2002 Atlantic hurricane season

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2002 Atlantic hurricane season
2002 Atlantic hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedJuly 14, 2002
Last system dissipatedOctober 16, 2002
Strongest storm
Name Isidore [nb 1]
  Maximum winds125 mph (205 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
  Lowest pressure934 mbar (hPa; 27.58 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions14
Total storms12
Hurricanes4
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
2
Total fatalities50 total
Total damage$2.47 billion (2002 USD)
Related articles
Atlantic hurricane seasons
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

The 2002 Atlantic hurricane season was a near-average Atlantic hurricane season. It officially started on June 1, 2002 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally limit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones develop in the Atlantic Ocean. The season produced fourteen tropical cyclones, of which twelve developed into named storms; four became hurricanes, and two attained major hurricane status. While the season's first cyclone did not develop until July 14, activity quickly picked up: eight storms developed in the month of September. It ended early however, with no tropical storms forming after October 6—a rare occurrence caused partly by El Niño conditions. The most intense hurricane of the season was Hurricane Isidore with a minimum central pressure of 934 mbar, although Hurricane Lili attained higher winds and peaked at Category 4 whereas Isidore only reached Category 3.

Contents

The season was less destructive than normal, causing an estimated $2.47 billion (2002 USD) in property damage and 50 fatalities. Most destruction was due to Isidore, which caused about $1.28 billion (2002 USD) in damage and killed seven people in the Yucatán Peninsula and later the United States, and Hurricane Lili, which caused $1.16 billion (2002 USD) in damage and 15 deaths as it crossed the Caribbean Sea and eventually made landfall in Louisiana.

Seasonal forecasts

Predictions of tropical activity in the 2002 season
SourceDateNamed
storms
HurricanesMajor
hurricanes
CSU Average (1950–2000) [1] 9.65.92.3
NOAA Average (1950–2005) [2] 11.06.22.7
Record high activity 30 15 7
Record low activity 4 2 0

CSUDecember 7, 2001 [1] 1384
CSUApril 5, 2002 [3] 1273
NOAAMay 20, 2002 [4] 9–136–82–3
CSUAugust 7, 2002 [5] 941
NOAAAugust 8, 2002 [6] 7–104–61–3
CSUSeptember 3, 2002 [7] 831

Actual activity1242

Noted hurricane expert William M. Gray and his associates at Colorado State University issue forecasts of hurricane activity each year, separately from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Gray's team determined the average number of storms per season between 1950 and 2000 to be 9.6 tropical storms, 5.9 hurricanes, and 2.3 major hurricanes (storms exceeding Category 3). A normal season, as defined by NOAA, has 9 to 12 named storms, of which 5 to 7 reach hurricane strength and 1 to 3 become major hurricanes. [1] [2]

Pre-season forecasts

On December 7, 2001, Gray's team issued its first extended-range forecast for the 2002 season, predicting above-average activity (13 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and about 2 of Category 3 or higher). It listed an 86 percent chance of at least one major hurricane striking the U.S. mainland. This included a 58 percent chance of at least one major hurricane strike on the East Coast, including the Florida peninsula, and a 43 percent chance of at least one such strike on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward. The potential for major hurricane activity in the Caribbean was forecast to be above average. [1]

On April 5 a new forecast was issued, calling for 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes. The decrease in the forecast was attributed to the further intensification of El Niño conditions. The estimated potential for at least one major hurricane to affect the U.S. was decreased to 75 percent; the East Coast potential decreased slightly to 57 percent, and from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas, the probability remained the same. [3]

Mid-season forecasts

On August 7, 2002, Gray's team lowered its season estimate to 9 named storms, with 4 becoming hurricanes and 1 becoming a major hurricane, noting that conditions had become less favorable for storms than they had been earlier in the year. The sea-level pressure and trade wind strength in the tropical Atlantic were reported to be above normal, while sea surface temperature anomalies were on a decreasing trend. [5]

On August 8, 2002, NOAA revised its season estimate to 7–10 named storms, with 4–6 becoming hurricanes and 1–3 becoming major hurricanes. The reduction was attributed to less favorable environmental conditions and building El Niño conditions. [6]

