–1694
12. 2,000,000 Great Persian Famine of 1870–71 Persia 1870–1871
13. 1,500,000–7,000,000 Bengal Famine of 1943 India 1943
14. 1,500,000 Great Irish Famine Ireland 1846–1849

Deadliest impact events

Note: Although there have been no scientifically verified cases of astronomical objects resulting in human fatalities, there have been several reported occurrences throughout human history. Consequently, the casualty figures for all events listed are considered unofficial.

Rank Death toll (unofficial) Location Date Notes
1. 10,000+ QingyangGansu, China 1490 1490 Ch’ing-yang event
2. Tens Changshou District, China 1639 10 homes destroyed[48][49]
3. 10+ China 616 AD a large shooting star fell onto the rebel Lu Ming-Yueh’s camp, destroying a wall-attacking tower[49]
4. 2 Malacca ship, Indian Ocean 1648 2 sailors killed on board a ship[49]
4. 2 Podkamennaya Tunguska RiverSiberiaRussian Empire 1908 Tunguska event[48]
5. 1 CremonaLombardy, Italy 1511 monk and several animals were killed by stones weighing up to 50 kg[49]
5. 1 Milan, Italy 1633 or 1664 a monk died after being struck on the thigh by a meteorite[49]
5. 1 Gascony, France 1790 a farmer was reportedly struck and killed by a meteorite[49]
5. 1 Oriang, Malwate, India 1825 [48][50]
5. 1 Chin-kuei Shan, China 1874 cottage was crushed by a meteorite, killing a child[48][51]
5. 1 Newtown, Indiana, United States 1879 a man was killed in bed by a meteorite[48]
5. 1 Dun-le-Poëlier, France 1879 a farmer was killed by a meteorite[48]
5. 1 Zvezvan, Yugoslavia 1929 a meteorite hit a bridal party[48]

Deadliest limnic eruptions

(Only 2 recorded cases.)

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 1,744 Lake Nyos Cameroon 1986
2. 37 Lake Monoun Cameroon 1984

Ten deadliest avalanches

Rank Death toll (estimate) Event Location Date
1. 20,000 1970 Huascarán avalanche; triggered by the 1970 Ancash earthquake[52] Peru 1970
2. 10,000 Tyrolean Alps Avalanche[53][54] Italy 1916
3. 4,000 1962 Huascarán avalanche[52] Peru 1962
4. 310 2015 Afghanistan avalanches Afghanistan 2015
5. 265 Winter of Terror AustriaSwitzerland 1951
6. 201 2012 Afghanistan avalanches Afghanistan 2012
7. 172 2010 Salang avalanches Afghanistan 2010
8. 140 2012 Siachen Glacier avalanche Pakistan 2012
9. 125 Kolka-Karmadon rock ice slide Russia 2002
10. 107 Saint-Martin (Hautes-Pyrénées) France 1600

Ten deadliest blizzards

Rank Death toll (estimate) Event Location Date
1. 4,000 1972 Iran blizzard Iran 1972
2. 3,000 Carolean Death March Sweden/Norway 1719
3. 926 2008 Afghanistan blizzard Afghanistan 2008
4. 400 Great Blizzard of 1888 United States 1888
5. 353 Great Appalachian Storm of 1950 United States 1950
6. 318 1993 Storm of the Century United States 1993
7. 250 Great Lakes Storm of 1913 United States and Canada (Great Lakes region) 1913
8. 235 Schoolhouse Blizzard United States 1888
9. 199 Hakko-da Mountains incident Japan 1902
10. 154 1940 Armistice Day Blizzard United States 1940
10. 154 North American blizzard of 1996 United States 1996

Ten deadliest floods / landslides

Note: Some of these floods and landslides may be partially caused by humans – for example, by failure of damsleveesseawalls or retaining walls.

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 1,000,000–4,000,000[55] 1931 China floods China 1931
2. 900,000–2,000,000 1887 Yellow River (Huang He) flood China 1887
3. 229,000[56] Failure of 62 dams, the largest of which was Banqiao Dam, result of Typhoon Nina. China 1975
4. 145,000 1935 Yangtze river flood China 1935
5. more than 100,000 St. Felix’s Flood, storm surge Netherlands 1530
6. 100,000 Hanoi and Red River Delta flood North Vietnam 1971
7. up to 100,000[citation needed] 1911 Yangtze River flood China 1911
8. 50,000–80,000 St. Lucia’s flood, storm surge Netherlands 1287
9. 60,000 North Sea flood, storm surge Netherlands 1212
10. 36,000 St. Marcellus flood, storm surge Netherlands 1219

The list does not include the man-made 1938 Yellow River flood caused entirely by a deliberate man-made act (an act of war, destroying dikes).

Ten deadliest heat waves

Measuring the number of deaths caused by a heat wave requires complicated statistical analysis, since heat waves tend to cause large numbers of deaths among people weakened by other conditions. As a result, the number of deaths is only known with any accuracy for heat waves in the modern era in countries with developed healthcare systems.

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 70,000 2003 European heat wave Europe 2003
2. 56,000 2010 Russian heat wave Russia 2010
3. 9,500 1901 eastern United States heat wave United States 1901
4. 5,000–10,000 1988 United States heat wave United States 1988
5. 3,418 2006 European heat wave Europe 2006[57]
6. 2,541 1998 India heat wave India 1998[57]
7. 2,500 2015 Indian heat wave India 2015
7. 2,500 2015 Pakistan heat wave Pakistan 2015
8. 1,700–5,000 1980 United States heat wave United States 1980
9. 1,718 2010 Japanese heat wave Japan 2010[58]
10. 1,693 1936 North American heat wave North America 1936[57]

Ten deadliest storms (non-cyclones)

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 10,000–30,000 Vargas tragedy Venezuela 1999
2. 903 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides Brazil 2011
3. 500 Lofoten, Heavy storm Norway 1849
4. 329 Mocoa tragedy Colombia 2017
5. 246 1888 Moradabad hailstorm India 1888
6. 242 1996 Amarnath Yatra tragedy India 1996
7. 210 Trøndelag, storm (“Follastormen”) Norway 1625
8. 189 Eyemouth, Scotland, storm (“Black Friday“) United Kingdom 1881
9. 156 1972 Hong Kong rainstorm disasters Hong Kong 1972
10. 140 Trøndelag, storm (“Titran disaster”) Norway 1899

Ten deadliest tornadoes

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 1,300 The Daulatpur-Salturia Tornado ManikganjBangladesh 1989
2. 695 The Tri-State Tornado United States (MissouriIllinoisIndiana) 1925
3. 681 1973 Dhaka Tornado Bangladesh 1973
4. 660 1969 East Pakistan Tornado East PakistanPakistan (now Bangladesh) 1969
5. 600 The Valletta, Malta Tornado Malta 1551 or 1556
6. 500 The Sicily Tornadoes SicilyTwo Sicilies (now Italy) 1851
6. 500 The Narail-Magura Tornado JessoreEast PakistanPakistan (now Bangladesh) 1964
6. 500 The Madaripur-Shibchar Tornado Bangladesh 1977
7. 400 The Ivanovo-Yaroslavl, Russia, Tornado Soviet Union (now Russia) 1984
8. 317 The Great Natchez Tornado United States (MississippiLouisiana) 1840
9. 300 Cooch, Behar Tornado India, Bangladesh 1963
9. 300 Bhakua-Haripur Tornado Bangladesh 1972
10. 263 Comilla Tornado Bangladesh 1969

Ten deadliest tropical cyclones

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 375,000 (250,000–500,000) 1970 Bhola cyclone East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) November 13, 1970
2. 300,000[5] 1737 Calcutta cyclone India October 7, 1737
2. 300,000[4] 1839 India Cyclone India November 25, 1839
3. 229,000 Super Typhoon Nina—contributed to Banqiao Dam failure China August 7, 1975
4. 200,000[59] Great Backerganj Cyclone of 1876 India (now Bangladesh) October 30, 1876
5. 150,000 (30,000 to 300,000)[60] 1881 Haiphong Typhoon Vietnam October 8, 1881
6. 138,866 1991 Bangladesh cyclone Bangladesh April 29, 1991
7. 138,366 Cyclone Nargis Myanmar May 2, 2008
8. 100,000[61] July 1780 Typhoon Philippines 1780
8. 100,000[62] 1882 Bombay cyclone India 1882
9. 80,000[63] 1874 Bengal cyclone India October 1874
10. 60,000[64] 1922 Swatow Typhoon China August 1922

Ten deadliest tsunamis

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 300,000–500,000 (est.) 365 Crete earthquake Greece July 21, 365
2. 280,000 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami Indian Ocean December 26, 2004
3. 123,000[1] 1908 Messina earthquake Italy December 28, 1908
4. 36,417–120,000 1883 eruption of Krakatoa Indonesia August 26, 1883
5. 40,000–50,000[36] 1755 Lisbon earthquake Portugal November 1, 1755
6. 30,000-100,000 (est.) Minoan Eruption Greece 2nd Millennium BC
7. 31,000 1498 Meiō Nankaidō earthquake Japan September 20, 1498
8. 30,000 1707 Hōei earthquake Japan October 28, 1707
9. 27,122[65] 1896 Sanriku earthquake Japan June 15, 1896
10. 25,674 1868 Arica earthquake Chile August 13, 1868

A 1782 possible tsunami causing about 40,000 deaths in the Taiwan Strait area may have been of “meteorological” origin (a cyclone)[66]

Ten deadliest volcanic eruptions

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 5,000,000~[67][better source needed] about 1 million in France,[68]
many in the rest of northern Europe and in Egypt,
9,350 people in Iceland, about 25% of the island’s population.[67]
Laki (Grímsvötn) Iceland June 8, 1783
2. 2,000,000 max, or one-third of the population of Russia;
(see also Russian famine of 1601–1603)
Huaynaputina Peru February 19, 1600
3. 71,000+[69] 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora (see also Year Without a Summer) Indonesia April 10, 1815
4. 36,000+[70] 1883 eruption of Krakatoa Indonesia August 26, 1883
5. 30,000[71] Mount Pelée Martinique May 7, 1902
6. 23,000[72] Armero tragedy Colombia November 13, 1985
7. 15,000[73] 1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami Japan May 21, 1792
8. 10,000 Mount Kelud Indonesia 1586
9. 6,000[74] Santa Maria Guatemala October 24, 1902
10. 5,000[75] Mount Kelud Indonesia May 19, 1919

Ten deadliest wildfires / bushfires

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 1,200–2,500 Peshtigo FireWisconsin United States October 8, 1871
2. 1,200 Kursha-2 Fire Soviet Union August 3, 1936
3. 453 Cloquet FireMinnesota United States October 12, 1918
4. 418 Great Hinckley FireMinnesota United States September 1, 1894
5. 282 Thumb FireMichigan United States September 5, 1881
6. 273 Matheson FireOntario Canada July 29, 1916
7. 240 Sumatra and Kalimantan Fires Indonesia 1997
8. 213 Black Dragon Fire China May 1, 1987
9. 173 Black Saturday bushfires Australia February 7, 2009
10. 160 Miramichi Fire Canada October 1825

See also

Other lists organized by death toll

References

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 810, December 8, 2016, Story 1: Astronaut and Senator John Glenn Dies At 95 — The Right Stuff — Godspeed, John Glenn — Videos

Posted on December 8, 2016. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Defense Spending, Education, Government Spending, History, Human, Investments, John Glenn, Life, Media, News, Nuclear Weapons, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Space, Space Flights, Transportation, U.S. Space Program, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Astronaut and Senator John Glenn Dies At  95 — The Right Stuff — Godspeed, John Glenn — Videos

Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7

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Great Books – The Right Stuff [TLC Documantary]

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Published on Oct 11, 2013

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Godspeed, John Glenn

John Glenn, American hero, aviation icon and former U.S. senator, dies at 95

By Joe Hallett

The Columbus Dispatch  •  Thursday December 8, 2016 5:35 PM

His legend is otherworldly and now, at age 95, so is John Glenn.

