1995 Atlantic hurricane season

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1995 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
First system formed June 2, 1995
Last system dissipated November 3, 1995
Strongest storm1 Opal – 916 mbar (hPa) (27.05 inHg), 150 mph (240 km/h)
Total depressions 21
Total storms 19
Hurricanes 11
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 5
Total fatalities 167 direct, 19 indirect
Total damage ~ $10.2 billion (1995 USD)
1Strongest storm is determined by lowest pressure
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
Related article

The 1995 Atlantic hurricane season was a highly active year that produced twenty-one tropical cyclones, nineteen named storms, as well as eleven hurricanes and five major hurricanes.[nb 1] The season officially began on June 1, 1995, and ended on November 30, 1995, dates which conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones develop in the Atlantic basin. The first tropical cyclone, Hurricane Allison, developed on June 2, while the season's final storm, Hurricane Tanya, dissipated on November 3.

Totaling to $10.2 billion (1995 USD) in damage and over 100 deaths, there were four destructive and notable hurricanes during the season: Luis, Marilyn, Opal and Roxanne. Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn, caused catastrophic damages in the Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands, were also the first and worst hurricanes to affect the regions since Hurricane Hugo. Opal, the strongest and most intense storm of the season, caused significant damage along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Roxanne, a rare late-season major hurricane,[nb 2] caused significant damage when it made landfall in Quintana Roo. There were also some significant hurricanes such as Hurricane Erin, which caused substantial damage in Florida. Felix caused heavy beach erosion in the northeast United States, and produced strong waves that drowned eight and Hurricane Iris that, before Luis and Marilyn, caused some moderate flood damages in the Lesser Antilles.

At the time, only one Atlantic hurricane season, 1933 surpassed the season's total storms making the season the second most active in recorded history tying with 1887. It is now the third most active season alongside 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Seasonal activity[edit]

Hurricane Tanya (1995) Hurricane Roxanne Hurricane Opal Hurricane Marilyn Hurricane Luis Tropical Storm Jerry (1995) Hurricane Iris (1995) Hurricane Humberto (1995) Tropical Storm Gabrielle (1995) Hurricane Felix (1995) Hurricane Erin (1995) Tropical Storm Dean (1995) Hurrricane Allison (1995) Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
A satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean on August 24 including (from left to right) Tropical Storm Jerry, Hurricane Iris, Hurricane Humberto and two tropical waves that would ultimately become Karen and Hurricane Luis

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, and activity in 1995 began on the next day with the formation of Hurricane Allison on June 2. It was a well-above average season in which 21 tropical depressions formed. Nineteen of which tropical storm status, and 11 of these attained hurricane status. In addition, five tropical cyclones reached major hurricane status, which was well above the 1950–2005 average of two per season. Seven hurricane and five tropical storms made landfall, which caused a majority of the season's 158 deaths and $10.2 billion (1995 USD) in damage. Hurricane Felix also caused damage and fatalities, but never made landfall. The last storm of the season, Hurricane Tanya, became extratropical on November 1, over four weeks before the official end of the season on November 30.

Tropical cyclogenesis in the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season began with the development of Hurricane Allison on June 2. The month of July was very active, with four tropical cyclones forming. A total of seven storms formed in August — Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Iris, Jerry, Karen, and Luis — 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. Although September is the climatological peak of hurricane season,[3] it was much less active with August, with four tropical cyclones developing in that month, and Marilyn, Noel, and Opal eventually strengthened into a hurricane. Four tropical cyclones also formed in October; notably, Hurricane Roxanne developed in that month. The last storm of the season, Hurricane Tanya, developed later in October, and eventually became extratropical on November 1, nearly a month before the official end of the season on November 30.

The season's activity was reflected with a high accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) rating of 228.[4] ACE is, broadly speaking, a measure of the power of the hurricane multiplied by the length of time it existed, so storms that last a long time, as well as particularly strong hurricanes, have high ACEs. ACE is only calculated for full advisories on tropical systems at or exceeding 34 knots (39 mph, 63 km/h) or tropical storm strength.[5]


Hurricane Allison[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration June 2 – June 6
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  987 mbar (hPa)

Allison formed from a tropical depression that was detected southeast of Cuba on June 2, one of the earliest storm formations within a season on record. Continuing on its northwestern heading, Allison strengthened into a tropical storm on June 3, bringing steady rains and gusty winds to Cuba. Despite upper-level winds, the storm continued to strengthen and Allison became a hurricane on June 4. Hurricane Allison then weakened to a tropical storm before landfall 23 miles (37 km) east of Carrabelle, Florida on June 5; this made Allison the third-earliest storm to make U.S landfall. Allison moved inland and continued northeast, transitioning into an extratropical cyclone. The storm skirted the east coast, bringing gusty winds and heavy rains, before passing Nova Scotia as it turned northwestward and dissipating west of Greenland.[6]

