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HURRICANE ALICIA was the costliest tropical cyclone in the Atlantic since Hurricane Agnes
Hurricane Agnes
in 1972 . Alicia was the third depression, the first tropical storm, and the only major hurricane of the 1983 Atlantic
Atlantic
hurricane season . It struck Galveston
Galveston
and Houston
Houston
, Texas directly, causing $1.7 billion (1983 USD ) in damage and killing 21 people; this made it the worst Texas
Texas
hurricane since Hurricane
Hurricane
Carla in 1961 . In addition, Alicia was the first billion-dollar tropical cyclone in Texas
Texas
history.

Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia was the first hurricane to hit the United States mainland since Hurricane
Hurricane
Allen in August 1980. The time between the two storms totaled three years and eight days (1,103 days). Hurricane Alicia became the last major hurricane ( Category
Category
3 or higher) to strike Texas
Texas
until the stronger Hurricane
Hurricane
Bret in 1999 made landfall. Alicia was the first storm for which the National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center issued landfall probabilities.

Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia was notable for the delayed post storm evacuation of Galveston
Galveston
Island (since the eye of the storm traveled the evacuation route up Interstate 45
Interstate 45
from Galveston
Galveston
to Houston). The hurricane was also notable for the shattering of many windows in downtown Houston
Houston
by loose gravel from the roofs of new skyscrapers and by other debris, prompting changes to rooftop construction codes.

CONTENTS

* 1 Meteorological history * 2 Preparations

* 3 Impact

* 3.1 Texas
Texas
* 3.2 Elsewhere

* 4 Aftermath * 5 Retirement * 6 In popular culture * 7 See also * 8 References

METEOROLOGICAL HISTORY

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm according to the Saffir–Simpson scale
Saffir–Simpson scale

The origins of Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia were from a cold front that extended from New England
New England
through the central Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
. On August 14, mesoscale low-pressure area developed off the Alabama and Mississippi coastlines. Around 0100 UTC on August 15, the low had maintained convection , or area of thunderstorms, for 12 hours, as well as a circulation for six hours; as a result, the National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center (NHC) began issuing Dvorak classifications on the system. By a few hours later, the deep convection became organized in the circulation's southern semicircle, which prompted a Hurricane
Hurricane
Hunters flight into the system. At 1200 UTC that day, the system developed into Tropical Depression Three about 350 miles (560 km) south-southwest of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River Delta . A few hours later, the Hurricane
Hurricane
Hunters confirmed its development. Such development along the tail end of a cold front is more typical earlier or later in the hurricane season.

After becoming a tropical cyclone, the depression was moving slowly westward, due to a ridge to its north. A Hurricane
Hurricane
Hunters flight late on August 15 reported that the depression reached winds of 50 mph (80 km/h); as a result, the NHC upgraded the cyclone to Tropical Storm Alicia. At the time of its upgrade, the storm was located in an area of higher than normal atmospheric pressure , although conditions favored further development. Due to high pressures surrounding the storm, Alicia was a smaller than normal tropical cyclone; as a result, it produced stronger than normal winds, in comparison to its minimum central pressure. The storm continued slowly to the west-northwest, and by August 17 attained hurricane status, about 160 miles (255 km) southeast of Galveston, Texas. Shortly thereafter, an eye became visible on radar, as the hurricane executed several small loops. Its slow movement over warm waters, in addition to an anticyclone becoming established over the hurricane, caused Alicia to undergo rapid deepening . Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia at landfall

At 0600 UTC on August 18, the winds reached 115 mph (185 km/h), just before Alicia made landfall about 25 mi (40 km) southwest of Galveston, Texas. Upon moving ashore, the gale -force winds extended 125 mi (201 km) from the center, and hurricane-force winds spread across an area from Freeport to 60 mi (97 km) northeast. Its atmospheric pressure was 962 mbar (hPa ; 28.41 inHg ) around the time of landfall, and radar imagery indicated the presence of a rare double-eye structure. Alicia quickly weakened, passing over central Houston
Houston
with sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h). It accelerated toward the northwest, weakening to tropical storm status late on August 18 and to tropical depression status twelve hours later. Tropical Depression Alicia moved into Oklahoma
Oklahoma
and interacted with an approaching frontal trough . By 0600 UTC on August 20, Alicia had transitioned into an extratropical cyclone over northwestern Oklahoma, and by the next day it was no longer identifiable after merging with the trough over eastern Nebraska.