An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved wife of 73 years, who survives.

He, along with fellow aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright and moon-walker Neil Armstrong, truly made Ohio first in flight.

“John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve,” said Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich. “As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation.

“Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots. Godspeed, John Glenn!” Kasich said.

For more on John Glenn’s life, visit Dispatch.com/JohnGlenn

Glenn’s body will lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse for a day, and a public memorial service will be held at Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium. He will be buried near Washington, D.C., at Arlington National Cemetery in a private service. Dates and times for the public events will be announced soon.

Glenn lived a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! life. As a Marine Corps pilot, he broke the transcontinental flight speed record before being the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 and, 36 years later at age 77 in 1998, becoming the oldest man in space as a member of the seven-astronaut crew of the shuttle Discovery.

He made that flight in his 24th and final year in the U.S. Senate, from whence he launched a short-lived bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984. Along the way, Glenn became moderately wealthy from an early investment in Holiday Inns near Disney World and a stint as president of Royal Crown International.

In one of his last public appearances, Glenn, with Annie by his side, sat in the Port Columbus airport terminal on June 28 as officials renamed it in his honor — the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

In addition to his world-famous career in aviation and aerospace, Glenn had a relationship with that particular airport that is likely second to none. Glenn, who turned 8 the month that Port Columbus opened in July 1929, recalled asking his parents to stop at the airport so he could watch the planes come and go while he was growing up in New Concord, 70 miles east of Columbus.

Glenn recalled “many teary departures and reunions” at the airport’s original terminal on Fifth Avenue during his time as a military aviator during World War II. He and his wife Annie, who had been married 73 years, later kept a small Beechcraft plane at Lane Aviation on the airport grounds for many years, and he only gave up flying his own plane at age 90.

Privately, this man who had been honored by presidents and immortalized in history books and movies, told friends that for an aviator, seeing his name on the Columbus airport was the highest honor he could imagine.

Glenn, who lived with Annie for the past decade in a Downtown Columbus condo, dedicated his life to public service, devoting many of his later years to Ohio State University, which in 2005 converted the century-old Page Hall into the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and the School of Public Policy and Management. It is now the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

“He was very proud of the Glenn College,” said Jack Kessler, chairman of the New Albany Company, a former Ohio State trustee and longtime friend of the Glenns. “It’s a legacy that will carry on his mission toward good public policy.”

While Glenn held office as a Democrat, he wasn’t partisan, Kessler said. “I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. Some of his best friends were Republicans, and he could work with anyone.”

Surrounded by dozens of students striving to earn master’s and doctoral degrees from the institute, Glenn said at its dedication, “If we inspire a few young people into careers of public service and politics, this will all be worth it.”

Remarkably physically fit and energetic, Glenn only began encountering health problems in 2013 when he had a pacemaker implanted and missed some public appearances due to vertigo.

In 2011, he and Annie both had knee-replacement surgery, which kept them from repeating a planned road trip like the impromptu 8,400-mile journey throughout the West they took a year earlier in their Cadillac when she was 89 and he 88.

Raised in New Concord, where he and Annie both went to Muskingum College, Glenn aspired to be a medical doctor, but World War II sidetracked that ambition and launched a life of uncommon achievement and bravery. At age 8, he took his first ride in an open-cockpit airplane and ended up virtually living life in the sky, continuing to fly until 2011 when he put up for sale the twin-engine Beech Baron he had owned since 1981.

“I miss it,” Glenn told The Dispatch in 2012 “I never got tired of flying.”

Glenn flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea, where his wingman and eventual lifelong friend was baseball legend Ted Williams. In Korea, Glenn earned the nickname “Old Magnet Ass” due to his skill in landing his airplane under any condition, even after it was riddled with bullets and had blown tires.

Born not far from New Concord in Cambridge on July 18, 1921, Glenn and his parents moved about 10 miles west in 1923 to New Concord. His father was a plumber and his mother a teacher who joined a social group called the Twice 5 Club, which got together once a month. Another couple in the club had a daughter, Annie Castor, who was a year older than Glenn, and the two toddlers often shared a playpen while their parents played cards.

Their relationship evolved into a quintessential American love story, with the spark between them first igniting when they were in junior high school.

“To write a story about either of them, if it doesn’t include the other, then it just isn’t complete,” their daughter, Lyn, told The Dispatch in 2007. She and her brother, David, a California doctor, survive.

John and Annie were married on April 6, 1943, and the next January, as they held each other searching for something to say as he prepared to ship out for combat in the South Pacific, John said, “I’m just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum.”

From that day on, she kept a gum wrapper in her purse.
To many with disabilities, Annie became a heroine in her own right as she struggled to conquer near-debilitating stuttering.

For more than half of her life, she counted on others to speak for her, publicly uncommunicative in a world that demanded more from her as her husband’s fame ascended.

Through it all, John stood by Annie, who, in 1973, underwent an innovative treatment regimen that dramatically improved her speech to the extent that she was delivering speeches on behalf of her husband’s 1984 presidential candidacy.

Glenn, who received his pilot’s license in 1941, was at home in the sky, soon evident after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and he left Muskingum College to enlist in the Marine Air Corps. In the Pacific, he flew 59 missions over the Marshall Islands.

After being stationed in China and Guam when World War II ended, Glenn was a flight instructor in Texas before being transferred to Virginia. When the Korean War broke out, Glenn applied for combat duty, and flew 90 missions. Overall, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross six times and was awarded the Air Medal with 18 clusters.

After returning from Korea, Glenn became a test pilot. He set a coast-to-coast speed record in 1957, piloting a Navy jet fighter from California to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes. In 1959, he was selected as one of the country’s first seven astronauts, a historic group immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book The Right Stuff, the basis for a movie of the same name.

The United States was enveloped in a cold war with the Soviet Union, and after a series of U.S. rockets had blown up, the American psyche was dealt a blow in 1961 when Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and the first to orbit Earth.

The third American in space after suborbital missions by Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom, Glenn finally equaled Gagarin’s achievement by blasting off on Feb. 20, 1962, after weather and mechanical problems caused his mission to be postponed 10 times.

Crammed into the 7-foot-wide Friendship 7 space capsule atop a 100-foot-tall Atlas rocket loaded with 250,000 pounds of explosive fuel, Glenn launched 160-miles into space, orbiting the world three times at 17,500 miles per hour.

Reflecting many years later, Glenn would say that computers were the greatest technological achievement during his life, but there were none on Friendship 7, and deep into the flight he had to take manual control of the capsule when systems malfunctioned.

As the capsule descended for a watery landing, mission control feared that its heat shield was peeling off. Well past four hours into the flight, Glenn was told of the problem and knew he could be burned alive in an instant (Annie was notified to expect the worst), but the astronaut stayed focused even as fiery pieces of his spacecraft flew by his window.

“You didn’t really have time to think about it,” he told students at COSI Columbus 45 years later. “Long before you actually got to the flight itself, you sort of made peace with mortality.”

Safely splashing in the Atlantic Ocean 800 miles southeast of Bermuda, Glenn’s historic flight invigorated the nation and catapulted him into American lore. He addressed a joint session of Congress and rode in a convertible with Annie as 4 million people cheered him in a Manhattan ticker-tape parade.

In 2007, 45 years after his historic orbital mission, Glenn told a Columbus audience how much he longed to return to space right away, only to learn years after leaving the space program that President John F. Kennedy, fearing the worst, secretly had barred him from other flights to spare the country the potential loss of a national hero.

Glenn admitted in that speech that he was jealous in 1969 when fellow Ohioan Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon.

In 1964, only two years after his famous flight on Friendship 7, Glenn ran in the Democratic Senate primary against incumbent Sen. Stephen M. Young. But only six weeks after announcing his candidacy, Glenn dropped out of the race after damaging his inner ear in a bathroom fall, an injury that caused severe dizziness and balance problems. He recovered eight months later.

Glenn ran for the Senate again in 1970, but lost in the primary to Howard M. Metzenbaum, whom he defeated in a rematch four years later. He handily won election that fall over Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk and won re-election by huge margins in 1980 and 1986.

After winning re-election in 1980 by the largest margin in Ohio history, Glenn ran for president in 1984. He was seen as the leading challenger to former Vice President Walter F. Mondale for the Democratic nomination, and was the candidate many considered to have the best chance of defeating President Ronald Reagan in the general election.

But plagued by a disorganized campaign and with a centrist theme ill-suited to a liberal-dominated Democratic primary process, Glenn finished back in the pack in the important Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. He borrowed $2 million to compete in the Southern primaries, but he didn’t win a state and dropped out of the race.

The debt remaining from that race, which rose to more than $3 million, became a campaign issue for Glenn in subsequent Senate races and nagged him until 2006 when the Federal Elections Commission finally allowed him to close the books on it after years of chipping away.

The third term of his four in the Senate was dominated by a Senate investigation into allegations that he improperly interceded with S&L regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, who had raised or donated $242,000 to Glenn’s political committees. Glenn personally spent more than $500,000 to defend his honor, and the Senate Ethics Committee cleared him of wrongdoing.

“I spend half a million dollars on my defense, and I wouldn’t pull back a penny of it,” Glenn said then. “The reason I felt so strongly about it was that it involved my honor, and if I had to sell everything I had and mortgaged the house, I would have done everything I could to see the truth come out.”

