Target, Bermuda: Will Hurricane Gonzalo Rival Fabian?

October 16th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
Color MODIS image of Hurricane Gonzalo, late morning, Oct. 17, 2014.

Color MODIS image of Hurricane Gonzalo, late morning, Oct. 17, 2014 (click for full size).

UPDATE 7 am ET Oct. 18: As was forecast, the eye of Gonzalo passed over Bermuda last night. The highest wind gust I saw reported was 144 mph. Most of the island is without power this morning.

Before the October, 1926 arrival of catastrophic Hurricane Ten (nicknamed Valerian), it was reported that it had been over a hundred years since a hurricane hit Bermuda in October.

That hurricane arrived so quickly (moving at 40 mph) and from an unexpected direction (from almost due west), that the island was unprepared. HMS Valerian was just returning from Cuba, and was within sight of Bermuda with mild weather reported, yet never made it to port because the storm descended on the island so quickly. Most of the crew was lost as the ship sank. An anemometer in the Royal Navy Dockyard measured a 138 mph wind gust before it broke.

The next-to-worst hurricane to hit Bermuda in the last couple centuries was Fabian in 2003. Taking a path similar to Gonzalo is forecast to take as it arrives at the island tomorrow, Fabian produced sustained winds of 120 mph and a measured peak wind gust of 164 mph at an elevated measurement site on a radio tower. Damages were estimated at $300 million, the worst since 1926.

It would take another direct hit like Fabian, and a somewhat higher intensity than is currently forecast (140145130125 mph sustained winds now, 115120 115 mph sustained winds forecast as the eyewall reaches Bermuda this evening) for Gonzalo to rival either of these historic storms. But hurricane intensity fluctuations are notoriously difficult to forecast, and the current forecast path of Gonzalo remains very close to a direct hit which will place the most intense eyewall winds over land.

We will know in the next 8 hours or so. In the meantime, here’s our Gonzalo tracking page, and check out the slideshow of preparations from the Royal Gazette.

The eyewall of Gonzalo is now showing up on the Bermuda radar loop.

Live Updates from

(I’m now deleting off-topic comments…I’ll let the snarky global warming ones pass for now. –RWS)

57 Responses to “Target, Bermuda: Will Hurricane Gonzalo Rival Fabian?”

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  1. mkelly says:

    I lived in Bermuda in 1989 when Dean struck. A low grade hurricane with modest damage. However, there were still t-shirts with the logo of “Emily the bitch that came to breakfast”. Emily caused massive damage with folks going 6 weeks or more without power. As it hit early in the morning and was not forecast the Bermudians blamed the Americans for all the problems caused.

  2. Mateusz says:

    Hi, really nice blog, although I’m from far Poland i find it very useful with informations I couldn’t find anywhere 🙂

  3. rah says:

    The thing can’t seem to make up it’s mind as to how strong it is going to be. It went up to CAT IV and then back down to III. For the sake of Bermudans though I would hope that it weakens some more.

    Back in 1985 stopped over in Bermuda during an Atlantic transit between the US and Germany. C-130 we were riding in was having “engine trouble”. No US facility had any transient quarters available for us because of our unplanned stop but the Canadian Army barracks there were gracious enough to take us in for the night. I remember the US Navy mess hall acted as if feeding our little 12 man team was a great inconvenience to them. Still, it gave us time to see some of the sites of that rather unique place.

  4. Melvin says:

    Its always the Americans fault, the Americans are at fault for everything in the world, and maybe the universe.

  5. Rex says:


    • JohnKl says:

      Yeah, one merely has to wait for next cyclone or hurricane and instant global warming alarmist proof! This will probably prove to be Al Gore’s favorite time of year hurrican season.

      Have a great day!

  6. Rex says:

    Democrats are so much smarter than everyone else since they have figured out that THE WEATHER CHANGES……

    You do realize that Climate and Weather are synonyms right?

    Do Dimocrats not even know what a synonym is?

    • Yes Stradamus says:

      Yes, as long it means whatever they want it to mean.

    • busseja says:

      Lewis Carroll had them pegged 100 years ago in “wonderland or Through the Looking Glass” when Twiddle Dee says “well it can rain if it wants to.” The warmists simply think they are “it.” Fantasy and truth in the same book.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi busseja,

        The tale has been re-told by the IPCC apparently, it will only rain when a CONSENSUS agrees after lengthy due process and parliamentary/TEA PARTY inquiry. Btw, did you see the Mad Hatter Hare run by he seemed to be very, very late!

        Have a great day!

  7. Anything is possible says:

    This is the best site I’ve found for tracking Gonzalo’s progress :

    The IR loop updates every 15 minutes.

  8. John Adamec says:

    I just discovered your website! Finally a rational voice in the woods of the Climate Change Disaster chanting. Keep up the outstanding work.

    Everytime I think organizations as respected as the Naval Postgraduate School, who prophesized that the Artic would be ice free by 2014, get it wrong I have to wonder where sanity is.

    • Tom says:

      The Sanity is in the wallets of men/women who kept that hoax going – I am surprised they kept it going as long as they did, but when Billions of dollars of money is to be stolen and redistributed to unethical politicians, scientists, and corrupt third world leaders, they will do anything – even propose that incredibly obscene hockey stick graph. And they still have many American’s fooled (not a hard thing to do in the last few decades).

