1989 Atlantic hurricane season

From Academic Kids

The 1989 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1989, and lasted until November 30, 1989.

The most notable storm of 1989 was Hurricane Hugo, which tracked across the Lesser Antilles and into South Carolina. Hugo killed 49 and at $7 billion ($9.4 billion in 2000 dollars) in damage, was the most expensive Atlantic hurricane until Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Although Hugo was by far the most damaging storm of the season, other storms caused significant damage.

Tropical Storm Allison caused half a billion dollars (1989 dollars) in damage and killed eleven when it made landfall near Freeport, Texas. All significant damage was caused by severe inland flooding as it meandered across East Texas. Twelve years later a similar storm, also named Tropical Storm Allison, affected the same area, causing even greater damage.

Hurricane Chantal, the first hurricane of the season, was responsible for $100 million (1989 dollars) in damage when it made landfall at High Island, Texas. Thirteen people died, ten of which drowned when an offshore oil pipeline construction platform capsized near Morgan City, Louisiana.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category Wind speed Storm surge

5 >156
>18 (>5.5)
4 131–155
3 111–130
2 96–110
1 74–95

(edit) (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Template:Saffir-Simpson-US&action=edit)


Tropical Storm Allison

A tropical depression formed off the Mexican coast on June 24 from a tropical wave influenced by the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Cosme. It was upgraded to Tropical Storm Allison two days later and made landfall on the Texas coast near Freeport. Although it rapidly became extratropical over land, the remnants wandered over the southern USA for several days bringing heavy rains (up to 20 inches). The storm reached as far north as Indiana before heading south again and finally dissipating over Arkansas on July 7.

11 deaths by drowning were attributed to the rains associated with Allison, and flood damage in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi was estimated at $500 million in 1989 terms.

Tropical Storm Barry

Tropical Storm Barry formed midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles becoming a storm on July 11. It dissipated 2 days later without approaching land.

Hurricane Chantal

Chantal developed from an ITCZ disturbance first observed near Trinidad, but did not become a storm until north of Yucatan on July 31. It strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane before landfall at High Island, Texas on August 1. It dissipated in south-west Oklahoma.

13 deaths were reported, including 10 crew of the oil-rig construction vessel Avco 5 which capsized off Morgan City, Louisiana. Damage caused by wind and flooding was estimated at $100 million.

Hurricane Dean

Hurricane Dean developed as a tropical storm in mid-Atlantic August 1 and a hurricane the next day. Initially headed for the Leeward Islands it swung to the north, with the eye passing over Bermuda on August 6. It later passed over Nova Scotia and Newfoundland before losing its tropical characteristics.

Damage in Bermuda approached $10 million dollars, with 16 persons injured. No significant damage was reported from Canada.

Hurricane Erin

Erin became a storm August 19 500 miles west of Cape Verde. It headed generally northwards becoming a hurricane and then weakening before becoming extratropical on August 27. It did not approach land.

Hurricane Felix

Felix became a storm August 26 north of Cape Verde. It headed generally northwards with varying intensity, eventually becoming a hurricane on September 7. It became extratropical two days later without approaching land.

Hurricane Gabrielle

Gabrielle developed south of Felix and took a more westerly course. It became a storm by August 31 and a developed into a major hurricane reaching Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale by September 3. It continued northwards merging with a non-tropical storm off Newfoundland on September 13.

Although it never approached close to land, it generated swells up to 20 ft all the way from the Caribbean to Canada. These were responsible for eight deaths on the East Coast of the United States.

Hurricane Hugo

A devastating hurricane, at the time this was the costliest in US history, causing great damage in the Caribbean and South Carolina.

See main article: Hurricane Hugo

Tropical Storm Iris

Iris developed 400 miles east of Barbados from a tropical wave following the one which spawned Hugo. It reached storm strength on September 18 but was dominated by outflow from Hugo, tracked north of the Lesser Antilles and had dissipated north-east of the Turks Islands by September 22. It brought further heavy rains to regions already drenched by Hugo, but no further damage or casualties were reported.

Hurricane Jerry

Jerry developed from an African tropical wave, but no development occurred before it crossed Yucatan into the Bay of Campeche. There it became a tropical storm on October 13. It tracked generally northwards and reached hurricane strength on Galveston Island on October 15. The remnants were absorbed by a frontal trough over Arkansas.

Three people died when an automobile was blown off Galveston seawall and Texas State Highway 87 was washed away from High Island, Texas to the eastern portion of Sea Rim State Park. Total property damage was estimated at $35 million.

Tropical Storm Karen

Karen developed to a storm south of the Isle of Youth on November 30. It wandered southwest and had lost its circulation by December 4. The remnants passed over Nicaragua. Karen brought heavy rain to western Cuba causing damage to property and crops. No casualties were reported.

1989 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1989. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 1995 season. This is the same list used for the 1983 season except for Allison, which replaced Alicia. Storms were named Allison, Erin, Felix, Gabrielle, Hugo, Iris, Jerry, and Karen for the first time in 1989. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Allison
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dean
  • Erin
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Hugo
  • Iris
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Luis (unused)
  • Marilyn (unused)
  • Noel (unused)
  • Opal (unused)
  • Pablo (unused)
  • Roxanne (unused)
  • Sebastien (unused)
  • Tanya (unused)
  • Van (unused)
  • Wendy (unused)


The World Meteorological Organization retired one name in the spring of 1990: Hugo. It was replaced in 1995 by Humberto.

See also

External links


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