In his final year as a U.S. senator in 1998, Glenn was reborn as an astronaut. At 77, he orbited the Earth with six astronauts aboard shuttle Discovery, once again rendering his body and mind to the study of science, providing insight into how the oldest man ever launched into space held up. Glenn, remarkably fit, became an inspiration once again to mankind.

The events of John Glenn’s life, and his footprint on history, are chronicled in countless books and beyond. The Friendship 7 capsule is in the Smithsonian, his papers and memorabilia are archived at Ohio State, and his life with Annie — and much more — are displayed at the Glenn Historic Site in New Concord.

Joe Hallett is a retired reporter and senior editor of The Dispatch.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/john-glenn/john-glenn.html

John Glenn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named John Glenn, see John Glenn (disambiguation).
John Glenn
John Glenn Low Res.jpg
Chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by William V. Roth Jr.
Succeeded by William V. Roth Jr.
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
December 24, 1974 – January 3, 1999
Preceded by Howard Metzenbaum
Succeeded by George Voinovich
Personal details
Born John Herschel Glenn Jr.
July 18, 1921
Cambridge, Ohio, U.S.
Died December 8, 2016 (aged 95)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Annie Castor (1943–2016)
Children 2
Alma mater Muskingum University (BS)
University of Maryland, College Park
Civilian awards Congressional Gold Medal
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Congressional Space Medal of Honor
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Signature
Military service
Service/branch  United States Navy
 United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1941–1965
Rank Colonel
Unit VMJ-353
VMF-155
VMF-218
VMA-311
51st Fighter Wing
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Military awards
John Glenn Portrait.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Other names
John Herschel Glenn, Jr.
Other occupation
Test pilot
Time in space
4h 55m 23s
Selection 1959 NASA Group 1
Missions Mercury-Atlas 6
Mission insignia
Friendship 7 (Mercury–Atlas 6) insignia
Retirement January 16, 1964
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) Congressional Space Medal of Honor NASA Distinguished Service Medal.jpg
JohnGlenn.jpg
NASA Payload Specialist
Time in space
9d 2h 39m
Missions STS-95
Mission insignia
STS-95 patch
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. In 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth, circling three times. Before joining NASA, he was a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea, with five Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters.

Glenn was one of the “Mercury Seven” group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America’s first astronauts. On February 20, 1962, he flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.

After he resigned from NASA in 1964, Glenn planned to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio. A member of the Democratic Party, he first won election to the Senate in 1974 where he served through January 3, 1999.

He retired from the Marine Corps in 1965, after twenty-three years in the military, with over fifteen medals and awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. In 1998, while still a sitting senator, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs as crew member of the Discovery space shuttle. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Early life, education and military service

Glenn’s childhood home in New Concord

John Glenn was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, the son of John Herschel Glenn, Sr. (1895–1966) and Clara Teresa (née Sproat) Glenn (1897–1971).[1][2] He was raised in nearby New Concord.[3]

After graduating from New Concord High School in 1939, he studied Engineering at Muskingum College. He earned a private pilot license for credit in a physics course in 1941.[4] Glenn did not complete his senior year in residence or take a proficiency exam, both requirements of the school for the Bachelor of Science degree. However, the school granted Glenn his degree in 1962, after his Mercury space flight.[5]

World War II

Military portrait of John Glenn

When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, Glenn quit college to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps. However, he was never called to duty, and in March 1942 enlisted as a United States Navy aviation cadet. He went to the University of Iowa for preflight training, then continued on to NAS Olathe, Kansas, for primary training. He made his first solo flight in a military aircraft there. During his advanced training at the NAS Corpus Christi, he was offered the chance to transfer to the U.S. Marine Corps and took it.[6]

Upon completing his training in 1943, Glenn was assigned to Marine Squadron VMJ-353, flying R4D transport planes. He transferred to VMF-155 as an F4U Corsair fighter pilot, and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.[7] He saw combat over the Marshall Islands, where he attacked anti-aircraft batteries on Maloelap Atoll. In 1945, he was assigned to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, and was promoted to captain shortly before the war’s end.[3]:35

Glenn flew patrol missions in North China with the VMF-218 Marine Fighter Squadron, until it was transferred to Guam. In 1948 he became a flight instructor at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by attending the Amphibious Warfare School.[8]:34

Korean War

Glenn’s USAF F-86F that he dubbed “MiG Mad Marine” during the Korean War, 1953

During the Korean War, Glenn was assigned to VMF-311, flying the new F9F Panther jet interceptor. He flew his Panther in 63 combat missions, gaining the nickname “magnet ass” from his alleged ability to attract enemy flak.[9] On two occasions, he returned to his base with over 250 holes in his aircraft.[10] For a time, he flew with Marine reservist Ted Williams, a future Hall of Fame baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, as his wingman. He also flew with future Major General Ralph H. Spanjer.[11]

Glenn flew a second Korean combat tour in an interservice exchange program with the United States Air Force, 51st Fighter Wing. He logged 27 missions in the faster F-86F Sabre and shot down three MiG-15s near the Yalu River in the final days before the ceasefire.[9]

For his service in 149 combat missions in two wars, he received numerous honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross (six occasions) and the Air Medal with eighteen award stars.[12]

Test pilot

Glenn returned to NAS Patuxent River, appointed to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (class 12), graduating in 1954.[13] He served as an armament officer, flying planes to high altitude and testing their cannons and machine guns.[14] He was assigned to the Fighter Design Branch of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (now Bureau of Naval Weapons) as a test pilot on Navy and Marine Corps jet fighters in Washington, D.C., from November 1956 to April 1959, during which time he also attended the University of Maryland.[15]

Glenn had nearly 9,000 hours of flying time, with approximately 3,000 hours in jet aircraft.[15]

On July 16, 1957, Glenn completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a Vought F8U-3P Crusader.[16] The flight from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, took 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8.3 seconds. As he passed over his hometown, a child in the neighborhood reportedly ran to the Glenn house shouting “Johnny dropped a bomb! Johnny dropped a bomb! Johnny dropped a bomb!” as the sonic boom shook the town.[17] Project Bullet, the name of the mission, included both the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed (despite three in-flight refuelings during which speeds dropped below 300 mph), and the first continuous transcontinental panoramic photograph of the United States. For this mission Glenn received his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross.[18]

NASA career

Main article: Mercury-Atlas 6

John Glenn in his Mercury spacesuit

While Glenn was on duty at Patuxent and Washington, Glenn began to read everything he could about space. His office was requested to furnish a test pilot to be sent to the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to make some runs on a spaceflight simulator, which was a part of NASA research on reentry vehicle shapes. The officer would also be sent to the Naval Air Development Center in Johnsville, Pennsylvania. The test pilot would be subjected to high g-forces in a centrifuge to compare to the data collected in the simulator. Glenn requested this position and was granted it. He spent a few days at Langley and a week in Johnsville for the testing.[19]

Prior to Glenn’s appointment as an astronaut in the Mercury program, he participated in the capsule design. NASA had requested that military service members participate in planning the mockup of the capsule. Since Glenn had participated in the research at Langley and Johnsville, combined he with his experience sitting on mock-up boards in the Navy and his knowledge of the capsule procedures, he was sent to the McDonnell plant in St. Louis and acted as a service adviser on the mock-up board.[19]

In 1958, the newly formed NASA began a recruiting program for astronauts,[a] and Glenn just barely met the requirements as he was close to the age cutoff of 40 and also lacked the required science-based degree at the time. He remained an officer in the United States Marine Corps after he was selected in 1959.[8]:43 After his selection, he was assigned to the NASA Space Task Group in 1959, which was located at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.[20] The task force was moved to Houston in 1962 and became a part of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center.[20] Glenn was a backup pilot to Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom, on the Freedom 7 and Liberty Bell 7 respectively.[20] Astronauts were given an additional role in the spaceflight program, and Glenn’s was the cockpit layout and control functioning, not only for Mercury but also early designs for Apollo.[20]

Glenn (center) with President John F. Kennedy and General Leighton I. Davis celebrating Glenn’s orbital flight, 1962

Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, circling the globe three times during a flight lasting nearly five hours.[21] This made Glenn the third American in space and the fifth human being in space.[22][23][24][b] For Glenn the day became the “best day of his life,” while it also renewed America’s confidence.[30] His voyage took place while America and the Soviet Union were in the midst of the Cold War and competing in the “Space Race.”[31]

During the flight, Glenn’s heat shield had been thought to have come loose and likely to fail during re-entry, which would cause the entire space capsule to burn up. Flight controllers had Glenn modify his re-entry procedure by keeping his retrorocket pack on over the shield to help keep it in place. He made his splashdown safely, and afterwards it was determined that the indicator was faulty.[22] Glenn’s flight and fiery splashdown was portrayed in the 1983 film The Right Stuff.[32]

Glenn is honored by PresidentKennedy at temporary Manned Spacecraft Center facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, three days after his flight

As the first American in orbit, Glenn became a national hero, met President Kennedy, and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, reminiscent of that given for Charles Lindbergh and other great dignitaries.[22][33]

Glenn’s fame and political attributes were noted by the Kennedys, and he became a personal friend of the Kennedy family. On February 23, 1962, President Kennedy escorted him in a parade to Hangar S at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he awarded Glenn with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.[22]

In July 1962 Glenn testified before the House Space Committee in favor of excluding women from the NASA astronaut program. Although NASA had no official policy prohibiting women, in practice, the requirement that astronauts had to be military test pilots excluded them entirely.[34][c]

Glenn resigned from NASA on January 16, 1964, and the next day announced his candidacy as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio. On February 26, 1964, Glenn suffered a concussion from a slip and fall against a bathtub; this led him to withdraw from the race on March 30.[36][37] Glenn then went on convalescent leave from the Marine Corps until he could make a full recovery, necessary for his retirement from the Marines. He retired on January 1, 1965, as a colonel and entered the business world as an executive for Royal Crown Cola.[22]

Political career

U.S. Senate

NASA psychologists had determined during Glenn’s training that he was the astronaut best suited for public life.[38] Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy suggested to Glenn and his wife in December 1962 that he should run against incumbent United States Senator Stephen M. Young of Ohio in the 1964 Democratic primary election. In 1964 Glenn announced that he was resigning from the space program to run against Young, but withdrew when he hit his head on a bathtub. Glenn sustained a concussion and injured his inner ear, and recovery left him unable to campaign.[39] Glenn remained close to the Kennedy family and was with Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated in 1968. He served as a pallbearer at Kennedy’s funeral.[3]:80

In 1970, Glenn was narrowly defeated in the Democratic primary for nomination for the Senate by fellow Democrat Howard Metzenbaum, by a 51% to 49% margin. Metzenbaum lost the general election race to Robert Taft, Jr. In 1974, Glenn rejected Ohio governor John J. Gilligan and the Ohio Democratic party’s demand that he run for Lieutenant Governor. Instead, he challenged Metzenbaum again, whom Gilligan had appointed.[39]

