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Eastern New England Tropical Storm of July 21, 1916

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A disturbance first observed over the Windward Islands on July 12 moved north of Puerto Rico and by the 18th was centered near 30N/74W. Based on ship reports, the storm is believed to have attained category 2 or 3 hurricane strength over the Atlantic Ocean. Moderate gales occurred on the North Carolina coast and Virginia Capes on the 19th as the hurricane passed well to the east of Cape Hatteras and on July 20th storm warnings were issued along the coast north to Boston. Strong northerly winds were observed along the coast on the 20th as far north as New York as the storm, now weakening, tracked offshore. On the morning of July 21st, the cyclone, probably a strong tropical storm or possibly still a minimal hurricane approached southeastern New England and passed over Cape Cod.

The lowest barometer reading during the storm was 29.38 inches (995mb) at Block Island, RI on the 21st. Gale Force winds were reported over southeastern New England but strong winds were not noted north of Massachusetts, in spite of the remnants of the storm making a second landfall along the downeast Maine coast.

Some reports of maximum sustained winds and rainfall are available in the tables below:

LOCATION SPEED DIRECTION
DATE
Nantucket, MA 50 mph SW 7/21
Block Island, RI 46 mph E 7/21
New Haven, CT 29 mph NE 7/21
Boston, MA 26 mph NE 7/21
Sandy Hook, NJ 48 mph N 7/20
Atlantic City, NJ 32 mph NE 7/20
Philadelphia, PA 29 mph NE 7/20
Cape May, NJ 24 mph NE 7/20
Hatteras, NC 50 mph N 7/19
Norfolk, VA 38 mph NE 7/19
New York (Central Park) - 0.54 inches, July 20-21, 1916


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