AskDefine | Define flossy

Dictionary Definition

flossy adj : like down or as soft as down [syn: downy, downlike, fluffy] [also: flossiest, flossier]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Flossy



  1. Resembling floss

Extensive Definition

Hurricane Flossy originated from a tropical disturbance in the eastern Pacific Ocean and moved across Central America into the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical depression on September 21, which became a tropical storm on September 22 and a hurricane on September 23. The hurricane peaked with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 km/h) before it struck the central Gulf coast of the United States as a Category 1 hurricane on September 24, and evolved into an extratropical cyclone on September 25. It was the first hurricane to affect oil refining in the Gulf of Mexico. The tropical cyclone led to flooding in New Orleans, and broke a drought across the eastern United States. The death toll was 16, and total damages reached US$24.9 million (1956 dollars).

Storm history

A tropical disturbance moved northward, crossing Guatemala from the eastern Pacific ocean into the northwest Caribbean Sea between September 20 and September 21. It became a tropical cyclone soon after emerging into the Caribbean, and moved across the Yucatán Peninsula as a tropical depression before becoming a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico on September 22 and a hurricane on September 23. It turned sharply east-northeast across the Mouth of the Mississippi river on September 24 as a minor hurricane. The storm continued east-northeast and made landfall in Florida east of Pensacola. The system evolved into an extratropical cyclone soon after passing out of the Sunshine State and continued moving east to northeast hugging the Atlantic Seaboard to near the Virginia Capes before moving slowly through the shipping lanes between Canada and Bermuda, blocked by a high pressure system in southeast Canada.


By the morning of September 22, hurricane watches were posted for the upper Texas and Louisiana coasts. By the morning of September 24, hurricane warnings were in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to Fort Walton Beach, Florida while storm warnings were in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to St. Marks, Florida. The approach of the hurricane led to the evacuation of 15 aircraft from Florida to Ardmore Air Force Base, in Oklahoma.


Gulf of Mexico

This was the first hurricane to cause significant disruption to oil refining in the Gulf of Mexico. Several hundred active wells went out of service, and drilling came to a halt for a few days during and after the cyclone's passage. One of Humble company's tenders saw three-quarters of its mooring chains compromised, which swung it around into an adjacent oil platform, causing US$200,000 in damage (1956 dollars). The cost to downtime in production was greater than the damage Flossy created to the oil rigs. There was no loss of life.

United States

Total damages to Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas, and Virginia was US$24,874,000 (1956 dollars). A total of of rainfall fell at Golden Meadow, Louisiana. Burrwood, Louisiana's pressure fell to 29.03 inHg (983.1 hPa or mb). Hundreds lost their homes in the storm. The storm surge was significant enough to submerge Grand Isle, Louisiana. At Ostrica Lock, the storm tide reached . Extensive coastal erosion was caused by the cyclone across the Mississippi Delta. In New Orleans, Louisiana, about 2.5 square miles (6.5 km²) were flooded as portions of the seawall were overtopped. Cattle drowned across the region, and crops such as citrus, sugar cane, and pecan were heavily damaged.

Eastern Gulf coast

Winds as high as struck coastal Mississippi. A total of of rain fell at Gulf Shores. In Montgomery, Alabama, the tent used to house the Eastern Hills Baptist Church was destroyed. Across northern Florida, southern Alabama, and Georgia, Flossy was considered drought-breaking. In southwest Georgia, high winds from Flossy damages the corn and cotton crops. The lowest pressure reported was 28.93 inches/979.8 hPa or mb at Pensacola Naval Air Station. and were considered beneficial. High tides caused by the then-extratropical cyclone led to water deep in sections of Norfolk. Severe flooding occurred along the state's coastline, including interior bays. This occurred despite efforts to curb the storm surge with 500 tons (454 tonnes) of broken rock.


Due to the impact of Flossy on oil refining in the Gulf of Mexico, the American Petroleum Institute formed a committee called Fundamental Research on Weather Forecasting. Their goal was to use mathematical models and historic data to better predict hurricane formation and path. Studies went on into 1962, but no reliable forecast mechanism was found.


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