Although Allison had weakened to a tropical storm before making landfall in Florida, it brought a storm surge of six to eight feet (1.8 to 2.4 m) and rainfall up to six inches (150 mm). At least 60 homes and businesses were damaged by the storm in Florida and several roadways were washed out. Four tornadoes touched down in the state, one of which was rated as an F1 on the Fujita scale. Total damages in the state amounted to $860,000 (1995 USD). In Georgia, several tornadoes touched down, and heavy rains triggered minor flooding, where damages in the state amounted to $800,000 (1995 USD).[7]

Tropical Storm Barry[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration July 6 – July 10
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

A frontal low situated between Bermuda and South Carolina developed into Tropical Depression Two late on July 6.[8] Strong wind shear initially prevented significant strengthening,[9] though by early on July 7, the depression became Tropical Storm Barry. A nearby trough enhanced convection and caused strengthening, with maximum sustained winds reaching 70 mph (110 km/h) later that day.[8] Later on July 8, Barry weakened slightly, falling to winds of 50 mph (85 km/h), an intensity it would retain until landfall.[8] An approaching mid-level trough accelerated the storm as it traveled roughly along the Gulf Stream.[10] Early on July 9, convection began to shift away from the storm's center. While moving rapidly northeastward, Barry made landfall in Hart Island, Nova Scotia late on July 9 with winds of 50 mph (85 km/h).[8]

It weakened slightly and made landfall on Cape Breton Island less than an hour later.[8] Cold water caused deep convection to diminish as it was making landfall, and the storm lost most remaining tropical characteristics as it tracked toward Newfoundland.[11] Barry was declared extratropical early on July 10 near the west coast of Newfoundland. As a fast-moving and weakening extratropical cyclone, the system remained distinct until it passed across the east coast of Labrador, when it dissipated.[8] Tropical storm force winds were recorded at Fourchu, Nova Scotia, where sustained winds of 48 mph (78 km/h) were reported, as well as wind gusts up to 62 mph (100 km/h) at Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Barry dropped significant rainfall, peaking at 4.33 inches (110 mm) in Nova Scotia, with lesser totals at several other locations.[12]

Tropical Storm Chantal[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration July 12 – July 20
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

Chantal originated from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on July 5. The wave developed a circulation and was declared a tropical depression on July 12. The depression quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Chantal. Initially, Chantal threatened the Bahamas, and the Government of the Bahamas issued a tropical storm watches and warnings, which were in effect for southeast and central islands as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands. However, Chantal re-curved to the north and did not directly affect the Bahamas. After the storm turned northward, it threatened Bermuda, which prompted a tropical storm watch for the island on July 16; it was cancelled on July 18 as the storm passed well northwest of the island.[13]

By early on July 17, Chantal nearly attained hurricane status, although it began to gradually weaken later that day. Chantal was declared extratropical on July 20 after it affected American shipping lines.[13] Although Chantal remained well offshore, the storm managed to drop heavy rainfall in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Precipitation in Newfoundland was limited to the southern half of the island, and rainfall peaked at 3 inches (76 mm) on the Burin Peninsula. Further west in Nova Scotia, heavier precipitation was reported, peaking at 4.84 inches (123 mm) near Barrington.[14]

Tropical Storm Dean[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration July 28 – August 2
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)

A stationary front in the Gulf of Mexico developed an upper-level circulation. By July 28, the system organized enough to be classified as Tropical Depression Four. Despite favorable conditions, the depression tracked westward without significantly intensifying. As the depression curved west-northwestward, it began to strengthen, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dean while located only 70 miles (110 km) from the Texas coastline on July 30. The system made landfall early on the July 31 near Freeport with an intensity of 45 mph (75 km/h) and a central pressure of 999 mbar (hPa; 29.5 inHg). Shortly thereafter, Dean weakened back to a tropical depression. The storm continued to slowly weaken as it moved northwestward, and dissipating on August 2 near the Texas/Oklahoma border.[15]

Storm surge caused minor coastal flooding, especially on Galveston Island.[16] Dean dropped mostly light rainfall across Texas, though some areas received more than 17 inches (430 mm).[17]

Precipitation from the storm caused moderate localized damage. The resulting floods caused the evacuation of 20 families in Chambers County[15] and flooded 38 houses in the southeastern portions of Texas.[16] Two tornadoes were also reported in the state, but neither caused significant damage.[18] In Oklahoma, heavy rainfall flooded more than 40 houses and left about 24 cars stranded. At least three highways suffered significant flooding, while other minor roads were closed for several days.[19] Outside of Oklahoma and Texas, the remnants of the storm dropped rainfall in 10 others states, though minimal damage occurred.[17] Despite the flooding, property damage estimates were only $500,000 (1995 USD)[18] and only one fatality occurred.[19]

Hurricane Erin[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration July 31 – August 6
Peak intensity 100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  973 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Erin (1995)

A tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa on July 22 and headed toward the Leeward Islands, where the system nearly developed into a tropical cyclone. By July 31, the system was classified as Tropical Storm Erin while just west of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Despite affects from wind shear, Erin continued to strengthen as it moved northwestward, and was upgraded to a hurricane later on July 31. Further intensification occurred, and Erin reached winds of 85 mph (137 km/h) before making landfall near Vero Beach, Florida on August 1. The storm emerged over the Gulf of Mexico after weakening back to a tropical storm, though it quickly re-strengthened into a hurricane. Shortly before making landfall near Pensacola Beach, Florida on August 3, Erin briefly intensified into a Category 2 hurricane. After moving inland, Erin slowly weakened as it tracked across the Southern United States and Midwestern United States. By August 6, Erin merged with a frontal system over West Virginia.[20]

