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2017 Lake Superior hurricane season
First storm formed January 5, 2017 (Record)
Last storm dissipated Ongoing
Strongest storm Eva - 160 mph; 917 mbar
Total depressions 5
Total storms 5
Hurricanes 3
Major hurricanes 1
Total damages $58.1 billion (2017 USD)
Total fatalities 97 (30)

The 2017 Lake Superior hurricane season is a current tropical cyclone event that started on May 1, 2017 and will end on December 15, 2017. This will be the first season that all systems will be seen by satellite after the previous got destroyed during Hurricane Dawn. Storms typically form between May and November, with less activity in December. Storms can form year-round, though it is not likely to happen before May, due to the ice on Lake Superior. The season got an early burst of activity from May to early June, featuring the earliest Category 5 hurricane in the basin on record, Hurricane Eva.


Seasonal predictions

Source Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
TGMC 20-22 10-12 5-7
WCB 24-26 13-16 10*

On December 18, 2016, TGMC (TornadoGenius Meteorological Center) released its prediction for the 2017 Lake Superior hurricane season, saying that the season would see a more active year due to the La Nina peaking in 2017. The TGMC expects 20-22 named storms, 10-12 hurricanes, and 5-7 major hurricanes. The Weather Center of Buddhaland (WCB) issued its forecast on January 3, 2017, stating that, "The 2017 season will be the most dangerous year for Lake Superior on record."

Storm names

The Great Lakes Hurricane Center assigns names to storms in each basin of the Great Lakes. A storm that exits a basin keeps its name. Names in bold are active and names that are normal have been used. Names that are gray have yet to be used. Names not retired in this list will be used again in 2023. Below are the 21 names for 2017:

  • Alexis
  • Brian
  • Celia
  • Dorian
  • Eva
  • Fred (unused)
  • Gretchen (unused)
  • Herbert (unused)
  • Iris (unused)
  • Jacob (unused)
  • Kelly (unused)
  • Lloyd (unused)
  • Molly (unused)
  • Nestor (unused)
  • Olga (unused)
  • Peter (unused)
  • Rita (unused)
  • Simon (unused)
  • Tiffany (unused)
  • Victor (unused)
  • Willow (unused)

Secondary list

Due to the anticipated activity of the season, a mash of 12 Eastern Pacific names were created to be used as secondary names.

  • Adrian (unused)
  • Blanca (unused)
  • Cosme (unused)
  • Dora (unused)
  • Enrique (unused)
  • Flossie (unused)
  • Greg (unused)
  • Hilda (unused)
  • Irwin (unused)
  • Juliette (unused)
  • Kevin (unused)
  • Lidia (unused)

Storms

Hurricane Alexis

Main article: Hurricane Alexis (2017)
Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Niala 2015-09-25 2020Z.jpg
Duration January 5 – January 8
Intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min),  975 mbar (hPa)

On January 4, a tropical disturbance formed near Duluth, Minnesota. The disturbance was the earliest disturbance recorded in the basin. Soon enough, the Great Lakes Hurricane Hunters flew into the system, where the reading measured 40 mph winds at the center and a pressure of 1007 mbar. The system was named Alexis, and was the earliest named storm on record. Alexis began to strengthen and attained a wind speed of 60 mph and a barometric pressure of 997 mbar. Alexis entered unusually warm waters, and began to rapidly intensify jumping from a 60 mph tropical storm on January 6, to a 90-mph Category 1 hurricane on January 7. Alexis began to move over icy waters on January 8 and dissipated after rapidly strengthening into a hurricane the day before.


Tropical Storm Brian

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Agatha 2016-07-02 2130Z.jpg
Duration February 20 – February 24
Intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min),  990 mbar (hPa)

On February 20, a tropical depression formed 70 miles east-southeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The storm system moved slowly to the east, strengthening steadily. Soon after, the depression strengthened into a tropical storm, and was named Brian. Brian attained a peak intensity of 60 mph and a pressure of 990 millibars. Tropical Storm Brian made landfall about 50 miles NW of Wawa, Ontario. Brian caused minimal damage and no fatalities. Brian dissipated on February 24.