PREPARATIONS

See also: Tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
warnings and watches

Several watches and warnings were issued in association with Alicia. The first ones were a gale warning and a hurricane watch for the area between Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas
, and Grand Isle, Louisiana
Louisiana
, issued on August 16. On August 17, a hurricane warning was issued for the coastline from Corpus Christi to Morgan City, Louisiana
Louisiana
, and later for Port Arthur, Texas
Texas
, southward. Initially, however, residents did not take the warnings seriously. Galveston
Galveston
Mayor E. Gus Manuel, against the advice of Texas
Texas
Governor Mark White
Mark White
, ordered the evacuation of only low-lying areas. As a result, only 10 percent of the population living behind the seawall chose to leave when Alicia came ashore. In contrast, about 30 percent of Galveston's population evacuated the island when Hurricane
Hurricane
Allen threatened the eastern Texas coastline in 1980. Throughout the day, however, as the increasing winds began to cause damage in Galveston, people grew more concerned. The mayor finally ordered a widespread evacuation of the island after midnight on August 18, but by then, the bridges to the mainland were uncrossable.

IMPACT

TEXAS

Alicia's storm total rainfall

Galveston
Galveston
reported 7 3⁄4 in (197 mm ) of rain, Liberty reported 9 1⁄2 in (241 mm) of rain, and Greens Bayou reported almost 10 in (250 mm). Centerville reported over 8 inches (200 mm), with Normangee and Mexia reporting over 7 in (180 mm). Maximum rainfall in the Houston area in Harris County was about 10–11 in (250–280 mm), while 8 in (200 mm) of rain was reported in Leon County and 9 in (230 mm) in the Sabine River area. High gusts were reported throughout Texas, with a maximum gust of 125 mph (201 km/h) reported on the Coast Guard cutter Buttonwood (WLB-306) stationed at the northeastern tip of Galveston Island. Pleasure Pier reported tides of 8.67 ft (2.64 m), with Pier 21 reporting a little over 5.5 ft (1.7 m). Baytown, Texas
Texas
, reported 10–12 ft (3.0–3.7 m) tides, and Morgan City reported 12.1 ft (3.7 m), the highest recorded as a result of Alicia. The storm also caused extensive disruption of power services. A Paul Simon
Paul Simon
-Art Garfunkel reunion concert scheduled for the Houston
Houston
Astrodome was canceled due to the coming storm.

Twenty-three tornadoes were reported in association with Alicia. Fourteen of those were located in the Galveston
Galveston
and Hobby Airport area. The other nine were concentrated around Tyler to Houston, Texas, ranging around F2 on the Fujita scale
Fujita scale
.

A major oil spill occurred around Texas
Texas
City , and an ocean-going tugboat capsized 50 miles (80 km) off the Sabine Pass coast. The Coast Guard Air Station Houston
Houston
(AIRSTA) weathered Alicia with little damage, and afterwards AIRSTA's helicopters assisted residents with evacuation, supply, and survey flights.

Sixty gallons of water had to be removed from the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Galveston; this weather office also temporarily lost its radar. Houston
Houston
suffered billions of dollars in damage. Thousands of glass panes in downtown skyscrapers were shattered by gravel blown off rooftops. Although Alicia was a small Category
Category
3 hurricane, a total of 2,297 dwellings were destroyed by Alicia, with another 3,000+ experiencing major damage. Over ten thousand dwellings had minor damage.