Erin was the first hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.[21] In Jamaica, the outerbands of Erin produced heavy rainfall on the island, which caused a plane crash, killing five people; two other fatalities occurred when two people were struck by lightning. Although many islands in the Bahamas experience high winds and heavy rainfall, damage associated with Erin was fairly minor. Offshore of Florida, nine people drowned, three of which occurred after a cruise ship sunk. Over land, high winds produced by Erin damaged over 2,000 houses, most of which were in the Florida Panhandle. In addition, the storm left over one million people without electricity. Several tornadoes were spawned in the state, which also caused some damage. Over 100 houses were also damaged in Alabama.[20] Between 50 to 75 percent of the pecan crop in Baldwin County was lost. Similar damage also occurred in Mississippi, although to a lesser degree.[22] Elsewhere, some areas affected by Erin experienced heavy rainfall.[23] Overall, Erin caused 13 fatalities and $700 million (1995 USD) in damage.[20]

Tropical Depression Six[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration August 5 – August 7
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

The southern part of the tropical wave that spawned Tropical Storm Erin continued into the Caribbean Sea in late July. By August 4, the system had entered into the Bay of Campeche and developed into Tropical Depression Six on the next day. The depression moved slowly over Mexico and gradually intensified on that day and August 6. Satellite intensity estimated showed the depression was likely just below the threshold of tropical storm status. However, late on August 6, the depression made landfall in Cabo Rojo, Veracruz, Mexico, which prevented the depression from strengthening into a tropical storm. The depression slowly weakened inland and dissipated late on August 7.[24]

The depression and the precursor tropical wave dropped heavy rainfall in some areas of Mexico. Precipitation from the system that eventually became Tropical Depression Six peaked at 14.45 inches (367 mm) in Escuintla, Chiapas. However, rainfall from the depression itself peaked at 12 inches (300 mm) in Tlaxco, Puebla.[25] Some localized flooding may have occurred near the path of the depression. However, no damage or fatalities were reported.[24]

Hurricane Felix[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 8 – August 22
Peak intensity 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min)  929 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa on August 6, and quickly developed into Tropical Depression Seven on August 8. The season continued with Cape Verde-type Hurricane Felix, which was named on August 8. The depression moved west-northwestward due to a subtropical ridge, and strengthened into Tropical Storm Felix later that day. Further intensification was slow, with Felix reaching hurricane status on August 11. Due to warm sea surface temperatures and light wind shear, Felix began to rapidly strengthen as it was curving northwestward. Late on August 12, Felix peaked with winds of 140 mph (220 km/h), making it the first Category 4 hurricane since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Felix quickly weakened back to a Category 1 hurricane after an eyewall replacement cycle and an increase in wind shear.[26]

The storm posed a significant threat to Bermuda, and warranted a hurricane warning between August 14 and August 15. During the latter date, Felix passed only 75 miles (121 km) to the southwest of the island. As it tracked west-northwestward, preparations were occurring as Felix also posed a threat to the United States. However, the storm curved northward and then east-northeastward while remaining offshore. Felix briefly threatened Bermuda again, but weakened to a tropical storm and turned back to the northeast on August 20. It accelerated east-northeastward, and passed a short distance offshore of Newfoundland, where it transitioned into an extratropical storm on August 22.[26]

Large waves in Puerto Rico caused minor coastal flooding in Cataño.[27] On Bermuda, the storm produced near-hurricane force winds,[26] which downed trees and power lines, and left 20,000 people without power. Rough surf was also reported on Bermuda, which damaged a few boats and hotels.[28] In addition, the passage of Felix postponed Bermuda's 1995 independence referendum. In the United States, Felix generated large waves from northeast Florida to Maine.[26] In New York, two houses were washed away in The Hamptons,[27] while 20 to 30 houses in North Carolina experience minor damage from rough seas.[29] While passing southeast of Newfoundland, Felix produced moderate rainfall and large waves across the island, although damage was minimal.[30] Overall, Felix caused eight deaths due to drowning along the coasts of North Carolina and New Jersey, and $132,000 (1995 USD) in damage.[26]

Tropical Storm Gabrielle[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration August 9 – August 12
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa in late July 1995, and entered the Gulf of Mexico on August 8. On the following day, the system developed a weak low-level circulation, and was declared Tropical Depression Eight while in the western Gulf of Mexico. The depression quickly intensified into Tropical Storm Gabrielle on August 10. Gabrielle continued to rapidly strengthen as it tracked toward the coast of Mexico, and nearly became a hurricane late on August 11. However, Gabrielle made landfall near La Pesca, Tamaulipas, Mexico two hours later, which prevented further strengthening. Gabrielle rapidly weakened inland, and dissipated early on August 12.[31]