Hurricane Celia

Category 2 hurricane (SSHS)
Celia 2016-07-11 2205Z.jpg
Duration April 21 – April 30
Intensity 100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min),  973 mbar (hPa)

On April 18, the Great Lakes Hurricane Center noted that a tropical disturbance was forming near the Apostle Islands, just 45 miles NNE of Ashland, Wisconsin. The storm began to slowly move east, strengthening steadily. On April 20, the storm was declared as Invest 93S. The invest strengthened rapidly over the next day. On April 21, the a Great Lakes Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance flight proved that the invest had become a tropical depression. The tropical depression was designated as 03S. Tropical Depression 03S quickly began to strengthen as the day moved on. Over the next three days, the storm struggled to strengthen. Finally, on April 25, Three became a tropical storm and was designated as Celia. Tropical Storm Celia moved in a path directly towards Keweenaw County, Michigan. Evacuations took place from the storm there, and in the county below, Houghton County. The county officials of both counties prompted evacuations due to the "uncertainty of the storm's intensity at landfall". As predicted, Celia became much stronger as it approached the coast of Keweenaw County, and rainfall from the bands of Celia caused flooding. The outer bands of Tropical Storm Celia also contributed to one fatality near the city of Houghton. A reconnaissance flight recorded sustained winds of 75 mph in the eyewall of Celia, allowing the storm to be upgraded to hurricane status. Hurricane Celia impacted the area from April 27-28. On April 28, Celia began to strengthen as it moved over the eastern portion of Lake Superior. Hurricane Celia became a Category 2 hurricane on April 29, just two days before the season actually started. The strengthening would not last long as Celia began to become extratropical, which allowed the system to weaken back into a Category 1 hurricane. On April 30, Celia became extratropical, with its remnants hitting several islands. Overall, Celia caused $100 million in damages and one fatality.


Tropical Storm Dorian

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Boris Suomi NPP Jun 3 2014.jpg
Duration May 21 – May 22
Intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min),  1007 mbar (hPa)

On May 21, a tropical storm formed just off of the Ontarian coast. The storm was named Dorian. Later that day, Dorian made landfall as a 40 mph tropical storm. On May 22, Dorian began to lose strength and dissipated. Dorian was found to have only caused one indirect fatality upon landfall in Ontario.


Hurricane Eva

Main article: Hurricane Eva
Category 5 hurricane (SSHS)
Hurricane Daniel of 2000.JPG
Duration June 1 – June 5
Intensity 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-min),  917 mbar (hPa)

On May 27, the Great Lakes Hurricane Center noted a tropical low just north of the Keweenaw County Peninsula. The low became organized over a couple days and became Tropical Depression Five-S on June 1. Later that day, the storm rapidly intensified into a tropical storm, earning the name Eva. Rapid intensification occurred overnight, causing Eva to become a high-end tropical storm the next morning. Later that day, Eva became a minimal hurricane with 75 mph winds. Eva continued to intensify during that afternoon, reaching the equivalent of a high-end Category 1 hurricane. With a pressure of 972 mbar at the time, Eva became the strongest storm of the season during that time. Due to explosive intensification, Eva required a new technique to save lives, emergency advisories. Emergency advisories were issued every hour to warn residents under warning about the oncoming storm and how dangerous the storm was expected to be at landfall. The first emergency advisory was issued at 4:00 p.m. on June 2. At that same time, hurricane watches and warnings were posted from Deer Park, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. With the issue of this emergency advisory, Eva was upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. Later that evening, during the second emergency advisory, Eva was upgraded to the first major hurricane of the season, with 120 mph winds. Rapid intensification occurred again, as Eva became the first Category 4 hurricane since Hurricane Lorraine the year before. Winds of 145 mph were recorded, with gusts at Category 5 hurricane intensity. Overnight, the rapid intensification of Eva stopped occurring. In only 24 hours, Eva went from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane. Eva strengthened slightly overnight. The final emergency advisory of the day put Eva as a high-end Category 4 hurricane. The intensity did not change for about 12 hours until winds of 155 mph were recorded. On the same morning, cities and towns along the coast were evacuated. Many of them were told to stay with family members that do not live along a coast of one of the Great Lakes. Then, one hour later, Eva became the first Category 5 hurricane of the season. This only lasted 7 hours, as Eva weakened back into a high-end Category 4 hurricane. Further weakening occurred the next day, and Eva neared the coast of Michigan. Late on Sunday evening, Eva made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Due to land interaction, Eva rapidly weakened into a Category 2 hurricane. The next day, Eva was a tropical storm, and further weakening continued. Later that day, Eva's final advisory was issued. Extreme flash flooding and damage occurred in Michigan. A state of emergency was declared in the state of Michigan, mainly in Chippewa County, where 77 of the 95 deaths occurred. According to news reports, the city of Paradise was 75% destroyed due to storm surge and high winds. In Sault Ste. Marie, Eva caused major damage to homes and businesses. At least 40% of the buildings in the city were damaged or destroyed due to flooding and storm surge. Eva crossed into the extreme southern portion of the peninsula before dissipating. In that area, the towns of Hessel and Cedarville sustained the worst damage. Trees and power lines were downed due to high winds, and many people were evacuated. The outer bands of Eva struck the coast of Ontario, causing tree damage and minor flooding. 97 deaths resulted from Eva, and a final damage total of $58 billion has been reported.

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