In Galveston, the western beach had its public beach boundary shifted back about 150 ft (46 m). About 5 feet (1.5 m) of sand was scoured, leaving beachfront homes in a natural vegetation state. This moved many beachfront homes onto public beach, and the Attorney General's office declared that they were in violation of the Texas
Texas
Open Beaches Act and forbade the repair or rebuilding of those homes. The Corps of Engineers stated that if the Galveston
Galveston
Sea Wall had not been there, that another $100 million (1983 USD; $240 million 2017 USD) in damage could have occurred. Also, if Alicia had been the size of Hurricane Carla from 1961 , damage could have easily doubled or possibly tripled. Alicia damaged chemical and petrochemical plants in Houston.

ELSEWHERE

As Alicia progressed northward, it produced heavy precipitation in several other areas. In Oklahoma, the rain amounted to 5.51 in (140 mm) in south-central portions of the state. Parts of Kansas
Kansas
and Nebraska
Nebraska
received 1 to 3 in (25 to 76 mm) of rainfall. Other states, including Michigan
Michigan
, Iowa
Iowa
, Minnesota
Minnesota
, Louisiana
Louisiana
and Wisconsin experienced light rainfall from the remnants of the storm.

AFTERMATH

Wind damage from Alicia photographed from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration helicopter

The Red Cross provided food and shelter to 63,000 people in the hurricane's wake, costing about $166 million (1983 USD; $399 million 2017 USD). FEMA gave out $32 million (1983 USD; $76.9 million 2017 USD) to Alicia's victims and local governments; $23 million (1983 USD; $55.3 million 2017 USD) of that was for picking up debris spread after the storm. More than 16,000 people sought help from FEMA's disaster service centers. The Small Business Administration
Small Business Administration
, aided with 56 volunteers, interviewed over 16,000 victims, and it was predicted that about 7,000 loan applications would be submitted. The Federal Insurance Agency had closed over 1,318 flood insurance cases from Alicia's aftermath, however only 782 received final payment.

On September 23 and September 24, 1983, in the wake of Alicia, two subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
held hearings in Houston. The hearing on September 23 were to examine the primary issues of the NWS during Alicia, the effectiveness of the NWS in current procedures, and the use of the NWS. The second hearing, which occurred on September 24, was to discuss the damage and recovery efforts during Alicia. During the September 23 hearing, witnesses agreed that the NWS did well before and during the emergency caused by Alicia. NWS forecasters also testified in which they said they gratified themselves that their predictions were well "on target" and that the local emergency plans had worked so well, which saved many lives. Mayor Gus Manuel on Galveston
Galveston
claimed that the NWS did an excellent job during Alicia. He was also very impressed about their landfall predictions on August 17. During the September 24 hearing, evidence was presented which demonstrated the need for improving readiness to cope with disasters, such as Alicia. Mayor Manuel mentioned that his town needed stronger building codes, which were under review.

RETIREMENT

Due to the severe damage, the name "Alicia" was retired in the spring of 1984 by the World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization
, and will never be used again for an Atlantic
Atlantic
hurricane . It was the first name to be retired since Hurricane
Hurricane
Allen in 1980. It was replaced with "Allison" for the 1989 season .

IN POPULAR CULTURE

The approach and eventual landfall of Alicia is a central plot point in a Season 1 episode of the AMC television drama Halt and Catch Fire .

SEE ALSO

* Houston
Houston
portal * Tropical cyclones portal

* List of Texas
Texas
hurricanes * List of retired Atlantic
Atlantic
hurricane names * Timeline of the 1983 Atlantic hurricane season

