Hurricane Glasscock (Updated)

It has come to my attention from Sandy Delgado’s thesis that Hurricane Glasscock is not a hurricane at all. It was listed a suspected storm. Glasscock is a product of two troughs that circled around Hurricane Gladys and merged together. It resulted in severe weather of heavy rain and strong winds over Texas. Even two reconnaissance missions did not find a tropical storm, which would have a low pressure at the surface. Glasscock is more of a trough than a circular storm.

As Hurricane Gladys made landfall in Mexico, on September 5, 1955, another circular storm made landfall south of Baffin Bay on September 7, 1955. The storm was dubbed by residence as “Hurricane Glasscock”. Glasscock was named after the nearest oil platform from shore, which was 15 miles east of Port Aransas. The storm dumped heavy rain, up to 17.02 inches fell in 24 hours in Flour Bluff. Nearby Corpus Christi got over 7 inches of rain. The storm produced 60 mph winds with gusts as high as 83 mph were recorded. Storm surge was recorded as high as 4.5 feet. Thankfully damage was confined to the coastal areas. Was Hurricane Glasscock part of another circulation of Gladys or a separate tropical system? The storm was seen on radar as cyclonic in nature with a low pressure system, which could support a separate storm. The National Weather Service does not recognize Hurricane Glasscock to this day. I am going to show that Glasscock was indeed a separate storm from Gladys.

Let’s look at this map generated by NOAA’s Daily Mean Composites.

Sea Level Pressure 1000 mb Level

Sea Level Pressure 850 mb Level

It shows nothing.

Now, let’s look at the pressure map. They are from NOAA Daily Mean Composites.

Pressure 1000 mb Level

Pressure 850 mb Level

Again, it shows nothing. There is a disclaimer that the NOAA’s Daily Mean Composites is beta and henceforth the maps shown are still in development. So, we should look at a weather map from the past.

Here is a pressure map from the September 8, 1955 edition of US Weather Bureau map. They are from NOAA Central Library U.S. Daily Weather Maps Project.

It shows a low pressure system around Baffin Bay, Texas. It is moving to the north-northwest towards Texas. Could this storm be a separate tropical cyclone from Hurricane Gladys or just an area of squall from Gladys? Hurricane Gladys made landfall two days before Glasscock, it is very likely that Glasscock was a separate storm from Gladys. Gladys made landfall 245 miles south of Brownsville or about 385 south of Baffin Bay.

Now, when I look at the September 5, 1955 edition of US Weather Bureau map.

It depicts Gladys as a rather large hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. It could be possible that there was an area of thunderstorms within the out edges of Gladys and somehow it spun up into a small tropical system, which the US Weather Bureau map depicts. That area of thunderstorm was either there before Gladys or formed when Gladys made landfall. The September 8, 1955 edition depicts the low pressure around Baffin Bay as a small area of low pressure. This would indicate that it was a separate storm from Gladys. It could be very likely that Glasscock was indeed a separate storm from Gladys.

Here is a 500 mb level pressure map. One from US Weather Bureau and Daily Mean Composites.

September 5, 1955
Daily Mean Composites

US Weather Bureau

The Daily Mean Composites shows an area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Weather Bureau maps shows an actual low pressure system, which is Gladys.

September 7, 1955
Daily Mean Composites

US Weather Bureau

The Daily Mean Composites shows nothing in the Gulf of Mexico and Baffin Bay. The US Weather Bureau maps shows an actual low pressure system, which is Glasscock in the Baffin Bay. Why the discrepancies between the two? I do not know. As mentioned, the Daily Mean Composites is still beta and likely once it is fully developed, it should show less to almost no discrepancies.

I looked at September 1955 weather records for Corpus Christi, which is closest to Baffin Bay available. Here are the records from September 4-9, 1955. They are from IPS-COOP Select State.
9/4/1955 88/79 0.85
9/5/1955 83/76 0.36
9/6/1955 74/70 1.00
9/7/1955 78/73 7.73
9/8/1955 84/74 0.51
9/9/1955 88/77 0

During the period of September 4-9, 1955, 10.45 inches of rain fell in Corpus Christi. Rain was measured before Gladys made landfall in Mexico, likely from the outer bands of the hurricane. That would show that Gladys was a large hurricane. However, the rain amount from the outer bands of Gladys was 2.21 inches, while the total from Glassock was 8.24 inches of rain. Fluor Bluff got 17.02 inches of rain from Glasscock. In addition, there is no report of storm surge in Baffin Bay and Corpus Christi from Gladys. There was report of storm surge from Hurricane Glassock.

There are no satellite images and pressure reports from 1955, so we may never know if Hurricane Glasscock was part of Gladys or a separate system. I cannot find the actual pressure report for Hurricane Glasscock. Now, if I did, I would certainly update that. I personally think that Hurricane Glasscock was a completely separate tropical cyclone, a small one.

More Reading on Hurricane Glasscock.
Hydrological Prediction Center-Hurricane Gladys/Hurricane Glasscock
Hydrological Prediction Center-Texas Hurricane History-Must Read!
Monthly Weather Review-Hurricanes of 1955-See page 320 or page 6 of article.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s