In the primary race, Metzenbaum contrasted his strong business background with Glenn’s military and astronaut credentials, saying his opponent had “never held a payroll”. Glenn’s reply came to be known as the “Gold Star Mothers” speech. He told Metzenbaum to go to a veterans’ hospital and “look those men with mangled bodies in the eyes and tell them they didn’t hold a job. You go with me to any Gold Star mother and you look her in the eye and tell her that her son did not hold a job.” Many felt the “Gold Star Mothers” speech won the primary for Glenn.[40][41] Glenn won the primary by 54 to 46%. After defeating Metzenbaum, Glenn defeated Ralph Perk, the Republican Mayor of Cleveland, in the general election, beginning a Senate career that would continue until 1999. In 1980, Glenn won re-election to the seat, defeating Republican challenger Jim Betts, by over 40 percentage points.[42]

In 1986, Glenn defeated challenger U.S. Representative Tom Kindness. Metzenbaum would go on to seek a rematch against Taft in 1976, winning a close race on Jimmy Carter‘s coattails.[43]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Glenn and Metzenbaum had strained relations. There was a thaw in 1983, when Metzenbaum endorsed Glenn for president, and again in 1988, when Metzenbaum was opposed for re-election by Cleveland mayor George Voinovich. Voinovich accused Metzenbaum of being soft on child pornography. Voinovich’s charges were criticized by many, including Glenn, who now came to Metzenbaum’s aid, recording a statement for television rebutting Voinovich’s charges. Metzenbaum won the election by 57% to 41%.[43] In 1997, Glenn announced that he would retire from the Senate at the end of his then-current term.[44]

Savings and loan scandal

Glenn was one of the five U.S. senators caught up in the Lincoln Savings and Keating Five Scandal after accepting a $200,000 contribution from Charles Keating. Glenn and Republican senator John McCain were the only senators exonerated. The Senate Commission found that Glenn had exercised “poor judgment”. The association of his name with the scandal gave Republicans hope that he would be vulnerable in the 1992 campaign. Instead, Glenn defeated Lieutenant Governor Mike DeWine to keep his seat.[45]

Presidential politics

In 1976, Glenn was a candidate for the Democratic vice presidential nomination. However, Glenn’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention failed to impress the delegates and the nomination went to veteran politician Walter Mondale.[46] Glenn also ran for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination.[47]

Glenn and his staff worried about the 1983 release of The Right Stuff, a film about the original seven Mercury astronauts based on the best-selling Tom Wolfe book of the same name. The book had depicted Glenn as a “zealous moralizer”, and he did not attend the film’s Washington premiere on October 16, 1983. Reviewers saw Ed Harris‘ portrayal of Glenn as heroic, however, and his staff immediately began to emphasize the film to the press. Aide Greg Schneiders suggested an unusual strategy, similar to Glenn’s personal campaign and voting style, in which he would avoid appealing to narrow special interest groups and instead seek to win support from ordinary Democratic primary voters, the “constituency of the whole”.[39] Mondale defeated Glenn for the nomination however, and he was left with $3 million in campaign debt for over 20 years before he was granted a reprieve by the Federal Election Commission.[48][49] He was a potential vice presidential running mate in 1984, 1988, and 1992.[50]

Issues

During Glenn’s time in the Senate, he was chief author of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978,[51] served as chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs from 1987 until 1995, sat on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees and the Special Committee on Aging.[52]

Once Republicans regained control of the Senate, Glenn served as the ranking minority member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Maine senator Susan Collins, that looked into illegal foreign donations by China to U.S. political campaigns for the 1996 election.[53] There was considerable acrimony between Glenn and the overseeing committee chair, Fred Thompson of Tennessee.[54]

Return to space

Main article: STS-95

Senator-astronaut John Glenn on the shuttle Discovery, 1998

Glenn returned to space on the Space Shuttle on October 29, 1998, as a Payload Specialist on Discovery‘s STS-95 mission, becoming, at age 77, the oldest person to go into space. According to The New York Times, Glenn “won his seat on the Shuttle flight by lobbying NASA for two years to fly as a human guinea pig for geriatric studies”, which were named as the main reasons for his participation in the mission.[55] Shortly before the flight, researchers learned that Glenn had to be disqualified from one of the flight’s two main priority human experiments (about the effects of melatonin) because he did not meet one of the study’s medical conditions; he still participated in two other experiments about sleep monitoring and protein use.[55][56]

Glenn states in his memoir that he had no idea NASA was willing to send him back into space when NASA announced the decision.[57] His participation in the nine-day mission was criticized by some in the space community as a political favor granted to Glenn by President Clinton, with John Pike, director of the Space Policy Project for the Federation of American Scientists noting “If he was a normal person, he would acknowledge he’s a great American hero and that he should get to fly on the shuttle for free…He’s too modest for that, and so he’s got to have this medical research reason. It’s got nothing to do with medicine.”[22][58]

In a 2012 interview, Glenn said that the purpose of his flight was “to make measurements and do research on me at the age of 77 […] comparing the results on me in space with the younger [astronauts] and maybe get [insights] on the immune system or protein turnover or vestibular functions and other things — heart changes.[56] He regretted that NASA did not follow up on this research about aging by sending more people from this age range into space.[56]

Upon the safe return of the STS-95 crew, Glenn (and his crewmates) received another ticker-tape parade, making him the tenth, and latest, person to have received multiple ticker-tape parades in a lifetime (as opposed to that of a sports team).[59] Just prior to the flight, on October 15, 1998, and for several months after, the main causeway to the Johnson Space Center, NASA Road 1, was temporarily renamed “John Glenn Parkway”.[60]

In 2001, Glenn vehemently opposed the sending of Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist, to the International Space Station on the grounds that Tito’s trip served no scientific purpose.[61]

Public affairs institute

Glenn helped found the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy at The Ohio State University in 1998 to encourage public service. On July 22, 2006, the institute merged with OSU’s School of Public Policy and Management to become the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, and Glenn held an adjunct professorship at the Glenn School.[62] In February 2015, it was announced that the School would become the John Glenn College of Public Affairs beginning in April 2015.[63]

Personal life

Glenn and his wife Anna in 1965

On April 6, 1943, Glenn married his high school sweetheart, Anna Margaret Castor (b. 1920). Both Glenn and his wife attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, where he was a member of the Stag Club Fraternity.[64] Together, they had two children, John David and Carolyn Ann, and two grandchildren.[3]:31 They remained married until his death. His boyhood home in New Concord has been restored and made into an historic house museum and education center.[65]

A Freemason, Glenn was a member of Concord Lodge # 688 New Concord, Ohio, and DeMolay International, the Masonic youth organization, and was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church.[66]

He set an example of someone whose faith began before he became an astronaut, and whose faith was reinforced after traveling in space.

“To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible,” said Glenn, after his second and final space voyage.[67] He stated that he saw no contradiction between believing in God and the knowledge that evolution is “a fact”, and that he believed evolution should be taught in schools.[68] He explained:

I don’t see that I’m any less religious that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean it’s less wondrous and it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on.[69]

Glenn was one of the original owners of a Holiday Inn franchise near Orlando, Florida, that is today known as the Seralago Hotel & Suites Main Gate East.[70][71] His business partner was Henri Landwirth, a Holocaust survivor, who became Glenn’s “best friend.”[72] Glenn recalls learning about Landwirth’s background:

Henri doesn’t talk about it much. It was years before he spoke about it with me and then only because of an accident. We were down in Florida during the space program. Everyone was wearing short-sleeved Ban-Lon shirts—everyone but Henri. Then one day I saw Henri at the pool and noticed the number on his arm. I told Henri that if it were me I’d wear that number like a medal with a spotlight on it.[72]

Public appearances and ceremonies

Glenn appears with President Kennedy and Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov, 1962

Glenn was an honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics; a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Marine Corps Aviation Association, Order of Daedalians, National Space Club Board of Trustees, National Space Society Board of Governors, International Association of Holiday Inns, Ohio Democratic Party, State Democratic Executive Committee, Franklin County (Ohio) Democratic Party, and 10th District (Ohio) Democratic Action Club.[4]

In 2001, Glenn appeared as a guest star on the American television sitcom Frasier, as himself.[73]

On September 5, 2009, John and Annie Glenn dotted the “i” during The Ohio State University’s Script Ohio marching band performance, at the Ohio StateNavy football game halftime show. Other non-band members to have received this honor include Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, Jack Nicklaus and Earle Bruce.[74]

On February 20, 2012, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Friendship 7 flight, Glenn was surprised with the opportunity to speak with the orbiting crew of the International Space Station while Glenn was on-stage with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden at The Ohio State University, where the public affairs school is named for him.[75]

Senator John Glenn at the ceremony transferring the Space Shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution.

On April 19, 2012, Glenn participated in the ceremonial transfer of the retired Space Shuttle Discovery from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution for permanent display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Speaking at the event, Glenn criticized the “unfortunate” decision to end the Space Shuttle program, expressing his opinion that grounding the shuttles delayed research.[76]

In June 2016 the Columbus, Ohio airport known for many years as Port Columbus was officially renamed the John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Just before his 95th birthday, Glenn and his wife Annie attended the ceremony, and he spoke about how visiting that airport as a child inspired his interest in flying.[77]

Illness and death

In June 2014, Glenn underwent a successful heart valve replacement surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.[78]

At the beginning of December 2016, Glenn was hospitalized at the James Cancer Hospital of OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.[79][80][81] A family source said that Glenn had been in declining health, and that his condition was grave. His wife, Annie, and their children and grandchildren had joined him at the hospital.[82]

Glenn died December 8, 2016, at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.[83][84] No cause of death has yet been disclosed. Glenn will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery after lying in state at the Ohio Statehouse and a memorial service at Mershon Auditorium at The Ohio State University.[83]

Tributes

Glenn looks into a celestial training device before his 1962 launch.

