Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Hanna (2008)

Storm Active: August 28-September 6

During the last week of August a tropical wave moved off Africa. By August 28, it was strong enough to be called Tropical Depression Eight. The next day Eight was upgraded to Tropical Storm Hanna. The storm tracked west-north-westward until it was stopped by a front and it slowly drifted south-west into the Turks. Hanna couldn't strengthen because of the more powerful Hurricane Gustav's intake of moist air. Also, strong shear whipped in from the north. But soon, these effects lessened and by midday on September 1, Hanna had become a hurricane with 80 mph winds and a pressure of 983 millibars. Hanna was weakened by shear over the next day into a tropical storm but started to turn northwest and by September 5 was moving at 20 mph, approaching the coast of the Carolinas. Overnight it made landfall and weakened to 65 mph winds. Then, it accelerated past New England and sped off the coast into extratropical waters. Hanna caused 529 deaths in Haiti along with 8 in the U.S.

The above image shows Hanna at peak intensity on September 1.

Hanna's stall near Hispaniola caused a great deal of flooding and unfortunately numerous casualties in north Haiti.

Hurricane Gustav (2008)

Storm Active: August 25-September 2

On August 25, a wave in the south-east Caribbean became Tropical Depression Seven. A mere three hours later, the Depression became Tropical Storm Gustav. It continued to develop and became a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds shortly before make landfall in south-west Haiti. The system was strong, but the circulation was relatively tight, and hurricane force winds were not widespread. It quickly weakened to a tropical storm and turned west while the eye was still over land and emerged on the 27th. It only had 45 mph winds and was very weak as it hit Jamaica but still caused major flooding. Over the 85 degree waters of the north Caribbean it intensified into a hurricane within half a day. By noon on August 30, Gustav had become the second major hurricane of the season. It had 145 mph sustained winds in the eyewall and had doubled in size as it hit the Isle of Youth, Cuba. It made landfall in mainland Cuba with 150 mph winds and an internal pressure of 941 millibars. It weakened as it emerged into the Gulf, but probably will gain strength as it approaches Louisiana. Gustav picked up speed before landfall and hit south-east Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds at 11 o'clock Eastern Time, September 1. Even over land Gustav remained organized and convection continued to flare up around the center and it slowly weakened and moved north-west. It weakened to a low on September 4 and dissipated the next day. In total Gustav caused $20 billion in damage and 125 deaths, 25 of them being in the United States.

Gustav shortly after landfall.

Track of Gustav.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay (2008)

Storm Active: August 15-25

On August 7, a strong tropical wave moved off Africa. Over the next few days, it fluctuated in strength and on August 15, the tropical wave finally became Tropical Sotrm Fay with 40 mph winds and a pressure of 1006 mb. It made landfall in the Dominician Republic and then Cuba as it moved steadily west-north-west. Then,it turned north and hit the Florida Keys on August 18. Less then a day later Fay slammed into Florida with 60 mph winds and a pressure of 998 mb. Fay reached its peak intensity of 65 mph and a pressure of 986 mb over Florida on August 19. The next day, Fay emerged into the Atlantic Ocean with 45 mph winds. Fay strengthened back to 60 mph before drifting westward into Florida once again. Soon after it made it seventh and final landfall (a record fourth landfall in Florida) and continued north-east. Flooding was recorded from Fay up into New England over the next few days.

Fay at peak intensity over south-central Florida.

Track of Fay.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard (2008)

Storm Duration: August 3- 6

A tropical wave formed in the north Gulf of Mexico on August 2. It intensified the next day into Tropical Depression Five, a and shortly after, Tropical Storm Edouard. Tropical Storm Edouard currently has winds of 45 mph and a pressure of 1002 millibars as it drifts slowly west towards Texas. Over the next day, Edouard gained strength and by early August 5, it had 65 mph winds and a pressure of 997 millibars as it was making landfall. It made landfall soon after and weakened quickly. It was totally gone by August 6. No major damage resulted from this storm.

Tropical Storm Edouard approaching Texas.