Gabrielle dropped heavy rainfall in Mexico, where some areas possibly experienced more than 24 inches (610 mm) of precipitation. However, according to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC), rainfall peaked at 19.44 inches (494 mm) in southern Tamaulipas.[31][32] Despite the large amounts of precipitation, it was considered beneficially due to drought conditions in some areas, especially in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.[31] However, in other nearby areas, the heavy rainfall flooded streets and destroyed roadways and bridges.[32] Further north, Gabrielle dropped light to moderate rainfall in Texas.[33] Gabrielle caused six fatalities in Mexico, though the damage figure is unknown.[31]

Hurricane Humberto[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 22 – September 1
Peak intensity 110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  968 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave formed over Africa in mid August 1995. By August 19, it crossed over Dakar, Senegal, shortly before entering into the Atlantic Ocean. The wave quickly organized once in the Atlantic and developed into Tropical Depression Nine on August 22.[34] Due to low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto six hours later.[35] It continued west-northwestward and then westward under the influence of a middle-level trough. Early on August 23, Humberto intensified into a hurricane.[34] By early on August 24 the storm developed a well-defined eye after becoming a Category 2 hurricane.[36]

After peaking as a strong Category 2 hurricane on August 24, Humberto began a fujiwhara interaction with Hurricane Iris.[34] This generated shear on Humberto, causing the storm to weaken back to a Category 1 hurricane on August 26.[37] Humberto continued to weaken until August 28, when it was barely a hurricane.[34] Operationally, Humberto was erroneously downgraded to a tropical storm on that same day.[38] Thereafter, the storm began restrengthening and reached a secondary peak slightly below the threshold for a Category 2 hurricane on August 30.[34] While tracking northeastward, Humberto began weakening and acquiring extratropical characteristics starting on the following day.[39] Later on August 31, Humberto weakened to a tropical storm. By 0600 UTC on September 1, the storm was absorbed by an extratropical low while west of the Azores.[34]

Hurricane Iris[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 22 – September 4
Peak intensity 110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  965 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Iris (1995)

A tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of Africa on August 16. It rapidly developed a closed circulation, though convection diminished a few days after the wave entered the Atlantic. However, convection began to re-develop and by 1200 UTC on August 22, the system developed into Tropical Depression Ten. Six hours later, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Iris. Thereafter, Iris continued to intensify and became a hurricane later on August 23. After reaching winds of 85 mph (140 km/h), the storm began to weaken during a Fujiwhara interaction with Hurricane Humberto, causing Iris to be downgraded to a tropical storm on August 24. Iris continued to steadily weaken as it approached the Lesser Antilles. After making a direct hit on Saint Lucia and Martinique on August 26, steering currents produced by a trough forced Iris north-northwestward; this caused it to brush Dominica and Guadeloupe and make landfall in Antigua and Barbuda on August 27. Around the time, Iris began restrengthening due to a decrease in wind shear and became a hurricane again on August 28.[40]

It is possible that the forward motion of the storm became slightly erratic after a Fujiwhara interaction began with Tropical Storm Karen. By September 1, Iris peaked as a 110 mph (175 km/h) Category 2 hurricane. After curving north-northeastward, Iris began to weaken after encountering increasing wind shear and decrease sea surface temperatures. Nonetheless, it was still able to absorb Tropical Depression Karen on September 3. By early on the following day, Iris weakened to a tropical storm, six hours before becoming extratropical, while centered southeast of Newfoundland.[40] While crossing through the Leeward Islands, Iris produced heavy rainfall. High waves in Trinidad caused coastal flooding and damage to boats.[41] In Martinique, significant amounts of precipitation led to flooding and landslides. Four fatalities were reported on that island,[40] two of which occurred after mudslides push a house off a cliff. Flooding was also reported in coastal areas, resulting in heavy damage in Le Vauclin.[42] On Guadeloupe, the only island to record tropical storm force winds, one fatality occurred after a person drowned in a flooded river. Rainfall in Antigua damaged banana trees and caused flooding in low-lying areas.[40]

Tropical Storm Jerry[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration August 22 – August 28
Peak intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave which emerged off of Africa began convective organization in the vicinity of the Bahamas. On August 23, the system was declared Tropical Depression Eleven while located between Florida and Andros Island. The depression strengthened as it headed north-northwestward, despite only marginally favorable conditions. On the following day, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Jerry, while located only 33 miles (53 km) offshore of Florida. At 1800 UTC on August 23, the storm made landfall later near Jupiter, Florida as a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). Jerry slowly weakened, and as downgraded to a tropical depression late on August 24. After drifting across the Florida, the cyclone briefly emerged over the Gulf of Mexico, but then headed northward and back inland. Jerry meandered over Georgia, and eventually dissipated on August 28.[43]

Jerry dropped heavy rainfall in Florida, especially in the southern portion of the state. Although the storm struck the east coast of the state, much of the damage in Florida occurred in Collier County. In that county, 340 houses were damaged and 12 others were destroyed due to flooding. Other nearby counties also reported flood damage, albeit less severe. Agricultural damage was also reported in southwest Florida. The storm also spawned two tornadoes in West Central Florida, though neither caused any damage.[43] Heavy rainfall also occurred in Georgia, with some areas experiencing over 12 inches (300 mm) of rain. However, no significant flood damage occurred due to dry conditions preceding the rainfall. The remnants of Jerry produced heavy precipitation in North and South Carolina. In both states, many roads were flooded and numerous buildings and houses were damaged, especially in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas. Overall, there eight fatalities and $40 million (1995 USD) in damage associated with Jerry.