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C D E F " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia: Prediction, Damage ">(PDF). Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Agriculture Research and Environment. 1983. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ A B C D E F " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia Preliminary Report" (GIF). Miami, Florida : National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center . 1983. p. 1. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ " Texas
Texas
Governors". Austin, Texas
Texas
: Texas
Texas
State Library and Archives Commission . 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2007. * ^ "Chronological List of All Hurricanes Which Affected The Continental United States
United States
1851 - 2007". Hurricane
Hurricane
Research Division. Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Archived from the original on September 21, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2007. * ^ A B " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia Preliminary Report". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. 1983. p. 4. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ "Miami SFSS/NHC Tropical and Subtropical Cyclone Classification". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. August 15, 1983. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ "Reconnaissance Aircraft Summary of the Day". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. August 15, 1983. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ A B C D E F National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center; Hurricane
Hurricane
Research Division (April 11, 2017). " Atlantic
Atlantic
hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)". United States
United States
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved August 6, 2017. * ^ Gerrish, Harold P. (August 15, 1983). "Preliminary Depression Statement". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ A B C D "Storm Development and History". Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
: United States
United States
Army . 2007. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ Gerrish, Harold P. (August 15, 1983). "Tropical Storm Alicia Discussion". Miami, Florida. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ Gerrish, Harold P. (August 17, 1983). "Tropical Cyclone Discussion Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ Lawrence, Miles B. (August 18, 1983). " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia Intermediate Advisory". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ A B C D " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia Preliminary Report" (GIF). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. 1983. p. 2. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ A B Isaacson, Walter (August 29, 1983). "Coping with Nature newspaper". Time Magazine
Time Magazine
. Time Warner
Time Warner
. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ A B C " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia, 1983". U.S.A. Today . Gannett . August 30, 1999. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ A B " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia Preliminary Report" (GIF). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. 1983. p. 5. Retrieved September 20, 2010. * ^ A B National Weather Office (2007). " Texas
Texas
Hurricane
Hurricane
History: Late 20th Century". Lake Charles, Louisiana
Louisiana
: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2007. * ^ "Warnings". Washington D.C.: United States
United States
Army. 2007. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2007. * ^ A B C D E National Weather Office — Houston- Galveston
Galveston
(2007). "Upper Texas
Texas
Coast Tropical Cyclones in the 1980s". Dickinson, Texas
Texas
: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on March 28, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2007. * ^ Levitan, Mark (2007). "Are Chemical Plants Really Safe?" (PDF). Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana
: Louisiana
Louisiana
State University . Archived from the original (PDF) on March 23, 2002. Retrieved April 2, 2007. * ^ Roth, David M. (May 1, 2007). " Hurricane
Hurricane
Alicia - August 14-22, 1983". Silver Spring, Maryland: Hydrometeorogical Prediction Center. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ "Retired Hurricane
Hurricane
Names Since 1954". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane
Hurricane
Center. March 16, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ Associated Press
Associated Press
(June 1, 1989). "4 hurricane predicted for Atlantic
Atlantic
in 1989". Bal Harbour, Florida
Bal Harbour, Florida
: Star-News
Star-News
. Retrieved May 5, 2011. * ^ Perkins, Dennis (July 7, 2014). "Halt and Catch Fire: "Landfall"". Chicago: A.V. Club. Retrieved July 7, 2014.

* v * t * e

Retired Atlantic
Atlantic
hurricane names

1950S

* Carol * Edna * Hazel * Connie * Diane * Ione * Janet * Audrey

1960S

* Donna * Carla * Hattie * Flora * Cleo * Dora * Hilda * Betsy * Inez * Beulah * Camille

1970S

* Celia * Agnes * Carmen * Fifi * Eloise * Anita * Greta * David * Frederic

1980S

* Allen * Alicia * Elena * Gloria * Gilbert * Joan * Hugo

1990S

* Diana * Klaus * Bob * Andrew * Luis * Marilyn * Opal * Roxanne * Cesar * Fran * Hortense * Georges * Mitch * Floyd * Lenny

2000S

* Keith * Allison (TS) * Iris * Michelle * Isidore * Lili * Fabian * Isabel * Juan * Charley * Frances * Ivan * Jeanne * Dennis * Katrina * Rita * Stan * Wilma * Dean * Felix * Noel * Gustav * Ike * Paloma

2010S

* Igor * Tomas * Irene * Sandy * Ingrid * Erika (TS) * Joaquin * Matthew * Otto

* BOOK * CATEGORY * PORTAL * WIKIPROJECT * COMMONS

* v * t * e

Tropical cyclones of the 1983 Atlantic hurricane season

TD One

TD Two

3 Alicia

1 Barry

1 Chantal

TD Six

TS Dean

* BOOK * CATEGORY * PORTAL * WIKIPROJECT * COMMONS

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