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The 1974 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 1974, and it ended on November 30, 1974; these are dates that conventionally delimit the timeframe for tropical cyclone formation, although the season extended both before and after the set dates. Activity was somewhat below average due to a weak to moderate El Niño, with eleven depressions, nine storms, three hurricanes, and two major hurricanes.

Notable storms of the season included Subtropical Storm One, which formed in the end of January, Hurricane Elaine, which struck The Bahamas and Florida as a Category 3 storm, Hurricane Fifi, which killed hundreds across Hispaniola, and Subtropical Storm Three, which formed after the end of the season.

The real season witnessed 22 depressions, 11 storms (7 named), 4 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.


Timeline

wikipedia:Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Storms

Subtropical Storm One

Subtropical storm (SSHWS)


ST Alfa 1973 Satellite.jpg
Duration January 26 – January 30
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  984 mbar (hPa)

Subtropical Storm One affected portions of New England. Losses resulted up to $3 million (1974 USD) and fifteen fatalities were reported due to the unexpected nature of the system.


Tropical Depression One

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Frances Sept 27 1968.png
Duration July 23 – July 26
Peak intensity 30 mph (45 km/h) (1-min)  1003 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression One had no reported impacts.


Tropical Storm Alma

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Elaine of 1974.jpg
Duration August 7 – August 11
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  998 mbar (hPa)

Alma grazed by Bermuda, causing no deaths or damages.


Tropical Storm Becky

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm One (1960).jpg
Duration August 18 – August 21
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1003 mbar (hPa)

Becky caused a fatality from a drowning out at sea on a boat which cost $10,000 (1974 USD).


Tropical Storm Carmen

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Hurricane Emmy (1976).jpg
Duration August 24 – August 29
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

Carmen caused no reported land impacts. It was downgraded to a tropical storm in post-season analysis.


Tropical Depression Five

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
SS One dissipating (1978).jpg
Duration August 31 – September 2
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1001 mbar (hPa)

Subtropical Depression Two, which became tropical on September 1, did not affect land.


Hurricane Dolly

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
STS 01 Sept 20 1968.png
Duration September 5 – September 9
Peak intensity 80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)  986 mbar (hPa)

Dolly was the first hurricane of the season. It had no reported impacts.


Hurricane Elaine

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Donna.jpg
Duration September 8 – September 24
Peak intensity 120 mph (195 km/h) (1-min)  947 mbar (hPa)

Elaine tracked through the entire Atlantic before affecting the Bahamas and Florida as a major hurricane. The hurricane resulted in 136 fatalities and $600 million (1974 USD) in losses.


Hurricane Fifi

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Betsy (1956).JPG
Duration September 13 – September 25
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  956 mbar (hPa)

Fifi produced torrential rains over Haiti and the Dominican Republic, killing 753 people and causing $150 million (1974 USD) in losses.


Tropical Storm Gertrude

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
1970 PR depression.png
Duration September 30 – October 3
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)

Gertrude brought additional flooding to Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Damages reached $107.2 million (1974 USD) and 237 fatalities were reported.


Subtropical Storm Three

Subtropical storm (SSHWS)


Subtropical Storm One (1974).jpg
Duration December 11 – December 14
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  989 mbar (hPa)

Subtropical Storm Three affected portions of Florida and other portions of the Southeastern United States. Two fatalities were reported and damages totaled to around $900,000 (1974 USD).


Storm names

The following names were used to name tropical cyclones in 1974. Subtropical cyclones were not named. Storms were named Carmen, Elaine, and Gertrude for the first time in 1974.

  • Alma
  • Becky
  • Carmen
  • Dolly
  • Elaine
  • Fifi
  • Gertrude
  • Hester (unused)
  • Ivy (unused)
  • Justine (unused)
  • Kathy (unused)
  • Linda (unused)
  • Marsha (unused)
  • Nelly (unused)
  • Olga (unused)
  • Pearl (unused)
  • Roxanne (unused)
  • Sabrina (unused)
  • Thelma (unused)
  • Viola (unused)
  • Wilma (unused)

Retirement

The name Elaine was later retired from the Atlantic hurricane naming lists. Since this was the only time this naming list was used, no particular replacement was chosen.

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