1999 Atlantic hurricane season

From Academic Kids

The 1999 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1999, and lasted until November 30, 1999.

The 1999 season set a record by having five storms reach Category 4 strength. Hurricane Floyd was the deadliest United States hurricane since 1972, killing 57 people and causing billions in damage. Hurricane Lenny killed 17 as it tracked eastward across the Caribbean, the first hurricane known to do so for an extended time period.

Template:Infobox Hurricane Season



Tropical Storm Arlene

Arelene formed out of a previously non-tropical system on July 12 while several hundred miles southeast of Bermuda. The storm moved roughly northwest, coming within 100 n mi of Bermuda, but it turned north and away from the island. Arlene dissipated on the 18th. No damages are reported.

Hurricane Bret

A tropical depression that formed in the Bay of Campeche on August 18 reached tropical storm strength late on the 19th. Bert moved north, and strengthened into a 125-knot Category 4 hurricane on the 22nd. As it approached Texas, Bret turned to the northwest, and made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane at Padre Island on August 23. The storm continued inland and dissipated over northern Mexico on August 25.

Damage is estimated at $60 million, which is rather low for a hurricane of this intensity. Hurricane Bret made landfall in the sparsely populated Kenedy County, Texas, missing Brownsville, Texas to its south and Corpus Christi, Texas to its north.

Hurricane Cindy

Cindy became a named storm on August 20 while southwest of Cape Verde. Although it reached Category 4 strength, it never affected land. It merged with an extratropical cyclone about 850 n mi west of the Azores on August 31.

Hurricane Dennis

Dennis reached tropical storm strength on August 24 while about 190 n mi east of Grand Turk. The storm headed to the northwest, staying just off the eastern Bahamas. As it approached the United States, now-Hurricane Dennis began turning to the northeast. This continued until August 31, when Dennis came to a stop 110 n mi east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Dennis drifted for several days and took on some non-tropical characteristics. On September 4, Dennis began moving again, to the northwest. It made landfall near Harkers Island, North Carolina later that day as a strong tropical storm. Its remnants zig-zagged north to Lake Ontario, where it was absorbed by a larger low pressure system on the 9th. Dennis caused an estimated $157 million in damage, and generated high surf which is blamed for four deaths in Florida. Damage reports from the Bahamas are not available.

Tropical Storm Emily

Emily formed on August 24 from the same cluster of tropical waves that spawned Hurricane Cindy and Hurricane Dennis. The storm moved roughly north until the 28th when it was absorbed by Hurricane Cindy. Emily never directly affected land and there is no damage reported in association with it.

Hurricane Floyd

Main article: Hurricane Floyd

Hurricane Floyd was a large and powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that was first named on September 8 while about 750 n mi east of the Leeward Islands. Floyd slowly intensified and headed west-northwest, staying well north of the Lesser Antilles. On September 11, Floyd turned and began moving almost due west and began to strengthen. On the 13th, Floyd was a strong Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph, just short of reaching Category 5.

At this point, Hurricane Floyd was just east of the Bahamas. Floyd weakend slightly as it moved into the islands, striking Eleuthera Island and later making landfall on Abaco Island on the 14th while at the low end of the Category 4 range. Floyd turned north and paralleled the coast of Florida until making landfall near Cape Fear as a Category 2 storm. It returned to the ocean near Norfolk, Virginia and travelled up the coasts of the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey as a tropical storm. It passed over Long Island and into New England.

Floyd caused record rainfall across the east coast, with Wilmington, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania setting 24-hour rainfall records of 15.06 in. and 6.63 in. respectively. Portions of New England had rainfall totals nearing 11 in. Floyd generated 9-10 foot storm surges across North Carolina.

There are 57 deaths directly blamed on Floyd, 56 in the United States and one on Grand Bahama Island. Most of the deaths were due to freshwater flooding in North Carolina. Floyd was one of the costliest hurricanes on record, with an estimated $4.5 billion in damage.

