Response Updates

All About Hurricane Harold

Reported by Convoy of Hope

Because 2023 is the first year for Harold to be included in the World Meteorological Organization’s list of cyclone names (replacing the retired Harvey on the list), there have been no historical hurricanes named Harold.

A hypothetical Hurricane Harold has been posted on a gaming website for 2023, but no such storm yet exists.

The National Weather Services began tracking Tropical Storm Harold, the eighth tropical storm of this 2023 season, early on August 22. Harold reached Texas that day, making landfall near South Padre Island on the Texas Gulf coast. The storm brought welcome rain and cooler temperatures following months of hot, dry weather, but also left thousands of homes and businesses in Corpus Christi without power.

Harold never became a hurricane; its designation all depended on wind speed. All named storms are tropical cyclones — rotating, organized systems of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over tropical or subtropical waters and have a closed low-level circulation.

Early on, as a tropical depression, Harold would have sustained wind speeds of less than 39 mph. Tropical depressions are not named but are tracked to determine if their growth transforms them into tropical storms or hurricanes. When Harold was named a tropical storm, its sustained wind speed had reached 39 mph. Had that speed climbed to 74 mph, Harold would have become a Category 1 hurricane.

Whether you see a tropical storm or hurricane in the news, realize it is a storm that poses a threat to lives and property.

Hurricane Ida Response

When Was Hurricane Harold?

Although there is no historical Hurricane Harold, there have been other storms named Harold — two Tropical Cyclone Harolds in the Australian region, and a Cyclone Herold (with the alternate spelling) in the Indian Ocean.

Where Did Hurricane Harold Hit?

No Hurricane Harold has yet made landfall, but Cyclone Harold in 2020 grew to a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone that impacted the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga.

What Category Was Hurricane Harold?

There has yet to be a Hurricane Harold, but the Category 5 Cyclone Harold in April 2020 came in at the top range of strength for named storms.

What Time Will Hurricane Harold Make Landfall?

Similarly named hurricanes in history have made landfall at all times of day. Asking, “What time did Hurricane Harold make landfall?” during previous storms won’t increase your preparedness this year.

And when a current storm is predicted to reach your region, it’s important to be prepared. You should be aware of the predicted landfall. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute — say, waiting until Harold made landfall — to reach a safe area. Many have lost their homes due to the heavy rainfall and destructive winds of a hurricane.

How Many People Died in Hurricane Harold?

When studying the history of a past tropical storm or hurricane, you might naturally ask, “Did anyone die in Hurricane Harold?”

Named cyclones in the Indian and Pacific Ocean are the equivalent of named Atlantic hurricanes, but there is often more risk to life and property than in an Atlantic storm. 

The larger bodies of open water allow storms to reach greater strength. Fortunately, 1997’s Cyclone Harold remained at sea east of Australia with no loss of life. In 2020, 27 people were washed overboard from a ferry and presumed dead because of that year’s Cyclone Harold, and communities in Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands sought shelter (with no reported loss of life) during 2020’s Cyclone Herold.

What Was the Path of Hurricane Harold?

As noted above, 1997’s Cyclone Harold moved through the Pacific Island Countries east of Australia, first in a southwest direction, and then to the southeast until it dissipated. 

In 2020, Cyclone Harold originated near Papua New Guinea and moved to the southeast before dissipating in the South Pacific. Cyclone Herold formed in the Indian Ocean and moved northwest to cross the Mascarene Islands before glancing against Madagascar.

Convoy of Hope & Hurricanes

Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team will follow weather updates closely should Tropical Storm Harold be named. Days ahead of Harold’s predicted landfall, plans will begin to materialize at Convoy’s World Distribution Center.

A convoy of trucks will head to the affected area to provide resources for one or more distribution points once the danger has passed and a community’s needs become clear.

Since 1998, when Convoy of Hope responded to flooding in Del Rio, Texas, after Tropical Storm Charley, hurricane response has been an annual priority for Convoy. For example, when Hurricane Ian smashed across central Florida with sustained winds of 155 mph in 2022, Convoy of Hope served more than 17,000 survivors with the help of nearly 500 volunteers in about a week.

Convoy of Hope responds to natural disasters around the world, offering help and hope to people facing some of the most challenging circumstances in their lives.

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