1996 Atlantic hurricane season

From Academic Kids

The 1996 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1996, and lasted until November 30, 1996.

Notable storms of the season include Hurricane Cesar, which killed at least 51 people in northern South America and Central America. Hurricane Fran caused an estimated $3.2 billion in damage, primarily in North Carolina. Hurricane Hortense caused large amounts of flood damage to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before heading north and grazing Nova Scotia.

Template:Infobox Hurricane Season



Tropical Storm Arthur

Arthur formed as a tropical depression over Grand Bahama Island on June 17. The storm moved north and reached tropical storm strength, and made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina on June 20. Arthur turned to the east and back out into the Atlantic Ocean. It weakened to a tropical depression, became extratropical, and was absorbed by another system on the 23rd. Arthur was a minimal tropical storm, and no significant damage was reported.

Hurricane Bertha

Main Article: Hurricane Bertha

An early season Cape Verde-type hurricane, the tropical depression that became Bertha formed in the central Atlantic on July 5. Bertha travelled westward, and reached hurricane strength as it approached the Leeward Islands. Hurricane Bertha passed Antigua and Barbuda on July 8 as a Category 1 storm, then across many of the other Leeward Islands. Its track shifted more to the north, and Bertha passed far enough from Puerto Rico that only tropical storm force winds were recorded there.

As Bertha moved on, it passed just east of the Bahamas, and continued its slow turn. On July 12, Hurricane Bertha made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Bertha weakened to a tropical storm, and travelled up the east coast of the United States. Bertha finally moved into New Brunswick on July 14, and was declared extratropical. It was tracked to near Greenland.

There were many indirect deaths associated with Bertha, but few were caused directly by the storm. Damage to the United States and its possessions is estimated at $270 million. Estimates of damage in other affected areas are not available.

Hurricane Cesar

Main article: Hurricane Cesar

Hurricane Cesar formed off the coast of Venezuela, near Curaçao on July 25. It travelled west, and landfall occurred near Bluefields, Nicaragua on July 28, with Cesar at Category 1 strength. A weakened Cesar moved into the Pacific Ocean where it was renamed Hurricane Douglas. The previous hurricane to strike Nicaragua, 1988's Hurricane Joan, also made the transition to a Pacific hurricane.

There were 51 deaths caused by Cesar, 26 of which were in Costa Rica. Most deaths were due to flooding and mudslides caused by Cesar's heavy rainfall.

Hurricane Dolly

Dolly was named on August 19 in the western Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and Honduras. Dolly strengthened and was a minimal hurricane at landfall near Chetumal, Quintana Roo on August 20. Weakened to a tropical storm, Dolly continued out into the Bay of Campeche, and it regained hurricane strength before a second landfall near Tampico, Tamaulipas on August 23. The storm's remnants continued across Mexico before dissipating over the Pacific on the 25th.

Fourteen people were reported dead in Mexico, six of them drowning victims in Veracruz. Hundreds of homes were destroyed, and large areas of crop land were flooded. A monetary estimate of the damage is not available.

Hurricane Edouard

A tropical wave that moved off the African coast formed into a tropical depression 300 n mi southeast of Cape Verde on August 19. This depression moved west, and on August 22 strengthened into a tropical storm. The next day it was at hurricane strength. As Hurricane Edouard continued across the Atlantic, its winds increased to 145 mi/h, making it a Category 4 storm and the strongest of the season.

Hurricane Edouard's track took it well north of the Antilles, and on August 29, it began turning north. At this time, Edouard was observed to have three concentric eyewalls, an unusual occurrence. Now on a northward track, Edouard passed midway between Cape Hatteras and Bermuda on September 1.

The storm approached Nantucket, Massachusetts, but turned to the east before reaching land. Its closes approach was 75 n mi from the island. On September 3, the storm weakened and became extratropical. It was absorbed by a larger system on the 7th.

There are two deaths attributed to Edouard, both from high surf. Damage was largely limited to boats in southeastern Massachusetts.

Hurricane Fran

Main article: Hurricane Fran

A Cape Verde-type hurricane, Fran formed as a tropical depression southeast of Cape Verde on August 23. The depression moved west for several days before reaching tropical storm strength on the 27th while 900 n mi east of the lesser Antilles. Fran tracked north of the Antilles, and on September 4 was northeast of the Bahamas and moving north-northwest as a Category 3 hurricane. Fran made landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina on September 6 as a 115 mi/h storm.

Fran weakened and moved inland. Its remnants moved over the Great Lakes, and were absorbed by a front on September 10.

Hurricane Fran was responsible for 26 deaths, most from inland flooding. Property damage was estimated at $3.2 billion (1996 dollars).

Tropical Storm Gustav

Gustav was a weak tropical storm that formed near Cape Verde on August 29. It moved northwest, and dissipated on September 2. Gustav caused no damage and did not affect land.

