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1978 Atlantic hurricane season (SDTWFC What Could Have Been)
First storm formed Anya - January 18
Last storm dissipated Alpha - November 5
Strongest storm Orpha

195 mph

877 mBar

Total depressions 24
Total storms 22
Hurricanes 10
Major hurricanes 4
Total damages $141.414 billion (2018 USD)
Total fatalities 4,391 total (4,378 direct, 13 indirect)
The 1978 Atlantic hurricane season (SDTWFC What Might Have Been) features what the SDTWFC thought storms would do upon formation. The season was well average in terms of named storms, with 24 depressions and 22 named storms. Despite the high activity, a relatively low 10 hurricanes formed, and an even lower 4 major hurricanes. The season also featured Orpha - the basin's strongest storm ever at the time. 


Storms

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Tropical storm (NHC)
Anya 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration January 18 – January 19
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (1-min)  1004 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Anya

(Previously Subtropical Storm One)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Brittany 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration June 21 – June 22
Peak intensity 75 km/h (45 mph) (1-min)  1000 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Brittany

(Previously Tropical Depression Two)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Carol 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration July 10 – July 13
Peak intensity 155 km/h (95 mph) (1-min)  977 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Carol

(Previously Tropical Depression Three)
Tropical depression (NHC)
TD 4 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration July 30 – July 30
Peak intensity 45 km/h (30 mph) (1-min)  1015 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Depression Four

(Previously Tropical Storm Amelia)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Dolly 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 6 – August 8
Peak intensity 130 km/h (80 mph) (1-min)  988 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Dolly

(Previously Tropical Storm Bess)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Esther 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 7 – August 10
Peak intensity 120 km/h (75 mph) (1-min)  989 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Esther

(Previously Hurricane Cora)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Francisco 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 7 – August 9
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (1-min)  998 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Francisco

(Previously Tropical Depression Seven)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Gloria 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 9 – August 10
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (1-min)  999 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Gloria

(Previously Tropical Depression Eight)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Hazel 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 26 – August 28
Peak intensity 140 km/h (85 mph) (1-min)  983 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Hazel

(Previously Tropical Storm Debra)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Irene 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 30 – September 3
Peak intensity 160 km/h (100 mph) (1-min)  974 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Irene

(Previously Hurricane Ella)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Jewel 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration August 30 – September 1
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (1-min)  992 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Jewel

(Previously Tropical Depression Eleven)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Kayla 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 3 – September 5
Peak intensity 110 km/h (70 mph) (1-min)  991 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Kayla

(Previously Tropical Depression Twelve)
Category 4 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Lucy 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 4 – September 14
Peak intensity 250 km/h (155 mph) (1-min)  920 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Lucy

(Previously Hurricane Flossie)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Mabel 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 8 – September 10
Peak intensity 85 km/h (55 mph) (1-min)  997 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Mabel

(Previously Tropical Depression Fourteen)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Nancy 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 12 – September 16
Peak intensity 170 km/h (105 mph) (1-min)  970 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Nancy

(Previously Tropical Storm Hope)
Category 6 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Orpha C6 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 13 – September 23
Peak intensity 315 km/h (195 mph) (1-min)  877 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Orpha

(Previously Hurricane Greta)
Category 5 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Parker 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 18 – September 26
Peak intensity 260 km/h (160 mph) (1-min)  923 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Parker

(Previously Tropical Depression Seventeen)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Rachel 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration September 21 – September 23
Peak intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (1-min)  995 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Rachel

(Previously Tropical Depression Eighteen)
Tropical depression (NHC)
TD 19 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration October 2 – October 3
Peak intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (1-min)  1002 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Depression Nineteen

(Previously Tropical Storm Irma)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Susie 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration October 7 – October 10
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (1-min)  1006 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Susie

(Previously Tropical Storm Juliet)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Tina 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration October 13 – October 14
Peak intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (1-min)  1004 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Tina

(Previously Tropical Depression Twenty-One)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (NHC)
Vicky 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration October 26 – November 2
Peak intensity 195 km/h (120 mph) (1-min)  966 hPa (mbar)