Seasonal summary

Hurricane LiliHurricane Kyle (2002)Hurricane IsidoreTropical Storm Hanna (2002)Hurricane Gustav (2002)Tropical Storm Fay (2002)Tropical Storm Edouard (2002)Tropical Storm Cristobal (2002)Tropical Storm Bertha (2002)Tropical Storm Arthur (2002)Saffir–Simpson scale2002 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Lili over the Gulf of Mexico on October 2, as seen by the International Space Station Hurricane Lili over the Gulf of Mexico from the ISS.jpg
Hurricane Lili over the Gulf of Mexico on October 2, as seen by the International Space Station

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 2002. [8] It was a near-average season in which 14 tropical cyclones formed. Twelve depressions attained tropical storm status, and four of these reached hurricane status. Two hurricanes further intensified into major hurricanes. [9] Activity was suppressed somewhat by an El Niño, which was of near-moderate intensity by August. [6] Four named storms made landfall in Louisiana, a record which was later tied in 2020. [10] Overall, the Atlantic tropical cyclones of 2002 collectively resulted in 50 deaths and around $2.47 billion in damage. [11] The season ended on November 30, 2002. [8]

Tropical cyclogenesis began with Tropical Storm Arthur, which formed just offshore North Carolina on July 14. Following the storm's extratropical transition on July 16, no further activity occurred until Tropical Storm Bertha developed near Louisiana on August 4. Cristobal formed on the next day, while Dolly developed on August 29. [9] September featured eight named storms, a record which was later tied in 2007 and 2010 and surpassed in 2020. [12] During that month, Gustav reached hurricane intensity on September 11, the latest date of the first hurricane in a season since 1941. [13] While the long-lasting Kyle and Lili persisted into October, only one tropical cyclone developed that month, Tropical Depression Fourteen on October 14. The depression was absorbed by a cold front while crossing Cuba two days later, ending seasonal activity. [9]

The season's activity was reflected with a low accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) rating of 67, the lowest total since 1997. 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. It is only calculated for full advisories on tropical systems at or exceeding 39 mph (63 km/h), which is the threshold for tropical storm status. [14]

Systems

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Arthur Jul 15 2002 1545Z.jpg   Arthur 2002 track.png
DurationJuly 14 – July 16
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

Arthur formed out of a tropical depression off the coast of North Carolina on July 14 from a decaying frontal zone. It then moved out to sea, strengthening slightly into a tropical storm on July 15. Arthur gradually strengthened and peaked as a 60 mph (97 km/h) tropical storm on the following day. However, cooler waters and upper-level shear caused it to weaken. By July 17, Arthur had become extratropical, and moved north over Newfoundland. It proceeded to weaken below gale strength. [15] The precursor system produced up to 4.49 in (114 mm) of rainfall in Weston, Florida. [16] Later, one person drowned in the Conne River in Newfoundland due to Arthur. [17]

Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Bertha 04 aug 2002 1700Z.jpg   Bertha 2002 track.png
DurationAugust 4 – August 9
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1007  mbar  (hPa)

A surface trough of low pressure that would later spawn Tropical Storm Cristobal developed a tropical depression in the northern Gulf of Mexico on August 4. It quickly strengthened into a minimal tropical storm early on August 5, and made landfall near Boothville, Louisiana, just two hours later. Bertha weakened to a tropical depression, but retained its circulation over Louisiana. A high-pressure system built southward, unexpectedly forcing the depression to the southwest. It emerged back over the Gulf of Mexico on August 7, where proximity to land and dry air prevented further strengthening. Bertha moved westward and made a second landfall near Kingsville, Texas, on August 9 with winds of only 25 mph (35 km/h). The storm dissipated about 10 hours later. [18]

Across the Gulf Coast of the United States, Bertha dropped light to moderate rainfall; most areas received less than 3 inches (76 mm). Precipitation from the storm peaked at 10.25 inches (260 mm) in Norwood, Louisiana. Minor flooding was reported, which caused light damage to a few businesses, 15 to 25 houses, and some roadways. Overall, damage was very minor, totaling to $200,000 (2002 USD) in damage. [19] In addition, one death was reported due to Bertha, a drowning due to heavy surf in Florida. [18]

Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Cristobal2002.jpg   Cristobal 2002 track.png
DurationAugust 5 – August 8
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  999  mbar  (hPa)

On August 5, Tropical Depression Three formed off the coast of South Carolina from a surface trough of low pressure – the same trough that spawned Tropical Storm Bertha in the Gulf of Mexico. Under a southerly flow, the depression drifted southward, where dry air and wind shear inhibited significant development. On August 7, it became Tropical Storm Cristobal, and reached a peak of 50 mph (80 km/h) on August 8. The storm meandered eastward and was absorbed by a front on August 9. [20]

The interaction between the extratropical remnant and a high-pressure system produced strong rip currents along the coastline of Long Island. The storm also caused waves of three to four ft (1.2 m) in height. Three people drowned from the rip currents and waves in New York. [21]

Tropical Storm Dolly

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Dolly2002.jpg   Dolly 2002 track.png
DurationAugust 29 – September 4
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave exited the African coast on August 27, [22] and with low favorable conditions the system organized into Tropical Depression Four on August 29 about 630 mi (1,020 km) southwest of Cape Verde. [23] Six hours later, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dolly after developing sufficient outflow and curved banding features. [24] The storm continued to intensify as more convection developed, [25] and Dolly reached peaked winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) on August 30. [22] After peaking in intensity, the storm suddenly lost organization, [26] and the winds decreased to minimal tropical storm force. [27] After a brief re-intensification trend, Dolly again weakened due to wind shear. On September 4, Dolly weakened to a tropical depression, and later that day was absorbed by the trough; it never affected land. [22]

Tropical Storm Edouard

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Edouard 2002.jpg   Edouard 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 1 – September 6
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  1002  mbar  (hPa)

Edouard formed out of an area of disturbed weather north of the Bahamas on September 2. It drifted northward, then executed a clockwise loop off the coast of Florida. Despite dry air and moderate upper-level shear, Edouard strengthened to a peak of 65 mph (105 km/h) winds, but the unfavorable conditions caught up with it. The storm weakened as it turned west-southwestward, and made landfall near Ormond Beach, Florida on September 5 as a minimal tropical storm. Edouard crossed Florida, and emerged over the Gulf of Mexico as a minimal depression. Outflow from the stronger Tropical Storm Fay caused Tropical Depression Edouard to weaken further, and Edouard was eventually absorbed by Fay. [28]

Tropical Storm Edouard dropped moderate rainfall across Florida, peaking at 7.64 inches (194 mm) in DeSoto County. [29] Though it was a tropical storm at landfall, winds were light across the path of the storm over land. Several roads were flooded from moderate precipitation. No casualties were reported, and damage was minimal. [28]

Tropical Storm Fay

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Fay 2002-09-06 1915Z.jpg   Fay 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 5 – September 8
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  998  mbar  (hPa)

In early September, a low pressure center developed along a trough of low pressure, and on September 5, the system had gained sufficient organization to be a tropical depression, to the southeast of Galveston. The depression drifted south-southwest while strengthening into Tropical Storm Fay, reaching its peak strength of 60 mph (95 km/h) on the morning of September 6. The system then abruptly turned to the west-northwest, and remained steady in strength and course until landfall the next day, near Matagorda. It quickly degenerated into a remnant low, which itself moved slowly southwestward over Texas. The low eventually dissipated on September 11 over northeastern Mexico. [30]

The storm brought heavy rainfall in Mexico and Texas. The storm also caused six tornadoes, up to 20 in (510 mm) of rain, and extended periods of tropical storm force winds. [30] The storm caused moderate flooding in some areas due to high rainfall amounts, which left about 400 homes with some form of damage. In total, 400 houses sustained damage from flooding. [31] 1,575 houses were damaged from the flooding or tornadic damage, 23 severely, amounting to $4.5 million (2002 USD) in damage. No deaths are attributed to Fay. [32]