Tropical Storm Karen[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration August 26 – September 3
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

On August 23, a tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa. Shortly after entering the Atlantic, the tropical wave developed into a low-pressure area. Over the next few days, the cloud pattern associated with the system fluctuated in organization and a tropical depression may have developed as early as August 24. Two days later, satellite imagery indicated a well-defined low-level cloud center. As a result, it is estimated that Tropical Depression Twelve developed at 1200 UTC on August 26. The depression slowly intensified as it tracked between 11 and 16 mph (18 and 26 km/h) west-northwestward under the influence of low- to mid-level flow.[44] Although sea surface temperatures were around 80 °F (27 °C), outflow from Hurricane Humberto may have slowed further strengthening of the depression.[45]

By August 27, the depression finally began to develop bands north of the center,[46] though overall, the deep convection remained disorganized; the circulation of the depression also became elongated.[47] Finally, by 0600 UTC on August 28, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Karen.[44] Early on the following day, Karen peaked as a 50 mph (85 km/h) tropical storm.[44] By August 31, Karen north-northwestward around the circulation of Hurricane Iris and thus, a Fujiwhara interaction began.[44] As the storm was approaching Iris, the National Hurricane Center began predicting on September 1 that Karen would merge with the former.[48] On the following day, Karen weakened to a tropical depression.[44] Early on September 3, Karen lost its well-defined center and merged with Iris at 0600 UTC, while centered near Bermuda.[44]

Hurricane Luis[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 27 – September 11
Peak intensity 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min)  935 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Luis

A westward moving tropical wave developed into Tropical Depression Thirteen at 1200 UTC on August 27. Initially, strong vertical shear caused the depression to minimally strengthen, though by early on August 29, it became Tropical Storm Luis. The storm continued to strengthen slowly until wind shear decreased on August 30, causing Luis to become a hurricane later that day. By September 1, Luis became the a major hurricane after it reached Category 3 intensity. Later that day, Luis was further upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane. Early on September 3, maximum sustained winds reached 140 mph (220 km/h), though the lowest pressure in relation to Luis was not recorded until September 8. After weakening slightly, Luis passed near Antigua and made landfall in Barbuda early on September 5, before brushing Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, and Anguilla. After remaining a major hurricane for a week, Luis weakened to a Category 2 hurricane while northeast of the Bahamas on September 8;[49] the weakening was possibly as a result of the storm crossing over decreasing ocean temperature due to upwelling from Hurricane Felix.[50][51] On September 10, Luis rapidly accelerated northeastward and weakened to a Category 1 hurricane. Luis made landfall on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland early on September 11.[49] While crossing the island, cold, dry air began impacting the storm, causing it to rapidly become extratropical and merge with a frontal zone shortly after reentering the Atlantic Ocean.[49][52]

Strong winds and high waves wreaked havoc on several islands in the Lesser Antilles. In Antigua and Barbuda, winds as reaching 121 mph (195 km/h) damaged numerous houses on Barbuda and destroyed nearly 45% of residences on Antigua. An estimated 1,700 people were forced to flee to shelters and about 3,200 others were left homeless. Within Antigua and Barbuda alone, three fatalities occurred, 165 people were injured, and damage totaled to $350 million. Strong winds in Guadeloupe caused moderate damage to homes and trees, especially in the Grande-Terre region. At Basse-Terre, nearly 100% of the banana crop was destroyed. Heavy rainfall in this portion of the island caused significant damage to roads. High waves also caused significant coastal flooding on the west coast of the island. About $50 million in damage was reported and one fatality occurred. The most significant effects occurred in the Netherlands Antilles, especially on Saint Martin – including both the French and Dutch side of the island. Nearly 70% of buildings were damage to some degree, while at least 3,200 of those were either severely damaged or destroyed. Additionally, severe disruption to utility services was reported, mostly with water, electricity, and telephone service. Nine deaths and $1.8 billion in damage was reported on the island.

In Dominica, storm surge left 1,000 people homeless and $47 million in property losses. Winds exceeding 100 mph (160 km/h) caused severe impact in eastern Puerto Rico, especially Culebra. The area was left without electricity and 350 houses were extensively damaged or destroyed. On the main island, effects were primarily limited to downed trees and power lines on highways and electrical outages at about 200,000 houses. Throughout Puerto Rico, damaged reached $200 million and there were two deaths. Similarly strong winds lashed the United States Virgin Islands. Saint Thomas suffered the worst, where 75%-80% of houses were severely damaged or destroyed. The island's hospital was flooded. Damage in the United States Virgin Islands was estimated at $300 million. Much lesser effects occurred in the British Virgin Islands. Several homes were deroofed, especially on Anegada and Virgin Gorda. There were a number of telephone and electrical outages after a number of poles were toppled. In the United States, storm surge and high tides were reported along the east coast, leading to two drowning deaths, one in North Carolina and the other in New York. In the former, eight homes were swept into the ocean and damaged reached $1.9 million. The storm also brought minor flooding to Newfoundland, with one death and $500,000 in damage.

