With ferocious wind and incredible surge, Hurricane Nicole struck Bermuda Thursday morning. The storm hammered the Atlantic island chain with sustained winds of 120 mph, tying the two strongest hurricanes on record to make landfall there.
As Nicole’s eye was approaching, Bermuda International Airport reported that wind gusts were exceeding 100 mph. Assuming Nicole’s winds doesn’t rip the station out of the ground, the back side of the eye wall could bring even stronger winds as the hurricane tracks north.
In all honesty, Hurricane Matthew pales in comparison to the video we’re seeing from Bermuda on Thursday.
— John Drnek (@drnek60) October 13, 2016
Bermuda has certainly seen its share of hurricanes, and some of them have been devastating.
“The costliest was Category 3 Hurricane Fabian of 2003, the only hurricane to get its name retired exclusively because of its impact on the island of Bermuda,” Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters and Bob Henson reported Wednesday. “Fabian’s storm surge destroyed the causeway connecting the airport to the rest of the island and did $300 million in damage. Fabian also killed four people–the only hurricane deaths ever recorded on Bermuda.”
But only a handful of these storms have made landfall on the island, and none at this intensity.Just one hurricane as strong as Nicole has tracked within 50 miles of Bermuda, and that was an unnamed storm in 1939, according to Capital Weather Gang’s tropical analyst Phil Klotzbach.
Even if Nicole didn’t make landfall, it would probably still have been the most disastrous storm on record for the island.
It might seem like a “slow” hurricane season in the Atlantic, especially compared to some of the storms that made landfall in the early 2000s. But it turns out this sleepy season got on its horse a few weeks ago. Hurricane Matthew and Nicole both reached at least Category-3 intensity; it’s the first time on record two major hurricanes have formed in the month of October.