Hurricane watching: Marie and Cristobal

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, August 28, 2014

In California, two of the terminals at the port of Long Beach shut down operations on Wednesday as 10- to 15-foot waves from Hurricane Marie threatened the safety of dock workers.

The storm surge was powerful enough to wash large boulders ashore and break several barges loose from their moorings. Truckers who would normally have been picking up containers had to wait it out along with everyone else.

Downgraded to a tropical storm Wednesday afternoon, Marie’s peak hit on Aug. 24 with a Category 5 status at 160 mph winds, according to Weather Undergound. Marie had quickly dissolved to a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday. At its closest, Marie was approximately 865 miles from the port while in Category 1 status.

On the other side of the country, Hurricane Cristobal is approximately 500 miles away from New Jersey. Last measurements as of press time have Cristobal as a Category 1 hurricane at 75 mph. The storm is moving away from the United States and is expected to maintain hurricane status until Sunday.

Below are the varying categories of storms:

  • Tropical depression: less than 39 mph
  • Tropical storm: 39-73 mph
  • Category 1: 74-95 mph
  • Category 2: 96-110 mph
  • Category 3: 111-130 mph
  • Category 4: 131-155 mph
  • Category 5: 156-plus mph

In its 2014 hurricane outlook released in May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a near- or above-normal season for the Eastern Pacific, with 14-20 named storms, including 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes. It should be noted that not all hurricanes reach landfall.

For the Atlantic region, NOAA has predicted a near- to below-normal hurricane season. Due to El Niño, only 8-13 named storms are expected, including 3-6 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes.

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