Tropical Depression Seven

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD 7 2002-09-07.jpg   7-L 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 7 – September 8
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1013  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave exited Africa on September 1, and after initial development became disorganized. It moved west-northwestward for a week, reorganizing enough by September 7 to be declared Tropical Depression Seven about 1155 mi (1855 km) east-southeast of Bermuda. [33] At the time, the depression had persistent convection around a small circulation, and it moved steadily westward due to a ridge to its north. [34] Shortly after forming, strong wind shear diminished the convection and left the center partially exposed. [35] By September 8, there was no remaining thunderstorm activity, [36] and the depression degenerated into a remnant low-pressure area. [37] The storm dissipated shortly after as strong wind shear continued to cause the storm to deteriorate while located 980 mi (1580 mi) southeast of Bermuda. The depression never affected land. [33]

Hurricane Gustav

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
HR Gustav 2002.jpg   Gustav 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 8 – September 12
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  960  mbar  (hPa)

An area of unsettled weather developed between the Bahamas and Bermuda on September 6, and over the next few days convection increased in intensity and coverage. On September 8, the system gained sufficient organization to be declared a subtropical depression off the Southeast United States coast; later that day, the system was named Subtropical Storm Gustav. After attaining tropical characteristics on September 10, Gustav passed slightly to the east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a tropical storm before. While moving northeastward, Gustav intensified into a hurricane on September 11 and briefly became a Category 2 hurricane, prior to making two landfalls in Atlantic Canada as a Category 1 hurricane on September 12. Gustav became extratropical over Newfoundland around 1200 UTC that day, though the remnants meandered over the Labrador Sea before dissipating on September 15. [38] [39]

The storm was responsible for one death and $100,000 (2002 USD) in damage, mostly in North Carolina. The interaction between Gustav and a non-tropical system produced strong winds that caused an additional $240,000 (2002 USD) in damage in New England, but this damage was not directly attributed to the hurricane. In Atlantic Canada, the hurricane and its remnants brought heavy rain, tropical storm and hurricane-force winds, as well as storm surges for several days. [38] Localized flooding was reported in areas of Prince Edward Island, and 4,000 people in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island were left without power. [40]

Tropical Storm Hanna

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Hanna 2002-09-13.jpg   Hanna 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 12 – September 15
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1001  mbar  (hPa)

In early September, a tropical wave merged with a trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico and spawned a low-pressure system. Convection steadily deepened on September 11 east of the upper-level low and the surface low; it was classified as Tropical Depression Nine the next day. The disorganized storm moved westward, then northward, where it strengthened into Tropical Storm Hanna later that day. After reaching a peak with winds of 60 mph (95 km/h), it made two landfalls on the Gulf Coast, eventually dissipating on September 15 over Georgia. [41]

Because most of the associated convective activity was east of the center of circulation, minimal damage was reported in Louisiana and Mississippi. [41] To the east on Dauphin Island, Alabama, the storm caused coastal flooding which closed roads and forced the evacuation of residents. Portions of Florida received high wind gusts, heavy rainfall, and strong surf that resulted in the deaths of three swimmers. [42] Throughout the state, 20,000 homes lost electricity. [43] The heavy rainfall progressed into Georgia, where significant flooding occurred. Crop damage was extensive, and over 300 structures were damaged by the flooding. Overall, Hanna caused a total of about $20 million (2002 USD) in damage and three fatalities. [41]

Hurricane Isidore

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Isidore AMO2002265 lrg.jpg   Isidore 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 14 – September 27
Peak intensity125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  934  mbar  (hPa)

On September 9, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa, and by September 14 it was classified as a tropical depression. The next day the storm was located just south of Jamaica, and it developed into Tropical Storm Isidore. On September 19, it intensified into a hurricane, and Isidore made landfall in western Cuba as a Category 1 storm. Just before landfall near Puerto Telchac on September 22, Isidore reached its peak intensity, with wind speeds of 125 mph (205 km/h), making it a strong Category 3 storm. After returning to the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, Isidore's final landfall was near Grand Isle, Louisiana, on September 26. The storm weakened to a tropical depression over Mississippi early the following day, before becoming extratropical over Pennsylvania later on September 27 and then being absorbed by a frontal system. [44]