Hurricane Hortense

Main article: Hurricane Hortense

Hortense reached tropical storm status on September 7 while east of the Lesser Antilles. It moved west over Guadeloupe, and once in the Caribbean Sea reached hurricane strength. Hortense turned northward, and crossed southwestern Puerto Rico near Guanica on September 10. Hortense then grazed the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, and headed north.

Hortense headed north, bringing hurricane force winds to the Turks and Caicos Islands. The storm continued strengthening, and briefly peaked at Category 4 strength. Its northward motion accelerated, and a weakened Hortense became extratropical near Newfoundland on September 15.

There were 21 people killed, and another 21 reported missing. Damage in Puerto Rico was estimated at $127 million. Property damage in the Dominican Republic was severe but isolated, and no dollar figure is available.

Hurricane Isidore

Isidore formed southwest of Cape Verde on September 25, and reached hurricane strength the next day. It continued strengthening, but on the 27th, Hurricane Isidore began turning to the north. By the 30th, Isidore was heading due north and had weakened to a tropical storm. It became extratropical northwest of the Azores on October 2. No damages were reported.

Tropical Storm Josephine

In late September, a front that moved over the Gulf of Mexico generated an area of rain which slowly developed a low pressure center in the western gulf. By October 4, the system had organized sufficiently to be classified as a tropical depression. The depression slowly moved north, then east, and strengthened enough to be designated Tropical Storm Josephine. Then in the central Gulf of Mexico, Josephine took a northeastward track, and made landfall on the shore of Apalachee Bay, Florida on October 7 at near-hurricane strength. As it moved overland into Georgia, Josephine became extratropical. The extratropical low travelled up the east coasts of the United States and Canada, and moved across the north Atlantic before being absorbed by another system near Iceland.

Tropical Storm Josephine was responsible for an estimated $130 million in damage. No direct deaths were attributed to Josephine.

Tropical Storm Kyle

Kyle was a minimal tropical storm that formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 11. It moved onshore near the border between Guatemala and Honduras as a weakening tropical depression. Tropical Storm Kyle caused no reported damage.

Hurricane Lili

Hurricane Lili was a strong stom that took a track to the northeast for most of its existence. The tropical depression that would become Lili formed off the east Coast of Nicaragua on October 14, and moved slowly to the northwest. On the 16th as it was north of Honduras, it reached tropical storm strength and was named Lili. A well-organized storm, Lili reached hurricane strength the next day.

Lili grazed the Isle of Youth on October 18, then hit Matanzas Province, Cuba eight hours later at Category 2 strength. The storm's path turned eastward, and Lili emerged over water twelve hours later on Cuba's northern coast. Lili maintained most of its strength during its trip over Cuba, and as the storm approached the Bahamas, it strengthened further. The center passed over San Salvador Island and Great Exuma on the 19th, before heading into the open ocean.

Over open water, Lili reached Category 3 strength, and continued its northeastward track. It continued across the Atlantic until it was finally declared extratropical 300 n mi north of the Azores on October 27. The extratropical storm retained tropical storm force winds and crossed Ireland and Great Britain on October 28.

The storm caused eight deaths in Central America from flooding during its formative stages. Two direct deaths were reported in the United Kingdom. No deaths were reported in Cuba. Damage in Central America, Cuba, and the Bahamas was reported as being extensive, but no numeric estimate is available.

Hurricane Marco

Marco formed in the southwestern Caribbean between Jamaica and Honduras. It achieved tropical storm status on November 19 while slowly moving south. It then turned to the east and strengthened into a minimal hurricane. It turned to the northeast, but on November 23 it weakened rapidly to a tropical depression while southeast of Jamaica. The depression moved west and restrengthened into a tropical storm, but a cold front caused it to dissipate on the 26th while south of western Cuba.

Although Hurricane Marco never made landfall, it was a large storm and caused heavy rainfall in Central American and Hispaniola. Flooding and mudslides caused by this rain were responsible for eight reported deaths. Property damage is unknown.

1996 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1996. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 2002 season. This is the same list used for the 1990 season except for Dolly and Kyle, which replaced Diana and Klaus. Storms were named Dolly and Kyle for the first time in 1996. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cesar
  • Dolly
  • Eduard
  • Fran
  • Gustav
  • Hortense
  • Isidore
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Lili
  • Marco
  • Nana (unused)
  • Omar (unused)
  • Paloma (unused)
  • Rene (unused)
  • Sally (unused)
  • Teddy (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)
  • Wilfred (unused)


The World Meteorological Organization retired three names in the spring of 1997: Cesar, Fran, and Hortense. They were replaced in the 2002 season by Cristobal, Fay, and Hanna.

See also

External link


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