Review of the previous hurricane season reports on hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical disturbances and related floods during 2016 Report from the United States of America



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WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION

___________________________________________

RA IV HURRICANE COMMITTEE


THIRTY-NINTH SESSION
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
23 TO 26 MARCH 2017




RA-IV/HC-39/Doc. 3.2(10)

8.III.2017

_______

ITEM: 3.2



Original: ENGLISH


REVIEW OF THE PREVIOUS HURRICANE SEASON

Reports on hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical disturbances

and related floods during 2016

Report from the United States of America

(Submitted by the USA)

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that impacted the United States in 2016.


Tropical Storm Bonnie
Bonnie, weakened to tropical depression status and made landfall around 1230 UTC May 29 on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. It then moved slowly over the coastal area of South Carolina and decayed to a remnant low on May 30. The low emerged over the Atlantic the next day, and by June 2 it had re-developed into a tropical depression about 45 mi southeast of Cape Lookout, North Carolina. After moving east-northeastward just off of the coast of North Carolina, Bonnie regained tropical storm strength over the Atlantic well east of Cape Hatteras on June 3.
One person drowned in surf produced by Bonnie at Carolina Beach, North Carolina. The storm caused minor property damage in the United States.
Tropical Storm Colin
Colin with 45-kt winds made landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida near Keaton Beach around 0200 UTC June 7, and then followed a motion across northern Florida and extreme southeastern Georgia into the Atlantic. Moving roughly parallel to the coasts of the Carolinas, the storm became a frontal low around 1200 UTC June 7.
Colin caused minor damage from tropical-storm-force winds, rains, and one tornado. There were no deaths directly associated with the storm. However, three people drowned along the Florida coast due to rip currents during Colin’s extratropical phase.
Hurricane Hermine
Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005. It became a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico on 31 August, and its maximum sustained winds increased to 70 kt before the center made landfall just east of St. Marks, Florida at 0530 UTC September 2. Hermine weakened quickly once it moved inland, and became a tropical storm shortly thereafter near the Florida-Georgia border.
As a tropical storm, Hermine moved northeastward just inland over coastal portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina during September 2 and early on September 3. The storm became a storm-force extratropical cyclone on September 3 while centered near Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. The extratropical cyclone moved generally eastward over the Atlantic Ocean away from the coast with little change in strength until early on September 5. The low then steadily weakened, and it turned northwestward and westward on 5 and 6 September, moving closer to the mid-Atlantic coast. The cyclone meandered offshore of New Jersey and Long Island on September 7 with its winds dropping below gale force. The weakened low then moved northeastward on September 8 and dissipated late that day near Chatham, Massachusetts.
Hermine brought hurricane conditions to portions of the Florida Big Bend area, as well as tropical storm conditions over other portions of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. As an extratropical cyclone, Hermine produced storm- and gale-force winds over portions of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. The cyclone caused two deaths, one in Florida as a tropical cyclone and one in North Carolina as an extratropical cyclone. A 56-year-old homeless man died in Ocala, Florida, in the early morning hours of 2 September when a tree fell on his tent behind a gas station and food mart. Several hours after Hermine became post-tropical, a 64-year-old man driving a tractor-trailer across the Alligator River Bridge on U.S. Highway 64 in eastern North Carolina during the morning of 3 September died when strong winds overturned his vehicle and smashed it against the bridge’s railing. Winds on the bridge around the time of the accident were measured as high as 60 kt sustained and gusting to 70 kt.
The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) estimates that wind and water damage from Hermine totaled around $550 million, with a 90% confidence interval of +/-$150 million. Damage assessments in Florida concluded that 1,600 homes and businesses in the state were destroyed or sustained major or minor damage, rendering them uninhabitable. Many of these structures were in Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, Dixie, and Levy Counties in Florida, with the damage primarily due to storm surge and high winds. Heavy rainfall and freshwater flooding also damaged or destroyed homes and businesses in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties. An additional 1,065 structures in Florida were affected but were not deemed uninhabitable. Strong winds downed many trees and power lines even well inland from the coast, leading to widespread power outages. According to a briefing given by Florida Governor Rick Scott on 2 September, more than 253,000 customers lost power in the state. About 65% of electric customers (75,000 total) lost power in the City of Tallahassee, in addition to 20,000 customers in the remainder of Leon County. The city’s electrical system experienced its most significant damage since Hurricane Kate in 1985, leaving many people without power for days. In Wakulla County, 91% of customers lost power due to the storm.