Hurricane Vicky

(Previously Tropical Depression Twenty-Two)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Wallis 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration October 28 – October 30
Peak intensity 110 km/h (70 mph) (1-min)  997 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Wallis

(Previously Hurricane Kendra)
Tropical storm (NHC)
Alpha 1978 SDTWFC Track.png
Duration November 3 – November 5
Peak intensity 85 km/h (50 mph) (1-min)  1000 hPa (mbar)

Tropical Storm Alpha

(Previously Tropical Depression Twenty-Four)


Storm Names

This was the same list used in the 1972 season, with the exceptions of Anya and Parker, which replaced Alice and Patsy. Names not retired will be used again in the 1978 season. Names not used are marked in italics.

  • Anya
  • Brittany
  • Carol
  • Dolly
  • Esther
  • Francisco
  • Gloria
  • Hazel
  • Irene
  • Jewel
  • Kayla
  • Lucy
  • Mabel
  • Nancy
  • Orpha
  • Parker
  • Rachel
  • Susie
  • Tina
  • Vicky
  • Wallis
  • Alpha

Retirement

The SDTWFC retired the names Lucy and Orpha due to the damage and deaths they caused. They will be replaced with Luke and Octavia for the 1984 season.

Season Effects

1978 North Atlantic Ocean statistics
Storm name Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min wind

mph (km/h)

Min.press.(mbar) Areas affected Damage (millions USD) Deaths


Anya January 18 - January 19 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1004 none none 0
Brittany June 21 - June 22 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1000 Cuba none 0
Carol July 10 - July 13 Category 2 hurricane 95 (155) 977 none none 0
Four July 30 Tropical depression 30 (45) 1015 Northern Mexico, Southern Texas 40 (2018 USD) 7
Dolly August 6 - August 8 Category 1 hurricane 80 (130) 988 Northern Mexico, Southern Texas 110 (2018 USD) 13 (2)
Esther August 7 - August 10 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 989 none none 0
Francisco August 7 - August 9 Tropical storm 50 (85) 998 Lesser Antilles Minimal 0
Gloria August 9 - August 10 Tropical storm 60 (90) 999 Southeastern Louisiana none 0
Hazel August 26 - August 28 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 983 Texas 30 (2018 USD) (1)
Irene August 30 - September 3 Category 2 hurricane 100 (160) 974 Bermuda .5 (2018 USD) (4)
Jewel August 30 - September 1 Tropical storm 65 (100) 992 Louisiana, Eastern Texas, Mississippi 230 (2018 USD) 17
Kayla September 3 - September 5 Tropical storm 70 (110) 991 Cape Verde none 0
Lucy September 4 - September 14 Category 4 hurricane 155 (250) 920 Hispaniola, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana 12,400 (2018 USD) 66 (5)
Mabel September 8 - September 10 Tropical storm 55 (85) 997 Mexico none 0
Nancy September 12 - September 16 Category 2 hurricane 105 (170) 970 Northern Florida none 0
Orpha September 13 - September 23 Category 6 hurricane 195 (315) 877 Venezuela, ABC Islands, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Belize, Yucatan Peninsula, Cuba, Florida, Georgia 128,600 (2018 USD) 4,274
Parker September 18 - September 28 Category 5 hurricane 160 (260) 923 Cape Verde none 0
Rachel September 21 - September 23 Tropical storm 60 (95) 995 Mexico .5 (2018 USD) 0
Nineteen October 2 - October 3 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1002 Azores none 0
Susie October 7 - October 10 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1006 Northern Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico 3 (2018 USD) 1
Tina October 13 - October 14 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1004 none none 0
Vicky October 26 - November 2 Category 3 hurricane 120 (195) 966 none none 0
Wallis October 28 - October 30 Tropical storm 70 (110) 997 Bahamas none 0
Alpha November 3 - November 5 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 none none 0
Season Aggregates
24 January 18 - November 5   195 (315) 877 North Atlantic Ocean 141,414 (2018 USD) 4,378 (13)