145th anniversary of first hurricane warning

Hurricane #2 1873 (Unisys)

On August 21, 1873, the U.S. Army Signal Corps’ National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning extending from Cape May, NJ to New London, CT.  This was the first such warning issued by the Service, which was formed just three years prior.

The hurricane was a classic Cape Verde storm, forming near the islands on August 13th and gaining strength as it passed through the Main Development Region.  By the 21st, it had reached hurricane strength and was southwest of Bermuda and heading toward the Mid-Atlantic states. The warnings covered the Jersey shore, New York City area, and Long Island.

After the warnings were issued the hurricane began to recurve and passed between Bermuda and the United States.  It passed south of Nova Scotia, but did considerable damage to ships and homes there.  Eventually the hurricane jogged north and made landfall in Newfoundland.  The storm killed between 200 and 600 people in the Canadian Maritimes and left US$3.5 million in damages.