Hurricane Carmen was the most intense tropical cyclone of the 1974 Atlantic hurricane season.
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.
The 1974 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 1974, and lasted until November 30, 1974.
Playa del Carmen during Hurricane Wilma by Steve Moen
A destructive and widespread storm, Carmen originated as a tropical disturbance that emerged from Africa toward the end of August.
"Hurricane Wilma part 1 by Guru Brujo
The disturbance traveled westward, spawning a tropical depression east of the Lesser Antilles on August 29.
The storm moved through the Caribbean Sea, and in an environment conducive to intensification, it quickly strengthened to its initial peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.
The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale, classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions, and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds.
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere.
Carmen moved ashore on the Yucatán Peninsula, where, despite striking a sparsely populated region, it caused significant crop damage and killed several people.
The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel.
Before the storm's arrival, officials had set up several evacuation centers, and many residents had moved to higher ground.
Upon entering the Gulf of Mexico, Carmen turned northward and re-intensified as it approached the United States.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.
The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent.
Initially threatening the major city of New Orleans, it veered westward and made landfall on the marshland of southern Louisiana, eventually dissipating over eastern Texas on September 10.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population.
Tropical cyclone watches and warnings had been issued for the storm, and approximately 100,000 residents left their homes and sought shelter.
Tropical cyclone warnings and watches are two levels of alert issued by national weather forecasting bodies to coastal areas threatened by the imminent approach of a tropical cyclone of tropical storm or hurricane intensity.
Throughout its course, the hurricane killed 8 people and caused $162 million in damage.
Due to the severity of the storm, the name Carmen was retired from the list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names.