Among those honoring Glenn were President Barack Obama, who said that Glenn, “the first American to orbit the Earth, reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there’s no limit to the heights we can reach together.”[85] Tributes were also given by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,[86] and President-elect Donald Trump.[87]

The phrase “Godspeed,” that hailed Glenn’s historic launch into space, became a social media hashtag. Past and current astronauts added their own tributes, along with NASA Administrator and former shuttle astronaut, Charles Bolden, who added that “John Glenn’s legacy is one of risk and accomplishment, of history created and duty to country carried out under great pressure with the whole world watching.”[88]

Image gallery

Awards and honors

En-NavAstro.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star

Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver star
Silver star
Silver star

Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg

Bronze star
Bronze star

Bronze star

Bronze star
Bronze star

Naval Aviator Astronaut Insignia
Distinguished Flying Cross
with three stars and eighteen clusters[89]:95
Air Medal
with fifteen stars and eighteen clusters
Presidential Unit Citation Navy Unit Commendation
Presidential Medal of Freedom Congressional Space Medal of Honor NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Space Flight Medal Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal China Service Medal
American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with two stars
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal National Defense Service Medal
with one star
Korean Service Medal
with two stars
Presidential Unit Citation
(Korea)
United Nations Korea Medal Korean War Service Medal

Director Mark K. Updegrove with John Glenn at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2012

Quincy Jones presents platinum copies of “Fly Me to the Moon” (from It Might as Well Be Swing) to Senator John Glenn (left) and Apollo 11Commander Neil Armstrong (right)

The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio, is named after him. Also, Senator John Glenn Highway runs along a stretch of I-480 in Ohio across from the NASA Glenn Research Center. Colonel Glenn Highway, which runs by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio, John Glenn High School in his hometown of New Concord, Ohio, and Col. John Glenn Elementary in Seven Hills, Ohio, are named for him as well. High Schools in Westland and Bay City, Michigan; Walkerton, Indiana; San Angelo, Texas; Elwood, Long Island, New York; and Norwalk, California were also named after him.

The fireboat John H. Glenn Jr. was named for him. This fireboat is operated by the DCFD and protects the sections of the Potomac River and the Anacostia River that run through Washington, D.C.

The USNS John Glenn (T-MLP-2), a mobile landing platform that was delivered to the U.S. Navy on March 12, 2014, is named for him. It was christened February 1, 2014, in San Diego at General DynamicsNational Steel and Shipbuilding Company.[95]

In 1961, Glenn received an Honorary LL.D from Muskingum University, the college he had attended before joining the military in World War II.[5] He received Honorary Doctorates from Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan, Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, and New Hampshire College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Glenn was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1976.[96] Glenn was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1977.[24]

In 1990, Glenn was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.[97]

In 2000, Glenn received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.[98]

In 2004, Glenn was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution.[99]

In 2009, Glenn received an Honorary LL.D from Williams College,[100] and in 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Ohio Northern University.[101]

In 2013, Flying magazine ranked Glenn No. 26 on their “51 Heroes of Aviation” list.[102]

On September 12, 2016, Blue Origin announced a new rocket named after Glenn, the New Glenn.[103]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Requirements were that each had to be a military test pilot between the ages of 25 and 40 with sufficient flight hours, no more than 5’11” in height, and possess a degree in a scientific field. 508 pilots were subjected to rigorous mental and physical tests, and finally the selection was narrowed down to seven astronauts (Glenn, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton), who were introduced to the public at a NASA press conference in April 1959.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glenn

Project Mercury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the NASA manned spaceflight program. For other uses, see Mercury project (disambiguation).
Project Mercury
Circle containing the astronomical symbol for planet Mercury, with the numeral 7 inside it

Retroactive logo designed from 1964 Mercury Seven astronaut memorial
Country of origin United States
Responsible organization NASA
Purpose Manned Earth orbital flight
Status completed
Program history
Cost $277 million (1965)[1]
Program duration 1958–1963
First flight September 9, 1959
First crewed flight May 5, 1961
Last flight May 15–16, 1963
Successes 11
Failures 3

Partial failures 1: Big Joe 1
Launch site(s)
Vehicle information
Vehicle type capsule
Crew vehicle Mercury
Crew capacity 1
Launch vehicle(s)

Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, running from 1958 through 1963. An early highlight of the Space Race, its goal was to put a man into Earth orbit and return him safely, ideally before the Soviet Union. Taken over from the U.S. Air Force by the newly created civilian space agency NASA, it conducted twenty unmanned developmental flights (some using animals), and six successful flights by astronauts. The program, which took its name from the god of travel in Roman mythology, cost $277 million in 1965 US dollars, and involved the work of 2 million people.[1] The astronauts were collectively known as the “Mercury Seven“, and each spacecraft was given a name ending with a “7” by its pilot.

The Space Race began with the 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1. This came as a shock to the American public, and led to the creation of NASA to expedite existing U.S. space exploration efforts, and place most of them under civilian control. After the successful launch of the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958, manned spaceflight became the next goal. The Soviet Union put the first human, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, into a single orbit aboard Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. Shortly after this, on May 5, the U.S. launched its first astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a suborbital flight. Soviet Gherman Titov followed with a day-long orbital flight in August, 1961. The U.S. reached its orbital goal on February 20, 1962, when John Glenn made three orbits around the Earth. When Mercury ended in May 1963, both nations had sent six people into space, but the Soviets led the U.S. in total time spent in space.

The Mercury space capsule was produced by McDonnell Aircraft, and carried supplies of water, food and oxygen for about one day in a pressurized cabin. Mercury flights were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on launch vehicles modified from the Redstone and Atlas D missiles. The capsule was fitted with a launch escape rocket to carry it safely away from the launch vehicle in case of a failure. The flight was designed to be controlled from the ground via the Manned Space Flight Network, a system of tracking and communications stations; back-up controls were outfitted on board. Small retrorockets were used to bring the spacecraft out of its orbit, after which an ablative heat shield protected it from the heat of atmospheric reentry. Finally, a parachute slowed the craft for a water landing. Both astronaut and capsule were recovered by helicopters deployed from a U.S. Navy ship.

After a slow start riddled with humiliating mistakes, the Mercury project gained popularity, its missions followed by millions on radio and TV around the world. Its success laid the groundwork for Project Gemini, which carried two astronauts in each capsule and perfected space docking maneuvers essential for manned lunar landings in the subsequent Apollo program announced a few weeks after the first manned Mercury flight.

Creation[edit]

Project Mercury was officially approved on October 7, 1958 and publicly announced on December 17.[2][3] Originally called Project Astronaut, President Dwight Eisenhower felt that gave too much attention to the pilot.[4] Instead, the name Mercury was chosen from classical mythology, which had already lent names to rockets like the Greek Atlas and Roman Jupiter for the SM-65 and PGM-19 missiles.[3] It absorbed military projects with the same aim, such as the Air Force Man In Space Soonest.[5][n 1]

Background[edit]

Following the end of World War II, a nuclear arms race evolved between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (USSR). Since the USSR did not have a large fleet of bomber planes to deliver such weapons to the U.S., or bases in the western hemisphere from which to deploy them, Joseph Stalin decided to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, which drove a missile race.[7] The rocket technology in turn enabled both sides to develop Earth-orbiting satellites for communications, and gathering weather data and intelligence.[8] Americans were shocked when the Soviet Union placed the first satellite into orbit in October 1957, leading to a growing fear that the U.S. was falling into a “missile gap“.[9][8] A month later, the Soviets launched Sputnik 2, carrying a dog into orbit. Though the animal was not recovered alive, it was obvious their goal was manned spaceflight.[10] Unable to disclose details of military space projects, President Eisenhower ordered the creation of a civilian space agency in charge of civilian and scientific space exploration. Based on the federal research agency National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), it was named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.[11] It achieved its first goal, an American satellite in space, in 1958. The next goal was to put a man there.[12]

The limit of space was defined at the time as a minimum altitude of 62 mi (100 km), and the only way to reach it was by using rocket powered boosters.[13][14] This created risks for the pilot, including explosion, high g-forces and vibrations during lift off through a dense atmosphere,[15] and temperatures of more than 10,000 °F (5,500 °C) from air compression during reentry.[16]

In space, pilots would require pressurized chambers or space suits to supply fresh air.[17] While there, they would experience weightlessness, which could potentially cause disorientation.[18] Further potential risks included radiation and micrometeoroid strikes, both of which would normally be absorbed in the atmosphere.[19] All seemed possible to overcome: experience from satellites suggested micrometeoroid risk was negligible,[20] and experiments in the early 1950s with simulated weightlessness, high g-forces on humans, and sending animals to the limit of space, all suggested potential problems could be overcome by known technologies.[21] Finally, reentry was studied using the nuclear warheads of ballistic missiles,[22] which demonstrated a blunt, forward-facing heat shield could solve the problem of heating.[22]

Organization[edit]

T. Keith Glennan had been appointed the first Administrator of NASA, with Hugh L. Dryden (last Director of NACA) as his Deputy, at the creation of the agency on October 1, 1958.[23] Glennan would report to the president through the National Aeronautics and Space Council.[24] The group responsible for Project Mercury was NASA’s Space Task Group, and the goals of the program were to orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, investigate the pilot’s ability to function in space, and to recover both pilot and spacecraft safely.[25] Existing technology and off-the-shelf equipment would be used wherever practical, the simplest and most reliable approach to system design would be followed, and an existing launch vehicle would be employed, together with a progressive test program.[26] Spacecraft requirements included: a launch escape system to separate the spacecraft and its occupant from the launch vehicle in case of impending failure; attitude control for orientation of the spacecraft in orbit; a retrorocket system to bring the spacecraft out of orbit; drag braking blunt body for atmospheric reentry; and landing on water.[26] To communicate with the spacecraft during an orbital mission, an extensive communications network had to be built.[27] In keeping with his desire to keep from giving the U.S. space program an overly military flavor, President Eisenhower at first hesitated to give the project top national priority (DX rating under the Defense Production Act), which meant that Mercury had to wait in line behind military projects for materials; however, this rating was granted in May 1959.[28]

Contractors and facilities[edit]

Twelve companies bid to build the Mercury spacecraft on a $20 million ($163 million adjusted for inflation) contract.[29] In January 1959, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation was chosen to be prime contractor for the spacecraft.[30] Two weeks earlier, North American Aviation, based in Los Angeles, was awarded a contract for Little Joe, a small rocket to be used for development of the launch escape system.[31][n 2] The World Wide Tracking Network for communication between the ground and spacecraft during a flight was awarded to the Western Electric Company.[32] Redstone rockets for suborbital launches were manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama by the Chrysler Corporation[33] and Atlas rockets by Convair in San Diego, California.[34] For manned launches, the Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida was made available by the USAF.[35] This was also the site of the Mercury Control Center while the computing center of the communication network was in Goddard Space Center, Maryland.[36] Little Joe rockets were launched from Wallops Island, Virginia.[37] Astronaut training took place at Langley Research Center in Virginia, Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio, and Naval Air Development Center Johnsville in Warminster, PA.[38] Langley wind tunnels[39] together with a rocket sled track at Holloman Air Force Base at Alamogordo, New Mexico were used for aerodynamic studies.[40] Both Navy and Air Force aircraft were made available for the development of the spacecraft’s landing system,[41] and Navy ships and Navy and Marine Corps helicopters were made available for recovery.[n 3] South of Cape Canaveral the town of Cocoa Beach boomed.[43]From here, 75,000 people watched the first American orbital flight being launched in 1962.[43]