Hurricane Gert

Gert formed from an African tropical wave several hundred miles west of Cape Verde on September 12. Gert's track arced across the Atlantic, and it became a strong Category 4 storm on the 16th. Gert threatened Bermuda as a weakening Category 2 storm, but turned away to the north-northeast. On the 23rd Gert became extratropical and merged with another low pressure system off the coast of Newfoundland.

Gert caused isolated instances of hurricane force winds on Bermuda, but damage there was limited to coastal erosion. No deaths are directly attributable to Gert, although two people drowned in Maine when a large wave swept them into the ocean. This wave may have been generated by Gert, which was over 1000 n mi away from Maine at the time.

Tropical Storm Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey formed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico about 300 n mi west-southwest of St. Petersburg, Florida on September 20. It strengthened slightly and made landfall at Everglades City, Florida on the 21st. After passing over Florida, Harvey merged with an extratropical cyclone over the northern Bahamas on September 22.

Harvey was responsible for no deaths, but did cause an estimated $15 million in damage.

Hurricane Irene

Irene became a named storm on October 13 while south of the Isle of Youth. It headed north and passed over the Isle of Youth and western Cuba on the 14th. While over the Straits of Florida, Irene reached hurricane strength. The next day, it made landfall at Key West, Florida, and again near Cape Sable, Florida. Half a day later, Irene moved back over water near Jupiter, Florida. It had maintained minimal hurricane strength during its trip across Florida, and began slowly strengthening as it moved up the coast. On the 18th, Irene began accelerating to the northeast, and was absorbed by an extratropical low near Newfoundland on the 19th.

Total damage in Florida is around $800 million. There were no direct deaths in the United States that are attributed to Irene. Damage in Cuba is not known.

Hurricane Jose

Jose formed on October 8 while 400 miles east of the Windward Islands. It moved northwest, and as a hurricane passed over Antigua, Saint-Barthélemy and St. Martin on the 20th and 21st. It weakened to a tropical storm as it approached the U.S. Virgin Islands and as it neared Puerto Rico, Jose turned to the north-northeast. Jose remained on a near-straight line track into the north Atlantic until it lost its tropical characteristics on October 25. It then merged with a non-tropical system.

Jose caused one death in Antigua and one in St. Martin. Extensive damage was reported in St. Martin from flooding and mud slides, but no dollar value is attached to this. Damage to the affected US areas was minimal.

Tropical Storm Katrina

Main article: Tropical Storm Katrina

Katrina was a tropical depression for most of its short life, which started on October 28 while east of Nicaragua. The storm was a minimal tropical storm for only six hours, and made landfall at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua at that strength on the 29th. The depression continnued through Nicaragua, over Honduras, passed back over water, and then into the Yucatan Peninsula, where it dissipated on November 1. No damage was reported.

Hurricane Lenny

Main article: Hurricane Lenny

Hurricane Lenny was a damaging late season hurricane first named on November 14 while in the western Caribbean Sea. Lenny tracked generally east over the Caribbean, and is the only storm recorded to have done so for an extended period of time. Lenny was a Category 4 hurricane when it approached the Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on the 17th. Its motion slowed and began weakening as it passed over the Leeward Islands, and Lenny made its final landfall in Antigua on the 19th. Lenny continued eastward on an erratic course into the Atlantic where it dissipated on November 23.

There are seventeen deaths directly attributed to Lenny, including two in Colombia. Damage to the islands was considerable, but no specific dollar value is attached to it. Damage to the US possessions is estimated at $330 million.

1999 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1999. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 2005 season. It is the same list used for the 1993 season. A storm was named Lenny for the first (and only) time in 1999. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Arlene
  • Bret
  • Cindy
  • Dennis
  • Emily
  • Floyd
  • Gert
  • Harvey
  • Irene
  • Jose
  • Katrina
  • Lenny
  • Maria (unused)
  • Nate (unused)
  • Ophelia (unused)
  • Philippe (unused)
  • Rita (unused)
  • Stan (unused)
  • Tammy (unused)
  • Vince (unused)
  • Wilma (unused)


The World Meteorological Organization retired two names in the spring of 2000: Floyd and Lenny. They were replaced in the 2005 season by Franklin and Lee.

See also

External link


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