Isidore made landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula of southern Mexico as a Category 3 hurricane, leaving $950 million (2002 USD) in damage in the country. [45] Despite dropping over 30 inches (760 mm) of rainfall among other effects, [46] only two indirect deaths were reported there. [47] As a tropical storm, Isidore produced a maximum of 15.97 inches (406 mm) of rainfall in the United States at Metairie, Louisiana. [46] The rainfall was responsible for flooding that caused moderate crop damage, with a total of $330 million in damage (2002 USD). [48]

Tropical Storm Josephine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Josephine2002.jpg   Josephine 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 17 – September 19
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1009  mbar  (hPa)

A non-tropical low developed along a dissipating stationary front on September 16 in the central Atlantic and drifted north-northeastward. [49] The National Hurricane Center classified it as Tropical Depression Eleven on September 17 about 710 mi (1,150 km) east of Bermuda, and initially the depression did not have significant deep convection. [50] A wind report early on September 18 indicated the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Josephine. The storm continued generally northeastward, steered between a subtropical high to the northeast and a frontal system approaching from the west. [51] Josephine maintained a well-defined circulation, but its deep convection remained intermittent. [52] Early on September 19 the storm began being absorbed by the cold front, and as a tropical cyclone its winds never surpassed 40 mph (75 km/h). [53] Later that day Josephine transitioned into an extratropical cyclone and suddenly intensified to winds of 60 mph (95 km/h). The extratropical low was quickly absorbed by another larger extratropical system on the afternoon of September 19. [49] [54]

Hurricane Kyle

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Kyle 2002-09-26 1710Z.jpg   Kyle 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 20 – October 12
Peak intensity85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  980  mbar  (hPa)

A non-tropical low formed into Subtropical Depression Twelve, well east-southeast of Bermuda on September 20. It became Subtropical Storm Kyle the next day, and Tropical Storm Kyle on September 22. Kyle drifted slowly westward, slowly strengthening, and reached hurricane strength on September 25; it weakened back into a tropical storm on September 28. The cyclone's strength continued to fluctuate between tropical depression and tropical storm several times. Its movement was also extremely irregular, as it shifted sharply north and south along its generally westward path. On October 11, Kyle reached land and made its first landfall near McClellanville, South Carolina. While skirting the coastline of the Carolinas, it moved back over water, and made a second landfall near Long Beach, North Carolina later the same day. Kyle continued out to sea where it merged with a cold front on October 12, becoming the fourth longest-lived Atlantic hurricane. [55]

Kyle brought light precipitation to Bermuda, but no significant damage was reported there. [56] Moderate rainfall accompanied its two landfalls in the United States, [57] causing localized flash flooding and road closures. Floodwaters forced the evacuation of a nursing home and several mobile homes in South Carolina. Kyle spawned at least four tornadoes, [55] the costliest of which struck Georgetown, South Carolina; it damaged 106 buildings and destroyed seven others, causing eight injuries. [58] Overall damage totaled about $5 million (2002 USD), and no direct deaths were reported. [55] However, the remnants of Kyle contributed to one indirect death in the British Isles. [59]

Hurricane Lili

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Lili 02 oct 2002 1645Z.jpg   Lili 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 21 – October 4
Peak intensity145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  938  mbar  (hPa)

On September 16, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. It developed a low level cloud circulation midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles on September 20. The next day, the system had become sufficiently organized to classify the system as a tropical depression about 1,035 miles (1,665 km) east of the Windward Islands and intensified into Tropical Storm Lili on September 23. After nearly reaching hurricane status over the eastern Caribbean, the storm degenerated into a tropical wave on September 25, before becoming a tropical depression again early on September 27. The cyclone re-intensified into a tropical storm several hours later. On September 30, Lili became a hurricane while passing over the Cayman Islands. After striking Cuba's Isla de la Juventud and Pinar del Río Province as a Category 2, the storm attained Category 4 status in the Gulf of Mexico, However, Lili rapidly weakened to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, on October 3. The next day, it was absorbed by an extratropical low near the TennesseeArkansas border. [60]

In Louisiana, wind gusts reaching 120 mph (190 km/h), coupled with over 6 inches (150 mm) of rainfall and a storm surge of 12 feet (3.7 m), caused $1.1 billion (2002 USD) in damage. A total of 237,000 people lost power, and oil rigs offshore were shut down for up to a week. [61]