Tropical Depression Fourteen[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration September 9 – September 13
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1008 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave which exited the coast of Africa on September 4 and tracked westward across the Atlantic. The system gradually organized and became a tropical depression on September 9.[53] However, the National Hurricane Center did not declare the system as Tropical Depression Fourteen until September 11, while the system was centered 950 miles (1,530 km) southeast of Bermuda.[54] Although the National Hurricane Center predicted that it would intensify into a tropical storm, it was also noted shortly after advisories were initiated, that "this might have been the only opportunity to name this depression".[55] The depression moved toward the northwest and encountered strong upper-level winds which removed the convection from the low-level center on September 13.[53]

Hurricane Marilyn[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 12 – September 22
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  949 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Marilyn

A tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa and entered into the Atlantic Ocean between September 7 and September 8. Although it had a large circulation, deep convection was minimal. After tracking steadily westward over the next few days, the system began developing convection. By 1800 UTC on September 12, the system became Tropical Depression Fifteen, while centered about 585 miles (941 km) east-southeast of Barbados. The depression strengthened and became Tropical Storm Marilyn six hours later. Early on September 14, Marilyn further intensified to a hurricane. Later that day, Marilyn made landfall near Jenny Point, Dominica with winds of 80 mph (130 km/h) at 2100 UTC. Shortly thereafter, Marilyn entered the Caribbean Sea. While approaching the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the storm became a Category 2 hurricane. After avoiding landfall at either of the previously mentioned locations, Marilyn re-entered into the Atlantic Ocean on September 16. The storm continued to intensify and early on September 17, it peaked as a minimal Category 3 hurricane. While curving northward, Marilyn fluctuated in intensity until beginning a weakening trend on September 20. The storm turned east-northeastward, and by the following day, it weakened to a tropical storm. By 0600 UTC on September 22, Marilyn became extratropical while about 315 miles (507 km) southeast of Sable Island. The remnants of Marilyn lasted until merging with a cold front on October 1.[56]

Throughout the Lesser Antilles, the storm produced high winds and heavy rainfall.[56] After Hurricane Luis destroyed 90% of Dominica's banana crop, Marilyn ruined the remaining 10%. In addition, a roof was torn off an emergency shelter.[57] On Martinique, moderate rainfall and tropical storm force winds were recorded, though no damage or fatalities occurred. Effects in Guadeloupe were similar, but more intense. 20 inches (510 mm) of rain fell at Saint-Claude, which was the highest precipitation total associated with Marilyn. Wind speeds measured on Guadeloupe were also tropical storm force. Similar but lesser winds and rain occurred in Saint Barthélemy and Sint Maarten. However, the United States possessions, were, by far, suffered the most damage. Strong winds damaged or destroyed at least 80% of buildings on St. Thomas, which left 10,000 people homeless.[56] Storm surge in the Charlotte Amalie harbor beached the USCGC Point Ledge and damaged many smaller boats.[58] Moderate to severe damage was also reported on St. Croix and St. John,[56] where 20-30% of houses were damaged.[59] On Culebra, an offshore island of Puerto Rico, wind gusts as high as 125 mph (201 km/h) were reported.[56] As a result, light planes were overturned and 250 homes were either damaged or destroyed. Large waves also caused street flooding on the island. Flash floods on the main island of Puerto Rico sent rivers above their banks.[59] Moderate winds and rainfall on Antigua caused extensive damage to banana crops. While the storm bypassed Bermuda, tropical storm force winds were reported, but no damage occurred.[56] Overall, Marilyn caused 16 fatalities and $2.3 billion (1995 USD) in damage.

Hurricane Noel[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 26 – October 7
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  987 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave exited Africa on September 22, and within three days began to develop organized convection. After a low-level circulation formed, the system developed into Tropical Depression Sixteen late on September 26.[60] Despite the presence of wind shear, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Noel on September 27.[61] Moving northwestward, it gradually intensified to hurricane status by September 28, with peak winds of 75 mph (120 km/h). After remaining a hurricane for 42 hours, during which it turned to the northeast, Noel weakened to tropical storm strength due to increased wind shear.[60][62]

Although forecast to weaken to a tropical depression,[63] Noel maintained minimal tropical storm force as it curved to the northwest. Following a decrease in shear, Noel regained hurricane status on October 5 about 950 miles (1,530 km) west-southwest of the Azores. It turned to the east,[60] and the return of unfavorable conditions caused weakening back to tropical storm status by October 6.[64] A day later, Noel weakened below tropical storm force as it transitioned to an extratropical cyclone. The remnants lasted until late on October 7 until they were absorbed by a cold front. The hurricane never affected land.[60]

Hurricane Opal[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 27 – October 5
Peak intensity 150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  916 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Opal