Spacecraft[edit]

The Mercury spacecraft’s principal designer was Maxime Faget, who started research for manned spaceflight during the time of the NACA.[44] It was 10.8 feet (3.3 m) long and 6.0 feet (1.8 m) wide; with the launch escape system added, the overall length was 25.9 feet (7.9 m).[45] With 100 cubic feet (2.8 m3) of habitable volume, the capsule was just large enough for a single crew member.[46] Inside were 120 controls: 55 electrical switches, 30 fuses and 35 mechanical levers.[47] The heaviest spacecraft, Mercury-Atlas 9, weighed 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) fully loaded.[48] Its outer skin was made of René 41, a nickel alloy able to withstand high temperatures.[49]

The spacecraft was cone shaped, with a neck at the narrow end.[45] It had a convex base, which carried a heat shield (Item 2 in the diagram below)[50] consisting of an aluminum honeycomb covered with multiple layers of fiberglass.[51] Strapped to it was a retropack (1)[52] consisting of three rockets deployed to brake the spacecraft during reentry.[53] Between these were three minor rockets for separating the spacecraft from the launch vehicle at orbital insertion.[54] The straps that held the package could be severed when it was no longer needed.[55] Next to the heat shield was the pressurized crew compartment (3).[56] Inside an astronaut would be strapped to a form-fitting seat, with instruments in front and his back to the heat shield.[57] Underneath the seat was the environmental control system supplying oxygen and heat,[58] scrubbing the air of CO2, vapor and odors, and (on orbital flights) collecting urine.[59][n 4] The recovery compartment (4)[61] at the narrow end of the spacecraft contained three parachutes: a drogue to stabilize free fall and two main chutes, a primary and reserve.[62] Between the heat shield and inner wall of the crew compartment was a landing skirt, deployed by letting down the heat shield before landing.[63] On top of the recovery compartment was the antenna section (5)[64] containing both antennas for communication and scanners for guiding spacecraft orientation.[65] Attached was a flap used to ensure the spacecraft was faced heat shield first during reentry.[66]A launch escape system (6) was mounted to the narrow end of the spacecraft[67] containing three small solid-fueled rockets which could be fired briefly in a launch failure to separate the capsule safely from its booster. It would deploy the capsule’s parachute for a landing nearby at sea.[68] (See also Mission profile for details.)

The Mercury spacecraft did not have an on-board computer, instead relying on all computation for re-entry to be calculated by computers on the ground, with their results (retrofire times and firing attitude) then transmitted to the spacecraft by radio while in flight.[69][70] All computer systems used in the Mercury space program were housed in NASA facilities on Earth.[69] The computer systems were IBM 701 computers.[71][72](See also Ground control for details.)

Pilot accommodations[edit]

John Glenn wearing his Mercury space suit

The astronaut lay in a sitting position with his back to the heat shield, which was found to be the position that best enabled a human to withstand the high g-forces of launch and re-entry. A form-fitted fiberglass seat was custom-molded from each astronaut’s space-suited body for maximum support. Near his left hand was a manual abort handle to activate the launch escape system if necessary prior to or during liftoff, in case the automatic trigger failed.[73]

To supplement the onboard environmental control system, he wore a pressure suit with its own oxygen supply, which would also cool him.[74] A cabin atmosphere of pure oxygen at a low pressure of 5.5 psi (equivalent to an altitude of 24,800 feet (7,600 m)) was chosen, rather than one with the same composition as air (nitrogen/oxygen) at sea level.[75] This was easier to control,[76] avoided the risk of decompression sickness (known as “the bends”),[77][n 5] and also saved on spacecraft weight. Fires (which never occurred) would have to be extinguished by emptying the cabin of oxygen.[59] In such case, or failure of the cabin pressure for any reason, the astronaut could make an emergency return to Earth, relying on his suit for survival.[78][59]The astronauts normally flew with their visor up, which meant that the suit was not inflated.[59] With the visor down and the suit inflated, the astronaut could only reach the side and bottom panels, where vital buttons and handles were placed.[79]

The astronaut also wore electrodes on his chest to record his heart rhythm, a cuff that could take his blood pressure, and a rectal thermometer to record his temperature (this was replaced by an oral thermometer on the last flight).[80] Data from these was sent to the ground during the flight.[74] The astronaut normally drank water and ate food pellets.[81][n 6]

Once in orbit, the spacecraft could be rotated in three directions: along its longitudinal axis (roll), left to right from the astronaut’s point of view (yaw), and up or down (pitch).[82] Movement was created by rocket-propelled thrusters which used hydrogen peroxide as a fuel.[83][84] For orientation, the pilot could look through the window in front of him or from a screen connected to a periscope which could be turned 360°.[85]

The Mercury astronauts had taken part in the development of their spacecraft, and insisted that manual control, and a window, be elements of its design.[86] As a result, spacecraft movement and other functions could be controlled three ways: remotely from the ground when passing over a ground station, automatically guided by onboard instruments, or manually by the astronaut, who could replace or override the two other methods. Experience validated the astronauts’ insistence on manual controls. Without them, Gordon Cooper’s manual reentry during the last flight would not have been possible.[87]

Development and production[edit]

Spacecraft production in clean room at McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis

The Mercury spacecraft design was modified three times by NASA between 1958 and 1959.[88] After bidding by potential contractors had been completed, NASA selected the design submitted as “C” in November 1958.[89] After it failed a test flight in July 1959, a final configuration, “D”, emerged.[90] The heat shield shape had been developed earlier in the 1950s through experiments with ballistic missiles, which had shown a blunt profile would create a shock wave that would lead most of the heat around the spacecraft.[91] To further protect against heat, either a heat sink, or an ablative material, could be added to the shield.[92] The heat sink would remove heat by the flow of the air inside the shock wave, whereas the ablative heat shield would remove heat by a controlled evaporation of the ablative material.[93] After unmanned tests, the latter was chosen for manned flights.[94] Apart from the capsule design, a rocket plane similar to the existing X-15 was considered.[95] This approach was still too far from being able to make a spaceflight, and was consequently dropped.[96][n 7] The heat shield and the stability of the spacecraft were tested in wind tunnels,[39] and later in flight.[100] The launch escape system was developed through unmanned flights.[101] During a period of problems with development of the landing parachutes, alternative landing systems such as the Rogallo glider wingwere considered, but ultimately scrapped.[102]

The spacecraft were produced at McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis, Missouri in clean rooms and tested in vacuum chambers at the McDonnell plant.[103] The spacecraft had close to 600 subcontractors, such as Garrett AiResearch which built the spacecraft’s environmental control system.[30][58] Final quality control and preparations of the spacecraft were made at Hangar S at Cape Canaveral.[104][n 8] NASA ordered 20 production spacecraft, numbered 1 through 20.[30] Five of the 20, Nos. 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19, were not flown.[107]Spacecraft No. 3 and No. 4 were destroyed during unmanned test flights.[107] Spacecraft No. 11 sank[107] and was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after 38 years.[108] Some spacecraft were modified after initial production (refurbished after launch abort, modified for longer missions, etc.)[n 9] A number of Mercury boilerplate spacecraft(made from non-flight materials or lacking production spacecraft systems) were also made by NASA and McDonnell.[111] They were designed and used to test spacecraft recovery systems and the escape tower.[112] McDonnell also built the spacecraft simulators used by the astronauts during training.[113]

Launch vehicles[edit]

Launch vehicles: 1. Mercury-Atlas (orbital flights). 2. Mercury-Redstone (suborbital flights). 3. Little Joe (unmanned tests)

Launch Escape System testing[edit]

A small launch vehicle (55 feet (17 m) long) called Little Joe was used for unmanned tests of the launch escape system, using a Mercury capsule with an escape tower mounted on it.[114][115] Its main purpose was to test the system at a point called max-q, at which air pressure against the spacecraft peaked, making separation of the launch vehicle and spacecraft most difficult.[116] It was also the point at which the astronaut was subjected to the heaviest vibrations.[117] The Little Joe rocket used solid-fuel propellant and was originally designed in 1958 by the NACA for suborbital manned flights, but was redesigned for Project Mercury to simulate an Atlas-D launch.[101] It was produced by North American Aviation.[114] It was not able to change direction, instead its flight depended on the angle from which it was launched.[118] Its maximum altitude was 100 mi (160 km) fully loaded.[119] A Scout launch vehicle was used for a single flight intended to evaluate the tracking network; however, it failed and was destroyed from the ground shortly after launch.[120]

Suborbital flight[edit]

The Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, an 83-foot (25 m) tall (with capsule and escape system) single-stage launch vehicle used for suborbital (ballistic) flights.[121] It had a liquid-fueled engine that burned alcohol and liquid oxygen producing about 75,000 pounds of thrust, which was not enough for orbital missions.[121] It was a descendant of the German V-2,[33] and developed for the U.S. Army during the early 1950s. It was modified for Project Mercury by removing the warhead and adding a collar for supporting the spacecraft together with material for damping vibrations during launch.[122] Its rocket motor was produced by North American Aviation and its direction could be altered during flight by its fins. They worked in two ways: by directing the air around them, or by directing the thrust by their inner parts (or both at the same time).[33] Both the Atlas-D and Redstone launch vehicles contained an automatic abort sensing system which allowed them to abort a launch by firing the launch escape system if something went wrong.[123] The Jupiter rocket, also developed by Von Braun’s team at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, was considered as well for intermediate Mercury suborbital flights at a higher speed and altitude than Redstone, but this plan was dropped when it turned out that man-rating Jupiter for the Mercury program would actually cost more than flying an Atlas due to scale of economics–Jupiter’s only use other than as a missile system was for the short-lived Juno II launch vehicle and keeping a full staff of technical personnel around solely to fly a few Mercury capsules would result in excessively high costs.[124][125]

Orbital flight[edit]

Orbital missions required use of the Atlas LV-3B, a man-rated version of the Atlas D which was originally developed as the United States first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)[126] by Convair for the Air Force during the mid-1950s.[127] The Atlas was a “one-and-one-half-stage” rocket fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen (LOX).[126] The rocket by itself stood 67 feet (20 m) high; total height of the Atlas-Mercury space vehicle at launch was 95 feet (29 m).[128]

The Atlas first stage was a booster skirt with two engines burning liquid fuel.[129][n 10] This together with the larger sustainer second stage gave it sufficient power to launch a Mercury spacecraft into orbit.[126] Both stages fired from lift-off with the thrust from the second stage sustainer engine passing through an opening in the first stage. After separation from the first stage, the sustainer stage continued alone. The sustainer also steered the rocket by thrusters guided by gyroscopes.[130] Smaller vernier rockets were added on its sides for precise control of maneuvers.[126]

Gallery[edit]

Astronauts[edit]

Left to right: Grissom, Shepard, Carpenter, Schirra, Slayton, Glenn and Cooper, 1962

NASA announced the selected seven astronauts – known as the Mercury Seven – on April 9, 1959,[131] they were:[132]

Shepard became the first American in space by making a suborbital flight in May 1961.[133] He went on to fly in the Apollo program and became the only Mercury astronaut to walk on the Moon.[134] Gus Grissom, who became the second American in space, also participated in the Gemini and Apollo programs, but died in January 1967 during a pre-launch test for Apollo 1.[135] Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962, then quit NASA and went into politics, serving as a US Senator from 1974 to 1999, and returned to space in 1998 as a Payload Specialist aboard STS-95.[136] Deke Slayton was grounded in 1962, but remained with NASA and was appointed Chief Astronaut at the beginning of Project Gemini. He remained in the position of senior astronaut, in charge of space crew flight assignments among many other responsibilities, until towards the end of Project Apollo, when he resigned and began training to fly on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, which he successfully did.[137] Gordon Cooper became the last to fly in Mercury and made its longest flight, and also flew a Gemini mission. [138] Carpenter’s Mercury flight was his only trip into space. Schirra flew the third orbital Mercury mission, and then flew a Gemini mission. Three years later, he commanded the first manned Apollo mission, becoming the only person to fly in all three of those programs.

