What’s the worst hurricane you remember?

Comic artist Randall Munroe, creator of the wildly popular (and awesome) “webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language” known as xkcd, posts this offering today:

What’s the worst hurricane anyone in your town remembers?

This particular webcomic takes the form of an infographic, in which Munroe outlines the worst storms to affect different parts of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions.   His determination of “worst” is based on historical wind and rain data going back to 1914.

For the D.C. area, his graphic shows Hazel (1954) (west of I-95) and the 1933 Chesapeake Bay Potomac hurricane (east of I-95) as the two standout storms.

I have to agree  Hazel and the 1933 storm were probably the most wicked in our region.  Hazel produced a 98 mph gust at Reagan National Airport, the highest ever recorded there.  The 1933 storm swept a 11-12 foot storm surge up the Chesapeake Bay and into the Potomac causing major flooding in D.C.

Of course, as these two storms occurred roughly 60 and 80 years ago, only “old-timers” may remember them.

Restricting the period of record to 1970 and later, what hurricane do you think was most memorable locally? Vote in the poll below…


Of course, if you witnessed Hazel or the 1933 storm and have memories, please do share

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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