Hurricane Opal was the strongest storm of the season, and the first to receive an 'O' name since Atlantic hurricane naming began in 1950. The tropical wave that would become 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 Yucatán Peninsula, becoming a tropical depression on September 27 while 80 miles (130 km) south-southeast of Cozumel. The depression slowly moved over the Yucatán 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. Opal reached Category 4 hurricane status, with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h), but weakened to a minimal Category 3 hurricane by the time of landfall at Pensacola Beach, Florida on October 4.[65]

Opal killed 59 people: 31 from flooding in Guatemala, 19 in Mexico from flooding, and 9 in the United States. The United States deaths include one in Florida by a tornado, and the other eight from falling trees in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. No deaths were reported from storm surge, which is unusual due to the storm's strength and the location of landfall. Opal caused $3 billion ($6 billion in 2008 USD) in damage, making it the eighteenth costliest U.S. hurricane when adjusted for inflation, as of the completion of the 2004 hurricane season.[65][66]

Tropical Storm Pablo[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration October 4 – October 8
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  994 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave crossed the west coast of Africa and entered into the Atlantic Ocean on October 3. It quickly acquired a low-level circulation and by the following day, it developed into Tropical Depression Eighteen. Under the influence of deep easterlies, the storm would track west-northwest and westward across the southern portions of the Atlantic Ocean.[67] The National Hurricane Center initiated advisories early on October 5 and correctly predicted when the depression would become Tropical Storm Pablo, which was at 1200 UTC on that same day.[67][68] After becoming a tropical storm, Pablo developed well-defined outflow and the possibility of it strengthening into a hurricane seemed likely.[69] Although strong upper-level westerlies were ahead of the storm, it was still predicted that Pablo would reach hurricane status.[70][71]

By 1200 UTC on October 6, Pablo peaked as a 60 mph (95 km/h) tropical storm.[67] However, shortly thereafter, strong vertical shear then diminished much of the deep convection associated with the storm.[72] Early on October 7, Pablo managed to re-develop some deep convection, though it did not restrengthen.[73] Later that day, the National Hurricane Center noted that, "it is impossible to locate a low level circulation on infrared imagery".[74] By 1200 UTC on October 8, Pablo weakened to a tropical depression. Six hours later, Pablo dissipated while approaching the Windward Islands.[67]

Hurricane Roxanne[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration October 7 – October 21
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  956 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Roxanne

A tropical wave merged with an broad low pressure area and an upper trough near Honduras. The system quickly organized into Tropical Depression Nineteen on October 7. The depression brushed Central America before curving northward, where it strengthened into Tropical Storm Roxanne on October 9. Roxanne posed a threat to Cuba and the Cayman Islands, which briefly prompted the issuance of a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch. However, a high pressure system forced Roxanne to tracked generally westward, which prevented it from significantly affecting the aforementioned islands. After becoming a hurricane on October 10, Roxanne began to rapidly strengthen. Later that day, the storm peaked as a minimal Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h).[75]

By 0200 UTC on October 11, Roxanne made landfall just north of Tulum, Quintana Roo on the Yucatán Peninsula with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). The storm significantly weakened inland, and emerged into the Bay of Campeche as a tropical storm. Several short wave troughs and ridges caused Roxanne to track aimlessly through the southern Gulf of Mexico. By October 14, it re-strengthened into a hurricane. After nearing making another landfall in the Yucatán Peninsula while heading southeastward, Roxanne weakened to a tropical storm on October 17 as it doubled back to the northwest. A cold front forced Roxanne westward on October 19, while it had weakened to a tropical depression. It curved abruptly southward, and dissipated just offshore of Veracruz on October 21.[75]

In the Gulf of Mexico, a petroleum work barge with 245 people on board capsized, causing five people to drown. Due to its erratic movement, Roxanne dropped heavy rainfall in many areas of southern Mexico, and some areas reported over 25 inches (640 mm) of precipitation.[76] Extensive flooding occurred as a result, which destroyed crops, washed out roads, and damaged at least 40,000 homes. In addition, significant coastal flooding also occurred, as storm surge for nearly a week caused water to travel inland for hundreds of yards. High winds also occurred over the Yucatán Peninsula, with one station reporting hurricane force winds on October 11. Unconfirmed reports also indicated that many hotel lobbies in Cancun and Cozumel were damaged from pounding waves. Overall, Roxanne caused $1.5 billion (1995 USD) in damage and 29 fatalities. However, not all damage could be distinguished from Hurricane Opal.[75]

Tropical Storm Sebastien[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration October 20 – October 25
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  1001 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa on October 13 and moved across the Atlantic. On October 20, it was declared a depression after shower activity increased. Twelve hours after forming, the depression became Tropical Storm Sebastien.[77] It organized and developed good outflow.[78] Although wind shear was expected to limit intensification,[79] the storm instead intensified to a peak of 65 mph (100 km/h) late on October 22, based on a ship report.[77] Operationally, it was originally believed to be weaker.[80] At the time, most of the convection was sheared away from the center, and the storm was interacting with a low pressure area near Puerto Rico.[77] The storm was located to the northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, although it turned to the southwest along the low-level flow and into an area of increasing shear. On October 24, Sebastien weakened into a tropical depression, at which intensity it made landfall on Anguilla. The next day, the system dissipated near the U.S. Virgin Islands, although the remnants continued westward.[77]

