1995 Atlantic hurricane season

From Academic Kids

The 1995 Atlantic Hurricane season was the second most active season on record, and the most active in sixty-two years. Nineteen named storms formed that year, second only to the twenty-one that formed in 1933. There were eleven hurricanes, again the second-most hurricanes in one season.

Template:Infobox Hurricane Season

Contents

Storms

Hurricane Allison

The 1995 hurricane season began with the Florida panhandle being a magnet for hurricanes. In 1994, Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm Beryl both made landfall in that area, and the pattern continued in 1995.

On June 3, Hurricane Allison hit St. Marks, Florida as a strong tropical storm with 70 mi/h winds.

Tropical Storm Barry

Barry became a named storm on July 7 off the coast of South Carolina. The tropical storm then headed north, making landfall on the eastern tip of Nova Scotia on July 9. No damage or fatalities were reported.

Tropical Storm Chantal

On July 14, a tropical depression unexpectedly reached tropical storm strength and was named Tropical Storm Chantal. Chantal never made landfall, becoming extratropical over the North Atlantic several hundred miles west of Ireland.

Tropical Storm Dean

Later in July, the depression that would become Tropical Storm Dean formed out of a trough in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Sixty miles off the coast of Texas, depression strengthened to tropical storm strength, and Dean made landfall near Freeport, Texas a few hours later. Dean caused significant flooding damage in Chambers County, Texas, but no injuries or deaths.

Hurricane Erin

After the slowdown in July, the season rebounded in early August with Hurricane Erin. Erin was a bit stronger than Allison with winds of 75 kt (category 1) at its first landfall near Vero Beach, Florida on August 1. Erin downed a number of power lines, but did not create tremendous damage. The storm would re-emerge over the Gulf the next day, and made landfall a second time on the third at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, with winds having strengthened to 85 kt (category 2).

Hurricane Felix

The 1995 season continued with Hurricane Felix, which was named on August 8. Felix is credited with delaying Bermuda's 1995 independence referendum when it passed within 65 nm of the island. Felix would later become extratropical, and was tracked headed toward Norway. Although it never made landfall, Felix caused a reported eight deaths due to drowning along the coasts of North Carolina and New Jersey

Tropical Storm Gabrielle

While Felix was approaching hurricane strength, a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico organized itself into Tropical Storm Gabrielle. Garbrielle strengthened rapidly, but had formed too close to land to reach hurricane strength. Landfall was near La Pesca, Mexico on August 11. No death reports were associated with Gabrielle, and damage was minimal.

Hurricane Humberto

Humberto formed from an African tropical wave on August 22 and became a strong category two hurricane. Humberto stayed in the open ocean and was absorbed by a low pressure system on September 1.

Hurricane Iris

Iris became a named storm on August 22, twelve hours after Humberto. Unlike Humberto, Iris would approach land, which meteorologists say was probably due to its interaction with Humberto. Iris weakened to tropical storm strength, and travelled up the chain of Leeward Islands. Damage reports were sparse, but four deaths were reported on Martinique due to mud slides.

On the 30th, Iris began a Fujiwhara interaction with Tropical Storm Karen, which it absorbed on September 3rd. The storm quickly became extratropical, and its motion accelerated. On September 7, Iris reached western Europe as an extratropical storm, with wind speeds still at 65 kt.

Tropical Storm Jerry

Tropical Storm Jerry formed just off the Florida coast on August 23, and made landfall later that day near Jupiter, Florida. After drifting across the Florida peninsula, Jerry emerged over the Gulf of Mexico, but quickly headed back inland. Six deaths are attributed to flooding caused by Jerry, and the total damage cost estimate was $26.5 million.

Tropical Storm Karen

Tropical Storm Karen formed on August 28, but was a minimal storm and never threatened land. Karen is only notable for its interaction with, and absorption by, Hurricane Iris.

Hurricane Luis

Main article: Hurricane Luis

A typical Cape Verde-type hurricane, Luis formed on August 29, becoming the fourth concurrent named storm in the Atlantic. Luis would intensify as it travelled across the Atlantic, and satellite estimates placed it at category four intensity on September 3. By September 5, Luis had reached the Leeward Islands, and the center passed directly over Barbuda. It would eventually head north and became a strong extratropical storm over Newfoundland.

Luis is reported to have killed 16 in the Leeward Islands, and 1 in Newfoundland. Damage was substantial, with upwards of half the structures reported damaged on many islands. Estimated damage cost is set at $2.5 billion. RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, en route to New York early in the morning of September 11, encountered a 29 metre (87 feet) freak wave generated by Hurricane Luis. Damage to the ship was minor, and no passengers or crew were injured.

