Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-902
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-902
23 May 2023
 | 23 May 2023

A major midlatitude hurricane in the Little Ice Age

John Dickie and Grant Wach

Abstract. An unusually severe hurricane struck Nova Scotia during the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), causing exceptional damage to the ships of two naval fleets. Its impact was so much greater than that of modern storms that it warranted detailed study. Quantitative storm attributes were extracted from hourly entries in logs of multiple ships scattered by the hurricane. Wave height and wind data at multiple ship locations characterized storm intensity which was compared to storm surge calculated at two coastal sites. A comparison to modern Atlantic hurricanes suggests it was a major hurricane, likely Cat 4 intensity at landfall making it more powerful than any modern (post-1851) storm despite the colder climate of the Little Ice Age (LIA c1300–1850). Mean annual and multi-decadal climate trends did not capture the weather (days to weeks) that fueled this storm. Understanding its climatology and that of other major LIA midlatitude hurricanes can improve our understanding of natural variability and potential future impacts under warming oceans.

John Dickie and Grant Wach

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Michael Chenoweth, 29 Jun 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', John Dickie, 02 Jul 2023
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', William Gomez Pretel, 17 Jul 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', John Dickie, 25 Jul 2023
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC2', William Gomez Pretel, 26 Jul 2023
        • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', John Dickie, 26 Jul 2023
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Cary Mock, 17 Jul 2023
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', John Dickie, 02 Aug 2023
  • CC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Michael Chenoweth, 26 Jul 2023
    • AC5: 'Reply on CC3', John Dickie, 11 Aug 2023
      • CC4: 'Reply on AC5', Michael Chenoweth, 11 Aug 2023
        • AC7: 'Reply on CC4', John Dickie, 12 Sep 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Antoine Lachance, 28 Jul 2023
    • AC6: 'Reply on RC3', John Dickie, 28 Aug 2023
    • AC8: 'Reply on RC3', John Dickie, 12 Sep 2023
  • AC9: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', John Dickie, 12 Sep 2023

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Michael Chenoweth, 29 Jun 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', John Dickie, 02 Jul 2023
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', William Gomez Pretel, 17 Jul 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', John Dickie, 25 Jul 2023
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC2', William Gomez Pretel, 26 Jul 2023
        • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', John Dickie, 26 Jul 2023
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Cary Mock, 17 Jul 2023
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC2', John Dickie, 02 Aug 2023
  • CC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Michael Chenoweth, 26 Jul 2023
    • AC5: 'Reply on CC3', John Dickie, 11 Aug 2023
      • CC4: 'Reply on AC5', Michael Chenoweth, 11 Aug 2023
        • AC7: 'Reply on CC4', John Dickie, 12 Sep 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', Antoine Lachance, 28 Jul 2023
    • AC6: 'Reply on RC3', John Dickie, 28 Aug 2023
    • AC8: 'Reply on RC3', John Dickie, 12 Sep 2023
  • AC9: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-902', John Dickie, 12 Sep 2023
John Dickie and Grant Wach
John Dickie and Grant Wach

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This article presents an interesting link between climate and weather patterns, and in particular how this may have impacted recent human history.
Short summary
Wind and wave metrics were derived from historical naval logs of multiple ships dispersed by a powerful hurricane off Nova Scotia in 1757. Midlatitude Little Ice Age (LIA) storms appeared to be more intense than today, and reconstructed wind field and coastal surge show it was a major hurricane and more powerful than any since modern records began in 1851. Understanding the climatology of such intense LIA midlatitude storms is warranted given hurricane projections under future ocean warming.