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Satellite image of Hurricane Esther

Hurricane Esther was the first tropical cyclone to be discovered by satellite imagery. The fifth tropical cyclone, fifth named storm, and fifth hurricane of the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season, Esther developed from an area of disturbed weather hundreds of miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands on September 10. The storm moved and strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane and peaked with sustained winds of 145 mph (230 km/h) on September 18. Esther began to weaken while approaching New England and fell to Category 3 intensity on September 21, later weakening to a tropical storm, and struck Cape Cod and southeastern Maine on September 26, dissipating early on September 27. Between North Carolina and New Jersey effects were primarily limited to strong winds and minor beach erosion and coastal flooding due to storm surge. In New York, strong winds led to severe crop losses and over 300,000 power outages. Some areas observed more than 8 inches (200 mm) of rainfall. Overall, damage was minor, totaling about $6 million. There were also seven deaths reported when United States Navy P5M aircraft crashed about 120 miles (190 km) north of Bermuda. (Full article...)

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