Hurricane Marilyn

Main article: Hurricane Marilyn

Marilyn formed late in the UTC day on September 13, and reached hurricane strength at 0000 UTC on the 14th. Marilyn struck the Lesser Antilles on September 14 at category one strength, and intensified to nearly category three strength by the time it reached the U.S. Virgin Islands. A Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance flight at this point reported hail, which is unusual for tropical cyclones. After heading north past Bermuda, Marilyn weakened and became extratropical on September 22.

Marilyn is directly responsible for eight deaths, most due to drowning on boats or offshore. Ten thousand people were left homeless on the island of St. Thomas, and estimated damages were set at $1.5 billion.

Hurricane Noel

Noel reached hurricane strength on September 28 far away from land. Noel would never approach land, and was absorbed by a cold front on October 8.

Hurricane Opal

Main article: Hurricane Opal

The strongest storm of the season was Opal. The tropical wave that would become Hurricane Opal emerged from the west coast of Africa on September 11. The wave would stay disorganized, and did not begin strengthening until it neared the Yucatan peninsula, becoming a tropical depression on September 27 while 70 nm south-southeast of Cozumel.

The depression slowly moved over the Yucatan for the next several days, eventually emerging over the Bay of Campeche, where it was officially upgraded to tropical storm strength. It rapidly intensified and began moving north across the Gulf of Mexico. It reached category four hurricane status, with sustained winds of 130 knots, but weakened to a minimal category three hurricane by the time of landfall at Pensacola Beach, Florida on October 3.

Opal killed 59 people: 31 from flooding in Guatemala, 19 in Mexico also from flooding, and nine in the United States. One was killed in Florida by a tornado. The other eight were killed from falling trees in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. No deaths were reported from storm surge, which experts consider unusual due to the storm's strength and the location of landfall.

Opal caused $3 billion in damage, making it the ninth costliest hurricane without inflation adjustment, and $3.5 billion, making it the seventeenth cosliest when adjusted for inflation.

Tropical Storm Pablo

Tropical Storm Pablo was a Cape Verde-type tropical storm which was named on October 5, and did not affect land. The storm dissipated on October 8.

Hurricane Roxanne

Main article: Hurricane Roxanne

Roxanne would be next major hurricane, and the first to reach category three intensity in October since 1961. Roxanne formed from a tropical depression in the western Caribbean on October 9, and was initially expected to pose a threat to Cuba. However, it turned west and rapidly intensified to category three strength, and made landfall just north of Tulum, a small town near Cozumel, Mexico with sustained winds near 100 knots.

Roxanne emerged over water in the Bay of Campeche as a minimal hurricane, and then meandered in a small area of the bay for almost a week. It eventually weakened to a depression and moved inland into Mexico.

Roxanne resulted in 14 deaths, with five of them coming from the sinking of a petroleum-work barge with 245 people on board. There was massive damage in Mexico across numerous Mexican states. This area had been affected by Opal a week before and all damage could not be sorted out from Opal and Roxanne. Damage was estimated in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion.

Tropical Storm Sebastien

Tropical Storm Sebastian formed on October 21, and weakened to a tropical depression before approaching the U.S. Virgin Islands. No damage was reported.

Hurricane Tanya

The 1995 season ended with Hurricane Tanya. Tanya formed on October 27 with subtropical storm characteristics (such as a form shaped like a comma and its winds extending well out from the center). It became more developed on the 29th forming a small eye. Later that day, it became a hurricane. A cold front pushed the storm northward, and away from land. Tanya turned northeast, toward the Azores, but became extratropical as it neared the islands. Tanya was absorbed by a non-tropical low pressure system on November 3.

Why was the season so active?

The reason for the nineteen storms forming was that there was a strong La Niņa pattern. In La Niņa years, there are weaker upper level westerly winds. If those winds are strong, they blow the top off of the hurricane and throw the hurricane out of alignment, thus weakening the storm.

There were five major hurricanes for the season, and as many as five storms existed from August 22 to September 1 (Humberto, Iris, Jerry, Karen, and Luis). The last time this occurred was 1971. A total of seven storms formed in August, tying the 1933 record for most in the month. This record was broken in the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, when eight named storms formed during August.

The storms that developed in the Atlantic basin during August were Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Iris, Jerry, Karen, and Luis.

This season also went down to the "T" named storm. Since the NHC started naming hurricanes, a season has not gotten this far in the list before or since.

1995 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1995. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 2001 season. This is the same list used for the 1989 season except Humberto, which replaced Hugo. Storms were named Humberto, Luis, Marilyn, Noel, Opal, Pablo, Roxanne, Sebastien, and Tanya for the first time in 1995. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Allison
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dean
  • Erin
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Opal
  • Pablo
  • Roxanne
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van (unused)
  • Wendy (unused)

Retirement

The World Meteorological Organization retired four names in the spring of 1996: Luis, Marilyn, Opal, and Roxanne. They were replaced in the 2001 season by Lorenzo, Michelle, Olga, and Rebekah.

See also

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