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2003 Atlantic hurricane season
First system formed April 20, 2003
Last system dissipated December 11, 2003
Strongest storm Isabel - 915 mbar, 165 mph (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 21
Total storms 16
Hurricanes 7
Major hurricanes 3
ACE index 175
Total fatalities 49 Direct, 38 Indirect
Total damage $6.18 Billion (2003 USD)
The 2003 Atlantic hurricane season was an above average season. This season featured a total of 21 tropical cyclones, 16 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The strongest storm and costliest storm was Category 5 Hurricane Isabel, a Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused $5.37 Billion (2003 USD) in damage.

Timeline

Storms

Tropical Storm Ana

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
111.1455.rgb143.jpg Ana 2003 track.png
Duration April 20 – April 24
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  994 mbar (hPa)

Ana was the first Atlantic tropical storm of record to form in April. It moved generally eastward across the central Atlantic.[1]

Tropical Depression Two

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Tropical Depression Two (2003).jpg 2-L 2003 track.png
Duration June 11 – June 11
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1008 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Bill

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Bill 2003.jpg Bill 2003 track.png
Duration June 29 – July 2
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)
Bill made landfall on the Louisiana coast just west of Cocodrie as a 50-kt tropical storm.[2]

Hurricane Claudette

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane claudette july 15 2003.jpg Claudette 2003 track.png
Duration July 8 – July 17
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  979 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Claudette made landfall in Texas as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and on the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a tropical storm. It maintained tropical storm status for more than 24 hours after landfall in Texas.[3]

Hurricane Danny

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane danny 2003.jpg Danny 2003 track.png
Duration July 16 – July 21
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Danny made a large looping path over the north central Atlantic Ocean, but did not directly affect land and was mainly a threat to shipping.[4]

Tropical Depression Six

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD Six 2003.jpg 6-L 2003 track.png
Duration July 19 – July 21
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1010 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression Seven

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD Seven 2003.jpg 7-L 2003 track.png
Duration July 25 – July 27
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1016 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Erika

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Erika Aug 16 2003 1655Z.jpg Erika 2003 track.png
Duration August 14 – August 17
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  986 mbar (hPa)

Erika made landfall in extreme northeastern Mexico shortly after reaching hurricane strength. The hurricane was responsible for two deaths[5]

Tropical Depression Nine

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD 9 22 aug 2003 1215Z.jpg 9-L 2003 track.png
Duration August 21 – August 22
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1007 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Fabian

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane fabian 2003.jpg Fabian 2003 track.png
Duration August 27 – September 8
Peak intensity 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  944 mbar (hPa)

Fabian was a long-lived, powerful Cape Verde hurricane that struck Bermuda with category three intensity. It caused extensive damage on that island, where it was reported to be the worst hurricane since 1926.[6]

Tropical Storm Grace

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Grace 30 August 2003.jpg Grace 2003 track.png
Duration August 30 – September 2
Peak intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1007 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Grace was a short-lived tropical cyclone that developed over the western Gulf of Mexico. Grace moved inland along the upper Texas coast and produced little damage[7]

Tropical Storm Henri

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Henri 05 sept 2003 1745Z.jpg Henri 2003 track.png
Duration September 3 – September 8
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)

Henri was a tropical storm with maximum 1-min surface winds of 50 kt in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. After weakening to a depression, it moved across central Florida, where it dumped up to ten inches of rainfall.[8]

Hurricane Isabel

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane isabel2 2003.jpg Isabel 2003 track.png
Duration September 6 – September 19
Peak intensity 165 mph (270 km/h) (1-min)  915 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Isabel was a long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that reached Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It made landfall near Drum Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. Isabel is considered to be one of the most significant tropical cyclones to affect portions of northeastern North Carolina and east-central Virginia since Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and the Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane of 1933.[9]

Tropical Depression Fourteen

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD 14 09 sept 2003 1445Z.jpg 14-L 2003 track.png
Duration September 8 – September 10
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1007 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Juan

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Juan 27 sept 2003 1725Z.jpg Juan 2003 track.png
Duration September 24 – September 29
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  969 mbar (hPa)
Juan made landfall near Halifax, Nova Scotia as a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, and will be recorded as one of the most damaging tropical cyclones in modern history for Halifax.[10]

Hurricane Kate

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane kate 2003.jpg Kate 2003 track.png
Duration September 25 – October 7
Peak intensity 125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  952 mbar (hPa)

Kate had a long, rather unusual track over the east-central Atlantic. It became a powerful hurricane at subtropical latitudes.[11]

Tropical Storm Larry

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Larry 05 oct 2003 1645Z.jpg Larry 2003 track.png
Duration October 1 – October 6
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  993 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Larry developed from a complex low pressure system over the Bay of Campeche. Larry moved inland over southeastern Mexico causing widespread floods which resulted in five deaths.[12]

Tropical Storm Mindy

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Mindy (2003) MODIS Peak.jpg Mindy 2003 track.png
Duration October 10 – October 14
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

Mindy was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 kt that produced heavy rain over portions of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.[13]

Tropical Storm Nicholas

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Nicholas 17 oct 2003 1345Z.jpg Nicholas 2003 track.png
Duration October 13 – October 23
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Nicholas was a long-lived tropical storm that remained over the Atlantic far from land.[14]

Tropical Storm Odette

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Odette 6 December 2003.jpg Odette 2003 track.png
Duration December 4 – December 7
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  993 mbar (hPa)

Odette was a rare December tropical storm that made landfall in the Dominican Republic and was responsible for eight deaths. It was the first December tropical storm on record to form in the Caribbean Sea.[15]

Tropical Storm Peter

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Peter Dec 9 2003 1535Z.jpg Peter 2003 track.png
Duration December 7 – December 11
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Peter became the 16th named tropical cyclone of the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. This is the first time since 1887 that two tropical storms have formed in December.[16]

Storm names

  • Ana
  • Bill
  • Claudette
  • Danny
  • Erika
  • Fabian
  • Grace
  • Henri
  • Isabel
  • Juan
  • Kate
  • Larry
  • Mindy
  • Nicholas
  • Odette
  • Peter
  • Rose (unused)
  • Sam (unused)
  • Teresa (unused)
  • Victor (unused)
  • Wanda (unused)

Retirement

In Spring 2004, it was announced the World Meteorological Organization had retired the names, Fabian, Isabel, and Juan for the damage and deaths caused by the storms. They were replaced with Fred, Ida, and Joaquin for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.

References

  1. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL012003_Ana.pdf
  2. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL032003_Bill.pdf
  3. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL042003_Claudette.pdf
  4. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL052003_Danny.pdf
  5. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL082003_Erika.pdf
  6. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL102003_Fabian.pdf
  7. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL112003_Grace.pdf
  8. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL122003_Henri.pdf
  9. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL132003_Isabel.pdf
  10. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL152003_Juan.pdf
  11. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL162003_Kate.pdf
  12. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL172003_Larry.pdf
  13. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL182003_Mindy.pdf
  14. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL192003_Nicholas.pdf
  15. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL202003_Odette.pdf
  16. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL212003_Peter.pdf

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