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Recording records is a difficult task, because of the extreme nature of the event and the tendency for observing equipment to break. The following records are backed up by good analysis methods and are considered to be reasonably reliable.
Most Intense: 870 hPa (over 80 ms-1) by dropsonde in Supertyphoon Tip, western North Pacific Ocean, 12 October 1979 (Dunnavan and Diercks, 1980); reports from the JTWC indicate that the 12 most intense cyclones on record occurred in the western North Pacific Ocean.
Most Rapid:Intensification: 51 hPa in 8 hours and 97 hPa in 24 hours, by aircraft reconnaissance in Supertyphoon Irma, western North Pacific (Holliday, 1973).
Highest:Wind Gust: 78 ms-1 Chetumal, Mexico, 27-28 September 1953 (Dunn and Miller, 1964).
Strongest:Pressure Gradient: 5.5 hPa km-1 measured over 2 km in Tropical Cyclone Tracy, Darwin, Australia, December 24 1974 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1975). Also 5 hPa km-1 in Hurricane Inez, North Atlantic, 28 September 1966 (Hawkins and Imbembo, 1976).
Extreme Storm Tide: 13 m in the Bathurst Bay Hurricane, Northern Australia, 1899 (Whittingham, 1958); there is some controversy over this figure, which was derived from reanalysis of debris sitings and eye witness reports (see quote at beginning of Section 4).
Highest Wave: 34 m from USS Ramapo in the western North Pacific, 6-7 February, 1933 (GBR, 1991); also in the western North Pacific, 25 m on 26 September, 1935 (Arakawa and Suda, 1953).
Highest Rainfall: All seem to have occurred at La Reunion (Le Goff, personal communication, 1993):
12 h: 1144 mm at Foc-Foc (2290 m altitude) in Tropical Cyclone Denise, 7-8 January 1966;
24 h: 1825 mm at Foc-Foc in Tropical Cyclone Denise 7-8 January 1966;
48 h: 2467 mm at Aurere (940 m altitude) 8-10 April 1958;
72 h: 3240 mm at Grand-Ilet (1150 m altitude) in Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe, 24-27 January 1980;
10 d: 5678 mm at Commerson (2320 m altitude) in Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe, 18-27 January 1980.
Warmest Eye: 30oC at 700 hPa in Supertyphoon Nora, western North Pacific (Holliday, 1975); 16.6oC at 500 hPa in Supertyphoon Marge, western North Pacific (Simpson, 1952).
Maximum:Vertical Motion: 25-35 ms-1 in Tropical Cyclone Hilda, Coral Sea (Ebert and Holland, 1992); calculated from observations of overshooting anvil tops.
Largest: 1100 km radius of gale force winds (15 ms-1) in Supertyphoon Tip, western north Pacific Ocean, 12 October 1979 (Dunnavan and Diercks, 1980).
Smallest: 50 km radius of gale force winds (15 ms-1) for Tropical Cyclone Tracy, Darwin Australia, December 24 1974 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1977).
Smallest Eye: 6 km radius from radar in Tropical Cyclone Tracy, Darwin Australia, December 24 1974 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1977).
Largest Eye: 90 km radius from aircraft reconnaissance, Tropical Cyclone Kerry, Coral Sea, February 21 1979 (Sheets and Holland, 1981).
Longest Lived: 30 days for Hurricane Ginger (North Atlantic, 1971; Avila, personal communication, 1993), also 20 days for Tropical Cyclone Elinor, south Indian Ocean, 1983; and Typhoon Rita (79 warnings were issued) western North Pacific, 1972 (Jeffries et al., 1992).
Most Deaths: The death toll in the infamous Bangladesh Cyclone of 1970 has had several estimates, some wildly speculative, but it seems certain that at least 300,000 people died from the associated storm tide in the low-lying deltas. A series of disastrous floods in the Yangtze River Valley in the mid-1850s resulted in many millions of deaths (Southern, 1979).
Most Damage: This is almost impossible to objectively quantify, but some examples can be used: 80% of all houses in Darwin were destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Tracy, 1974 and many smaller communities have been wiped out by tropical cyclone passage; the highest cost arose from Hurricane Andrew (1992) at Miami, for which unconfirmed estimates of US$20-25 billion damage have been made.
When printing this file include your regional records here.
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