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Hurricane Ike was a strong and destructive tropical cyclone that wrought enormous damage across the Caribbean and United States in September 2008. In most regions in the Caribbean, Ike remains the costliest Atlantic hurricane on record. Other locations, especially the U.S. state of Texas, were heavily impacted by the storm. Ike ultimately resulted in a damage total of $25 billion; the third costliest Atlantic hurricane in history.
|Category 4 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)|
|Formed||September 1, 2008|
|Dissipated||September 15, 2008|
|(Extratropical after September 14)|
1-minute sustained: 145 mph (230 km/h) |
|Lowest pressure||935 mbar (hPa); 27.61 inHg|
|Fatalities||103 direct, 92 indirect, 16 missing|
$37.5 billion (2008 USD)|
(Third costliest hurricane in United States history; costliest in Cuban history)
|Part of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season|
A Cape Verde-type hurricane, Ike initially formed out of a tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa. Moderate intensification ensued as it took on a track westward, achieving peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane over the open Atlantic. Ike fluctuated in intensity multiple times prior to making landfall in northeast Cuba as a major hurricane. After crossing the country and emerging over the Gulf of Mexico, Ike remained a hurricane, heavily weakened to land interaction. Nevertheless, Ike re-intensified to a strong Category 2 hurricane, later making landfall over Galveston, Texas at this intensity.
The ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and third major of the annual hurricane season, Ike is held responsible for well over $30 billion in damage and almost 200 deaths as it swept across the Atlantic. Ike was absolutely devastating for Haiti, of which 74 deaths were reported. Impeding the recovery efforts from three previous storms - Fay, Gustav, and Hanna, Ike became the fourth consecutive cyclone that year to impact the country. In addition, at least seven fatalities were reported as it swept across Cuba, making two separate landfalls on the island nation. Destruction was most severe in the United States, especially in the state of Texas.
The origins of this hurricane can be traced back to a low pressure area associated with a well-defined, vigorous tropical wave near Africa on August 28. Despite displaying signs of organization amidst a very favorable environment, the wave struggled to gain even intermittent convection. Moving generally westward, the wave gained sufficient enough organization and was officially classified as a tropical depression on September 1. Post analysis showed Ike attained tropical storm status three hours earlier than when the NHC first initiated advisories. Over the next several hours, Ike began producing curved rainbands around its center of circulation, but failed to centralize convection due to the presence of dry air entrained in the circulation. In addition, at the time, Ike remained situated in a location with only marginal sea surface temperatures (SSTs).
Hurricane Ike left devastating impacts throughout multiple nations across the Atlantic.