    • James Strom says:

      If you’re looking for rational websites, you should also check out those of Judith Curry and Steve McIntyre. They’re easily found through a G search.

  9. Iron Head says:

    When a manatee breaks wind off the Florida coast we get a hurricane warning.

    Ten years and holding. The previous record was 5 years since we had a direct hit. So we’ve set a record for no hurricanes that last five years.

    God hates Climate Change professors, too.

    • Tom says:

      They have no objective morality, haven’t you heard? The new enlightened atheists are in control…science can explain everything ya know…..of course in another 30 years, if we make it that long, not because of man made global warming, but man made gullibility, they will be laughing at the “science” of climatologists. But of course then it will be some other HOAX. The ozone hole and fluorocarbon ban, still has not changed the ozone “hole” one bit…the hubris and greed of man never ceases to amaze..

      • ken geringer says:

        What a joke you are. Please keep posting.

      • The ozone hole stopped growing sometime in the 1990s and is now largely decreasing slowly. The ban on most gaseous/volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons was a success. However, I think environmentalists are now going too far, in part because it seems to me that almost half the warming from 1973 to 2005 was from a natural cycle, and about 15% of the manmade part of warming in that time stretch was from non-CO2 greenhouse gases whose manmade atmospheric presence largely stopped growing sometime in the 1990s. Since 2005, the world cooled very slightly.

    • busseja says:

      And when the water we drained from the Florida swamps is replaced by natural forces the Manatees will SURVIVE. Global warming is good for the ecosystem. Too bad man can’t help it along. I hate cold. and there is more than enough time (eons) to create new low chill varieties of stone fruits. See OPPORTUNITY abounds because of Climate Change.

  10. popham says:

    We were ‘at home’ in Bermuda for Fabian 2003.
    Winds were 120 mph with multiple water spouts
    (mini tornadoes) striking the island.
    One of those spouts tore the roof off of our kitchen.
    The houses are constructed of lime stone or concrete
    blocks, but it is the trees and electric lines,
    most of which is abovegroundthat suffer the most
    damage; thus the loss of power for extended periods
    of time. Flashlights and kerosene lamps at night and
    hopefully you have a gas stove, but no refrigeration.
    Good luck Bermuda.

  11. MAKE MY DAY says:

    Two big storms in back-to-back W/ends is in itself a very unfortunate “world record” to now have – that has NEVER been seen before in modern times!! What are the odds of that happening??

    As an “Onion” (Bermudian) living abroad in the USA – I hope the Island survives a lot of structural and economic damage – as I have lived-through 4 hurricanes on the Island since the 60’s – before I left!! I guess there will be plenty of *Hurricane Parties* at various residences and some hotels – to help lighten-the-situation!!

  12. Superstorm dear god please help me. What moron wrote that garbage. Hurricane yes but you can skip the hype crap.This is not Dorothy with “lions,tigers,and bears oh my!!”

    • Jimbo Jones says:

      I saw that too. “Superstorm”? How scientific and level-headed!

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      Hey buddy boy… It’s NOT KATRINA or New Orleans – Mississippi or Alabama “beachfront” property!!! BDA property is one of the most EXPENSIVE in the world!!


      As a Bermudian (Onion) I know – because I sold a family property there 12 yrs ago – as pertained to a *WILL* – for in excess of $550,000.00 (2 beds + 1 bathroom) on a 1/3 acre of land up in Daisy-field estate – on Scott’s Hill Rd – Somerset!!

      ALL you *ONIONS* know what I am talking about!! Next to Alan Neasham and Margaret Underwood (late David Jenkins) property!! And not too far from my favourite Liverpool supporter…. Sam Murray!!!

      Con Mucho Agusto…. It helps to learn the language and customs of your *Brides* country!!

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      How about a **KATRINA** or **ANDREW** from Florida way-back-when in the early 90’s!!!

      You must be a *Spring chicken*??

  13. jim says:

    Its not NYC nobody cares.

  14. Jimbo Jones says:

    What a great site. Thanks Doc Roy, it’s nice to have another place to visit to truth out the global coolers, er warmers, doh climate changers, I mean climate chaos-ers.

    And of course good luck to Bahamians tomorrow and tomorrow night. I’ve always wanted to visit your unique island, being of Brit descent.

  15. Jimbo Jones says:

    I had to try this, sorry for the distraction…

    Thanks Doc Roy, its nice to have another place to visit to truth out the global coolers, er warmers, doh climate changers, I mean climate chaos-ers.

  16. jartnell says:

    See? Told ya global warming was real!!!!

  17. Truth says:

    Haarp, NOAA, NASA weather weapon criminals, sue them.

  18. BBould says:

    Congrats Dr. Spencer great exposure from Drudge!

  19. Sloppy French Kisser says:

    Wow, these comments are so off topic.

  20. Frank says:

    Don’t worry! Your electronically stored tax haven offshore accounts are safe with them!

  21. BBould says:

    Here’s a local bermuda port webcam

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