One of the astronauts’ tasks was publicity; they gave interviews to the press and visited project manufacturing facilities to speak with those who worked on Project Mercury.[139] To make their travels easier, they requested and got jet fighters for personal use.[140] The press was especially fond of John Glenn, who was considered the best speaker of the seven.[141] They sold their personal stories to Life magazine which portrayed them as patriotic, God-fearing family men.[142] Life was also allowed to be at home with the families while the astronauts were in space.[142] During the project, Grissom, Carpenter, Cooper, Schirra and Slayton stayed with their families at or near Langley Air Force Base; Glenn lived at the base and visited his family in Washington DC on weekends. Shepard lived with his family at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.

Other than Grissom, who was killed in the 1967 Apollo 1 fire, the other six survived past retirement [143] and died between 1993 and 2016.

Selection and training[edit]

It was first envisaged that the pilot could be any man or woman willing to take a personal risk.[144] However, the first Americans to venture into space were drawn, on President Eisenhower’s insistence, from a group of 508 active duty military test pilots,[145] who were either USN or USMC naval aviation pilots (NAPs), or USAF pilots of Senior or Command rating. This excluded women, since there were no female military test pilots at the time.[4] It also excluded civilian NASA X-15 pilot Neil Armstrong, though he had been selected by the U.S. Air Force in 1958 for its Man In Space Soonest program, which was replaced by Mercury.[146] Although Armstrong had been a combat-experienced NAP during the Korean War, he left active duty in 1952.[4][n 11] Armstrong became NASA’s first civilian astronaut in 1962 when he was selected for NASA’s second group,[148]and became the first man on the Moon in 1969.[149]

It was further stipulated that candidates should be between 25 and 40 years old, no taller than 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), and hold a college degree in a STEM subject.[4] The college degree requirement excluded the USAF’s X-1 pilot, then-Lt Col (later Brig Gen) Chuck Yeager, the first person to exceed the speed of sound.[150] He later became a critic of the project, ridiculing especially the use of monkeys as test subjects.[150][n 12] USAF Capt (later Col) Joseph Kittinger, a USAF fighter pilot and stratosphere balloonist, met all the requirements but preferred to stay in his contemporary project.[150] Other potential candidates declined because they did not believe that manned spaceflight had a future beyond Project Mercury.[150][n 13] From the original 508, 110 candidates were selected for an interview, and from the interviews, 32 were selected for further physical and mental testing.[153] Their health, vision, and hearing were examined, together with their tolerance to noise, vibrations, g-forces, personal isolation, and heat.[154][155] In a special chamber, they were tested to see if they could perform their tasks under confusing conditions.[154] The candidates had to answer more than 500 questions about themselves and describe what they saw in different images.[154] Navy LT (later CAPT) Jim Lovell, a NAP who was later an astronaut in the Gemini and Apollo programs, did not pass the physical tests.[150] After these tests it was intended to narrow the group down to six astronauts, but in the end it was decided to keep seven.[156]

The astronauts went through a training program covering some of the same exercises that were used in their selection.[38] They simulated the g-force profiles of launch and reentry in a centrifuge at the Naval Air Development Center, and were taught special breathing techniques necessary when subjected to more than 6 g.[140] Weightlessness training took place in aircraft, first on the rear seat of a two-seater fighter and later inside converted and padded cargo aircraft.[157] They practiced gaining control of a spinning spacecraft in a machine at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory called the Multi-Axis Spin-Test Inertia Facility (MASTIF), by using an attitude controller handle simulating the one in the spacecraft.[158][159] A further measure for finding the right attitude in orbit was star and Earth recognition training in planetaria and simulators.[160]Communication and flight procedures were practiced in flight simulators, first together with a single person assisting them and later with the Mission Control Center.[161] Recovery was practiced in pools at Langley, and later at sea with frogmen and helicopter crews.[162]

Mission profile[edit]

Suborbital[edit]

Profile. See timetable for explanation. Dashed line: region of weightlessness.

A Redstone rocket was used to boost the capsule for 2 minutes and 30 seconds to an altitude of 32 nautical miles (59 km) and let it continue on a ballistic curve after booster-spacecraft separation.[163][164] The launch escape system was jettisoned at the same time. At the top of the curve, the spacecraft’s retrorockets were fired for testing purposes; they were not necessary for re-entry because orbital speed had not been attained. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean.[165] The suborbital mission took about 15 minutes, had an apogee altitude of 102–103 nautical miles (189–191 km), and a downrange distance of 262 nautical miles (485 km).[138][166] From the time of booster-spacecraft separation until reentry where air started to slow down the spacecraft, the pilot would experience weightlessness as shown on the image.[n 14] The recovery procedure would be the same as an orbital mission.

Orbital[edit]

Profile. A-C: launch. D: insert into orbit. E-K: re-entry and landing

Preparations for a mission started a month in advance with the selection of the primary and back-up astronaut; they would practice together for the mission.[167] For three days prior to launch, the astronaut went through a special diet to minimize his need for defecating during the flight.[168] On the morning of the trip he typically ate a steak breakfast.[168] After having sensors applied to his body and being dressed in the pressure suit, he started breathing pure oxygen to prepare him for the atmosphere of the spacecraft.[169] He arrived at the launch pad, took the elevator up the launch tower and entered the spacecraft two hours before launch.[170][n 15] Once the astronaut was secured inside, the hatch was bolted, the launch area evacuated and the mobile tower rolled back.[171] After this, the launch vehicle was filled with liquid oxygen.[171] The entire procedure of preparing for launch and launching the spacecraft followed a time table called the countdown. It started a day in advance with a pre-count, in which all systems of the launch vehicle and spacecraft were checked. After that followed a 15-hour hold, during which pyrotechnics were installed. Then came the main countdown which for orbital flights started 6½ hours before launch (T – 390 min), counted backwards to launch (T = 0) and then forward until orbital insertion (T + 5 min).[170][n 16]

On an orbital mission, the Atlas’ rocket engines were ignited 4 seconds before lift-off. The launch vehicle was held to the ground by clamps and then released when sufficient thrust was built up at lift-off (A).[173] After 30 seconds of flight, the point of maximum dynamic pressure against the vehicle was reached, at which the astronaut felt heavy vibrations.[174]After 2 minutes and 10 seconds, the two outboard booster engines shut down and were released with the aft skirt, leaving the center sustainer engine running (B).[170] At this point, the launch escape system was no longer needed, and was separated from the spacecraft by its jettison rocket (C).[53][n 17] The space vehicle moved gradually to a horizontal attitude until, at an altitude of 87 nautical miles (161 km), the sustainer engine shut down and the spacecraft was inserted into orbit (D).[176] This happened after 5 minutes and 10 seconds in a direction pointing east, whereby the spacecraft would gain speed from the rotation of the Earth.[177][n 18] Here the spacecraft fired the three posigrade rockets for a second to separate it from the launch vehicle.[179][n 19] Just before orbital insertion and sustainer engine cutoff, g-loads peaked at 8 g (6 g for a suborbital flight).[174][181] In orbit, the spacecraft automatically turned 180°, pointed the retropackage forward and its nose 14.5° downward and kept this attitude for the rest of the orbital phase of the mission, as it was necessary for communication with the ground.[182][183][n 20]

Once in orbit, it was not possible for the spacecraft to change its trajectory except by initiating reentry.[185] Each orbit would typically take 88 minutes to complete.[186] The lowest point of the orbit called perigee was at the point where the spacecraft entered orbit and was about 87 nautical miles (161 km), the highest called apogee was on the opposite side of Earth and was about 150 nautical miles (280 km).[166] When leaving orbit (E) the angle downward was increased to 34°, which was the angle of retrofire.[182] Retrorockets fired for 10 seconds each (F) in a sequence where one started 5 seconds after the other.[179][187] During reentry (G), the astronaut would experience about 8 g (11–12 g on a suborbital mission).[188] The temperature around the heat shield rose to 3,000 °F (1,600 °C) and at the same time, there was a two-minute radio blackout due to ionization of the air around the spacecraft.[189][55] After re-entry, a small, drogue parachute (H) was deployed at 21,000 ft (6,400 m) for stabilizing the spacecraft’s descent.[65] The main parachute (I) was deployed at 10,000 ft (3,000 m) starting with a narrow opening that opened fully in a few seconds to lessen the strain on the lines.[190] Just before hitting the water, the landing bag inflated from behind the heat shield to reduce the force of impact (J).[190] Upon landing the parachutes were released.[62] An antenna (K) was raised and sent out signals that could be traced by ships and helicopters.[62] Further, a green marker dye was spread around the spacecraft to make its location more visible from the air.[62][n 21] Frogmen brought in by helicopters inflated a collar around the craft to keep it upright in the water.[192][n 22] The recovery helicopter hooked onto the spacecraft and the astronaut blew the escape hatch to exit the capsule.[61] He was then hoisted aboard the helicopter that finally brought both him and the spacecraft to the ship.[n 23]

Ground control[edit]

A look inside the Mercury Control Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dominated by the control board showing the position of the spacecraft above ground

Inside Control Center at Cape Canaveral (Mercury-Atlas 8)