As it turned towards the Caribbean, the NHC issued a tropical storm watch for the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.[77] Other islands were on alert as the NHC stated that the watch area may need to be expanded.[81] Still recovering from Hurricane Marilyn less than a month ago, residents living in damaged homes reportedly evacuated their homes.[82] However, the watch was discontinued 24 hours later after the storm weakened to a tropical depression.[77] The remnants of Sebastien produced moderate rainfall across parts of Puerto Rico, peaking at 3.53 in (90 mm) in Quebradillas.[83] There was no damage in the Leeward Islands.[77]

Hurricane Tanya[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration October 27 – November 3
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  972 mbar (hPa)

In mid October 1995, a tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa. Initially, the system remained almost unidentifiable, though by October 24, it merged with an area of convection. By early on October 27, it developed a low-level circulation and was then classified as Tropical Depression Twenty-One. The depression strengthened slightly and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Tanya later that day. Tanya initially tracked northeastward in response to shortwave trough, though an upper cyclone soon turned the storm toward eastward.

In the Azores, Tanya tore roofs off houses and downed trees, and light posts flew through houses and buildings. Only one death (by drowning) was reported, as well as several injuries. The islands of Faial, Pico, Terceira and São Jorge were hardest hit, where the storm sank numerous boats and knocked down tree and power lines, which severely disrupted electricity and telecommunications. Additionally, several houses were damaged and moderate crop losses were reported. One fatality occurred when a Spanish fisherman drowned; several people were also injured.

Storm names[edit]

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1995.[84] The names not retired from this list were used again in the 2001 season.[85] This is the same list used for the 1989 season except Humberto,[84] 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. The names Van and Wendy were the only two names which were not used during 1995.


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. The name Michelle, however, was retired after 2001 and replaced with Melissa for the 2007 season. The 1995 season was tied with the 1955 season and 2004 season for the most storm names retired after a single season until the 2005 season, when five names were retired.

Season effects[edit]

This is a table of all of the storms that formed in the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s) – denoted by bold location names – damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but are still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical or a wave or low, and all of the damage figures are in 1995 USD.

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
1995 North Atlantic tropical cyclone statistics
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
mph (km/h)
Areas affected Damage
(millions USD)

Allison June 2 – June 10 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 987 Cuba, Southeastern United States (Florida), East Coast of the United States 1.7 1
Barry July 6 – July 10 Tropical storm 70 (110) 989 Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia) Unknown 0
Chantal July 12 – July 22 Tropical storm 70 (110) 991 Atlantic Canada none 0
Dean July 28 – August 3 Tropical storm 45 (75) 999 Gulf Coast of the United States (Texas), Great Plains, Midwestern United States .500 14
Erin July 31 – August 6 Category 2 hurricane 100 (165) 974 Southeastern United States (Florida), Midwestern United States, Mid-Atlantic states, New England 700 6 (7)
Six August 5 – August 7 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1002 Mexico (Veracruz) none 0
Felix August 8 – August 22 Category 4 hurricane 140 (220) 929 Puerto Rico, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada .132 8
Gabrielle August 9 – August 12 Tropical storm 70 (110) 988 Mexico (Tamaulipas) unknown 6
Humberto August 21 – September 1 Category 2 hurricane 110 (175) 968 none none 0
Iris August 22 – September 4 Category 2 hurricane 110 (175) 965 Lesser Antilles (Antigua, Montserrat, Barbuda) unknown 5
Jerry August 22 – August 28 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1002 Southeastern United States (Florida) 40 6 (2)
Karen August 26 – September 3 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 none none 0
Luis August 27 – September 11 Category 4 hurricane 140 (220) 935 Leeward Islands (Barbuda), Puerto Rico, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland) 3000 19
Fourteen September 9 – September 13 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1008 none none 0
Marilyn September 12 – September 22 Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 949 Lesser Antilles (Dominica), Virgin Islands (Saint Croix), Bermuda 2500 13
Noel September 26 – October 7 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 987 none none 0
Opal September 27 – October 5 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 916 Guatemala, Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula), Gulf Coast of the United States (Florida), Midwestern United States, Mid-Atlantic states, New England 3900 59 (10)
Pablo October 4 – October 8 Tropical storm 60 (95) 994 none none 0
Roxanne October 7 – October 21 Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 956 Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) 1500 29
Sebastien October 20 – October 25 Tropical storm 65 (100) 1001 Lesser Antilles (Anguilla), Puerto Rico none 0
Tanya October 26 – November 1 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 972 Azores unknown 1
Season Aggregates
21 cyclones June 2 – November 1   150 (240) 916 11642 167 (19)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ An average season, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has twelve tropical storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.[1]
  2. ^ A major hurricane is a storm that ranks as Category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.[2]


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  4. ^ Hurricane Research Division (March 2011). "Atlantic basin Comparison of Original and Revised HURDAT". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  5. ^ David Levinson (2008-08-20). "2005 Atlantic Ocean Tropical Cyclones". National Climatic Data Center. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]