No major widespread structural damage occurred in Georgia, but Hermine’s winds produced millions of dollars in damage to pecan groves in the southern part of the state. The Georgia Farm Bureau reports that some pecan growers lost 30% to 80% of their crops. Many pecan trees were either blown down or broken, and about 30% of the nuts were blown from or shaken off the trees by the wind. Farther north, damage in South Carolina was not serious and was primarily limited to downed trees and powerlines. Damage was more significant on the Outer Banks of North Carolina due to the strong winds on the back side of Hermine when it became post-tropical and the resultant soundside storm surge flooding. An assessment for Dare County put the total damage at $5.4 million, with most occurring on the southern end of Hatteras Island in Hatteras village and the town of Frisco. Detailed information on Hermine can be found at:



http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL092016_Hermine.pdf

Tropical Storm Julia
A tropical depression made landfall near Jensen Beach, Florida, around 0600 UTC 13 September. Strong convection developed after landfall in the northeastern quadrant of the asymmetric cyclone, and the depression strengthened to a tropical storm 6 h after formation. Julia moved erratically north-northwestward, parallel to, but just inland of the east coast of Florida. A peak intensity of 50 mph occurred around 1800 UTC September 13, with the strong winds occurring near and offshore of the Florida coast. Early on September 14, Julia turned northward and northeastward and moved over southeastern Georgia. This was followed by an eastward motion that brought the center back over the Atlantic. The system meandered of off the southeastern U. S. coast for a couple of days before strong shear caused it to weaken to a depression on September 17. The cyclone decayed to a remnant low on September 19, with the remnants merging with a frontal system the next day. The frontal low dissipated over eastern North Carolina on September 21.
No casualties were reported in association with Julia. Minor damage was reported in northeastern Florida with a few trees down, and part of a roof of a home was torn off due to the Barefoot Bay tornado. Some flooding was mentioned in media reports in the Charleston, SC area.
Hurricane Matthew

After leaving the Bahamas, Matthew moved north-northwestward and northward, with the center moving close but just offshore of the coast of the northern Florida peninsula and Georgia. Weakening took place during this part of Matthew’s journey, and the hurricane was down to category 1 strength when it made landfall just south of McClellanville, South Carolina, in the Cape Romain Wildlife Sanctuary, around 1500 UTC October 8. After this final landfall, Matthew moved east-northeastward just offshore of the coast of North Carolina, and it was about 230 mi east of Cape Hatteras when it merged with a frontal system early on October 10. The extratropical low was absorbed by a larger extratropical low pressure system near Atlantic Canada the next day.


Matthew brought hurricane conditions to portions the southeastern coast of the United States causing $10 billion in damage making Matthew the tenth-most destructive U.S hurricane. The hurricane caused 33 direct death in the United States, most of them were due to drowning.
Hurricane Newton
Eastern North Pacific Hurricane Newton weakened quickly over the state of Sonora, Mexico. The cyclone degenerated into a remnant low by late that day near the United States-Mexico border and dissipated near the Arizona-New Mexico border early the next day. Flash flooding in southern Arizona affected U.S. Highway 92 in Cochise County and led to a swift -water rescue of two people and a dog in Hereford. Some roads in Tucson were barricaded near the Tanque Verde Wash.

Acknowledgements:

The cyclone summaries are based on Tropical Cyclone Reports prepared by the Specialists from the RSMC Miami Hurricane Specialist Unit. These reports are available on the Internet at www.nhc.noaa.gov

Table 1. 2016 Atlantic and eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones that affected the United States.




Name

Classa

Datesb

Winds

(kt)

Pressure

(mb)

Deathsc

Bonnie

TS

May 27 - June 4

40

1006

1

Colin

TS

June 5 - 7

45

1000




Hermine

H

August 28 – September 3

70

981

1

Julia

TS

September 13 -18

45

1007




Matthew

MH

September 28 – October 9

140

934

33

Newton

H

September 4 -7

80

979





a Tropical depression (TD), maximum sustained winds 33 kt or less; tropical storm (TS), winds 34-63 kt; hurricane (H), winds 64-95 kt; major hurricane (MH), winds 96 kt or higher.
b Dates begin at 0000 UTC and include all tropical and subtropical cyclone stages; non-tropical stages are excluded.
c Deaths in the USA during the tropical cyclone phase. Additional deaths may have occurred during other portions of the cyclone’s life cycle.




Figure 1. Tracks of Atlantic and eastern North Pacific tropical storms and hurricanes that affected the United States during the 2016 season.


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