The number of personnel supporting a Mercury mission was typically around 18,000, with about 15,000 people associated with recovery.[193][194][n 24] Most of the others followed the spacecraft from the World Wide Tracking Network, a chain of 18 stations placed around the equator, which was based on a network used for satellites and made ready in 1960.[196] It collected data from the spacecraft and provided two-way communication between the astronaut and the ground.[197] Each station had a range of 700 nautical miles (1,300 km) and a pass typically lasted 7 minutes.[198] Mercury astronauts on the ground would take part of the Capsule Communicator or CAPCOM who communicated with the astronaut in orbit.[199][200][n 25] Data from the spacecraft was sent to the ground, processed at the Goddard Space Center and relayed to the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral.[201] In the Control Center, the data was displayed on boards on each side of a world map, which showed the position of the spacecraft, its ground track and the place it could land in an emergency within the next 30 minutes.[183]

The World Wide Tracking Network went on to serve subsequent space programs, until it was replaced by a satellite relay system in the 1980s[202] Mission Control Center was moved from Cape Canaveral to Houston in 1965.[203]

Flights[edit]

Project Mercury landing sites

/
Cape Canaveral
Hawaii
City locator 23.svg
Freedom 7
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Liberty Bell 7
City locator 23.svg
Friendship 7
City locator 23.svg
Aurora 7
City locator 23.svg
Sigma 7
City locator 23.svg
Faith 7

On April 12, 1961 the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space on an orbital flight.[204] Alan Shepard became the first American in space on a suborbital flight three weeks later, on May 5, 1961.[133] John Glenn, the third Mercury astronaut to fly, became the first American to reach orbit on February 20, 1962, but only after the Soviets had launched a second cosmonaut, Gherman Titov, into a day-long flight in August 1961.[205] Three more Mercury orbital flights were made, ending on May 16, 1963 with a day-long, 22 orbit flight.[138] However, the Soviet Union ended its Vostok program the next month, with the human spaceflight endurance record set by the 82-orbit, almost 5-day Vostok 5 flight.[206]

Manned[edit]

All of the 6 manned Mercury flights were successful though some intended flight were cancelled during the project (see below).[207] The main medical problems encountered were simple personal hygiene, and post-flight symptoms of low blood pressure.[193] The launch vehicles had been tested through unmanned flights, therefore the numbering of manned missions did not start with 1.[208] Also, since two different launch vehicles were used, there were two separate numbered series: MR for “Mercury-Redstone” (suborbital flights), and MA for “Mercury-Atlas” (orbital flights). These names were not popularly used, since the astronauts followed a pilot tradition, each giving their spacecraft a name. They selected names ending with a “7” to commemorate the seven astronauts.[53][132] Times given are Universal Coordinated Time, local time + 5 hours.

Mission[n 26] Call-sign Pilot Launch time Launch site Duration Orbits Apogee
mi (km)
Perigee
mi (km)
Max. velocity
mph (km/h)
Miss
mi (km)
Mercury-Redstone 3 Freedom 7 Shepard 14:34 on May 5, 1961 Launch Complex-5 15 m 22 s 0 117 (188) 5,134 (8,262) 3.5 (5.6)
Mercury-Redstone 4 Liberty Bell 7 Grissom 12:20 on July 21, 1961 Launch Complex-5 15 m 37 s 0 118 (190) 5,168 (8,317) 5.8 (9.3)
Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 Glenn 14:47 on February 20, 1962 Launch Complex-14 4 h 55 m 23 s 3 162 (261) 100 (161) 17,544 (28,234) 46 (74)
Mercury-Atlas 7 Aurora 7 Carpenter 12:45 on May 24, 1962 Launch Complex-14 4 h 56 m 5 s 3 167 (269) 100 (161) 17,549 (28,242) 248 (400)
Mercury-Atlas 8 Sigma 7 Schirra 12:15 on October 3, 1962 Launch Complex-14 9 h 13 m 15 s 6 176 (283) 100 (161) 17,558 (28,257) 4.6 (7.4)
Mercury-Atlas 9 Faith 7 Cooper 13:04 on May 15, 1963 Launch Complex-14 1 d 10 h 19 m 49 s 22 166 (267) 100 (161) 17,547 (28,239) 5.0 (8.1)

Unmanned[edit]

The 20 unmanned flights used Little Joe, Redstone, and Atlas launch vehicles.[132] They were used to develop the launch vehicles, launch escape system, spacecraft and tracking network.[208] One flight of a Scout rocket attempted to launch an unmanned satellite for testing the ground tracking network, but failed to reach orbit. The Little Joe program used seven airframes for eight flights, of which three were successful. The second Little Joe flight was named Little Joe 6, because it was inserted into the program after the first 5 airframes had been allocated.[225][168]

Mission[n 32] Launch Duration Purpose Result
Little Joe 1 August 21, 1959 20 s Test of launch escape system during flight. Failure
Big Joe 1 September 9, 1959 13 m 00 s Test of heat shield and Atlas/spacecraft interface. Partly success
Little Joe 6 October 4, 1959 5 m 10 s Test of spacecraft aerodynamics and integrity. Partly success
Little Joe 1A November 4, 1959 8 m 11 s Test of launch escape system during flight with boiler plate capsule. Partly success
Little Joe 2 December 4, 1959 11 m 6 s Escape system test with primate at high altitude. Success
Little Joe 1B January 21, 1960 8 m 35 s Maximum-q abort and escape test with primate with boiler plate capsule. Success
Beach Abort May 9, 1960 1 m 31 s Test of the off-the-pad abort system. Success
Mercury-Atlas 1 July 29, 1960 3 m 18 s Test of spacecraft / Atlas combination. Failure
Little Joe 5 November 8, 1960 2 m 22 s First test of escape system with a production spacecraft. Failure
Mercury-Redstone 1 November 21, 1960 2 s Test of production spacecraft at max-q. Failure
Mercury-Redstone 1A December 19, 1960 15 m 45 s Qualification of spacecraft / Redstone combination. Success
Mercury-Redstone 2 January 31, 1961 16 m 39 s Qualification of spacecraft with chimpanzee. Success
Mercury-Atlas 2 February 21, 1961 17 m 56 s Qualified Mercury/Atlas interface. Success
Little Joe 5A March 18, 1961 23 m 48 s Second test of escape system with a production Mercury spacecraft. Partly success
Mercury-Redstone BD March 24, 1961 8 m 23 s Final Redstone test flight. Success
Mercury-Atlas 3 April 25, 1961 7 m 19 s Orbital flight with robot astronaut.[226][227][n 33] Failure
Little Joe 5B April 28, 1961 5 m 25 s Third test of escape system with a production spacecraft. Success
Mercury-Atlas 4 September 13, 1961 1 h 49 m 20 s Test of environmental control system with robot astronaut in orbit. Success
Mercury-Scout 1 November 1, 1961 44 s Test of Mercury tracking network. Failure
Mercury-Atlas 5 November 29, 1961 3 h 20 m 59 s Test of environmental control system in orbit with chimpanzee. Success
  After suborbital manned flights

Canceled[edit]

Nine of the planned flights were cancelled. Suborbital flights were planned for four other astronauts but the number of flights was cut down gradually and finally all remaining were cancelled after Titov’s flight.[256][257][n 37] Mercury-Atlas 9 was intended to be followed by more one-day flights and even a three-day flight but with the coming of the Gemini Project it seemed unnecessary. The Jupiter booster was, as mentioned above, intended to be used for different purposes.

Mission Pilot Planned Launch Cancellation
Mercury-Jupiter 1 July 1, 1959[259]
Mercury-Jupiter 2 Chimpanzee First Quarter, 1960 July 1, 1959[259][n 38]
Mercury-Redstone 5 Glenn (likely) March 1960[257] August 1961[261]
Mercury-Redstone 6 April 1960[257] July 1961[262]
Mercury-Redstone 7 May 1960[257]
Mercury-Redstone 8 June 1960[257]
Mercury-Atlas 10 Shepard October 1963 June 13, 1963[n 39]
Mercury-Atlas 11 Grissom Fourth Quarter, 1963 October 1962[264]
Mercury-Atlas 12 Schirra Fourth Quarter, 1963 October 1962[265]

Impact and legacy[edit]

Ticker tape parade for Gordon Cooper, 1963

The project was delayed by 22 months, counting from the beginning until the first orbital mission.[193] It had a dozen prime contractors, 75 major subcontractors, and about 7200 third-tier subcontractors, who together employed two million people.[193] An estimate of its cost made by NASA in 1969 gave $392.6 million ($1.74 billion adjusted for inflation), broken down as follows: Spacecraft: $135.3 million, launch vehicles: $82.9 million, operations: $49.3 million, tracking operations and equipment: $71.9 million and facilities: $53.2 million.[266][267]

Today the Mercury program is commemorated as the first manned American space program.[268] It did not win the race against the Soviet Union, but gave back national prestige and was scientifically a successful precursor of later programs such as Gemini, Apollo and Skylab.[269][n 40] During the 1950s, some experts doubted that manned spaceflight was possible.[n 41] Still when John F. Kennedy was elected president, many including he had doubts about the project.[272] As president he chose to support the programs a few months before the launch of Freedom 7,[273] which became a great public success.[274][n 42] Afterwards, a majority of the American public supported manned spaceflight, and within a few weeks, Kennedy announced a plan for a manned mission to land on the Moon and return safely to Earth before the end of the 1960s.[278] The six astronauts who flew were awarded medals,[279] driven in parades and two of them were invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.[280] As a response to the selection criteria, which ruled out women, a private project was founded in which 13 women pilots successfully underwent the same tests as the men in Project Mercury.[281] It was named Mercury 13 by the media[282][n 43]Despite this effort, NASA did not select female astronauts until 1978 for the Space Shuttle.[283]

In 1964, a monument commemorating Project Mercury was unveiled near Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, featuring a metal logo combining the symbol of Mercury with the number 7.[284] In 1962, the United States Postal Service honored the Mercury-Atlas 6 flight with a Project Mercury commemorative stamp, the first U.S. postal issue to depict a manned spacecraft.[285][n 44] On film, the program was portrayed in The Right Stuff a 1983 adaptation of Tom Wolfe‘s 1979 book of the same name.[287] On February 25, 2011, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional society, awarded Boeing (the successor company to McDonnell Aircraft) a Milestone Award for important inventions which debuted on the Mercury spacecraft.[288][n 45]

Displays[edit]

The spacecraft that flew, together with some that did not are on display in the United States. Friendship 7 (capsule No. 13) went on a global tour, popularly known as its “fourth orbit”. [289]

Patches[edit]

Commemorative patches were designed by entrepreneurs after the Mercury program to satisfy collectors.[290][n 47]

Videos[edit]

Graphics[edit]

Astronauts assignments[edit]

Tracking network[edit]

Spacecraft cutaway[edit]

Control panels and handle[edit]

Launch complex[edit]

Earth landing system tests[edit]

Space program comparison[edit]

Notes[edit]

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