Tropical Depression Fourteen

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD 14 15 oct 2002.jpg   14-L 2002 track.png
DurationOctober 14 – October 16
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1002  mbar  (hPa)

A weak tropical wave moved through the Lesser Antilles on October 9. As the system reached the southwestern Caribbean Sea on October 12, convection increased, and a broad low-pressure area formed later that day. Over the next two days, the low significantly organized, and became Tropical Depression Fourteen at 1200 UTC on October 14. The depression initially tracked west-northwestward, but then curved to the north-northeast. Due to vertical wind shear, the depression was unable to intensify, and remained below tropical storm status during its duration. By 1600 UTC on October 16, the depression made landfall near Cienfuegos, Cuba with winds of 30 mph (45 km/h). While crossing the island, the depression was absorbed by a cold front early on October 17. Minimal impact was reported, which was limited to locally heavy rains over portions of Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. [62]

Storm names

The following list of names was used for named storms that formed in the North Atlantic in 2002. [63] The names not retired from this list were used again in the 2008 season. This was the same list used in the 1996 season, with the exception of the names Cristobal, Fay and Hanna, which replaced Cesar , Fran and Hortense respectively. The three new names were used for Atlantic storms for the first time. [64]

  • Omar (unused)
  • Paloma (unused)
  • Rene (unused)
  • Sally (unused)
  • Teddy (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)
  • Wilfred (unused)

Beginning in 2002, subtropical cyclones were named from the standard predetermined naming list upon gaining gale-force winds. This was first demonstrated with Gustav, which originated as a subtropical cyclone and was named from the predetermined list before becoming tropical and intensifying into a hurricane.

Retirement

On March 30, 2003, the World Meteorological Organization retired the names Isidore and Lili from its rotating name lists due to the damage they caused. In the 2008 season, these names were replaced with Ike (which was retired after that season) and Laura. [64]

Season effects

The following table lists all of the storms that formed in the 2002 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 were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all of the damage figures are in 2002 USD.

Saffir–Simpson scale
TDTSC1C2C3C4C5
2002 North Atlantic tropical cyclone season statistics
Storm
name
Dates activeStorm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affectedDamage
(USD)
DeathsRef(s)
Arthur July 14  16Tropical storm60 (95)997 Southeastern United States Minimal1 
Bertha August 4  9Tropical storm40 (65)1007 Mississippi $200,0001 
Cristobal August 5  8Tropical storm50 (85)999 Bermuda, New York Minimal0 (3) 
DollyAugust 29 – September 4Tropical storm60 (95)997NoneNoneNone
Edouard September 1  6Tropical storm65 (100)1002 Florida MinimalNone 
Fay September 5  8Tropical storm60 (95)998 Texas, Northern Mexico$4.5 millionNone 
SevenSeptember 7 - 8Tropical depression35 (55)1013NoneNoneNone 
Gustav September 8 - 12Category 2 hurricane100 (155)960 North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New England $340,0001 (3)
Hanna September 12 - 15Tropical storm60 (95)1001 Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Southeastern U.S., Mid Atlantic $20 million3
Isidore September 14 - 27Category 3 hurricane125 (205)934 Venezuela, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Yucatán Peninsula, Louisiana, Mississippi $1.28 billion19 (3)
JosephineSeptember 17 - 19Tropical storm40 (65)1006NoneNoneNone
Kyle September 20 – October 12Category 1 hurricane85 (140)980 Bermuda, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, British Isles $5 million0 (1)
Lili September 21 – October 4Category 4 hurricane145 (230)938 Windward Islands, Haiti, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Louisiana $1.16 billion13 (2)
FourteenOctober 14 - 16Tropical depression35 (55)1002 Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cuba MinimalNone
Season aggregates
14 systemsJuly 14 – October 16 145 (230)934$2.470 billion38 (15) 

See also

Notes

  1. The "strength" of a tropical cyclone is measured by the minimum barometric pressure, not wind speed. Most meteorological organizations rate the intensity of a storm by this figure, so the lower the minimum pressure of the storm, the more intense or "stronger" it is considered to be. The strongest winds were actually from Lili, at 145 mph (230 km/h).

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The 2001 Atlantic hurricane season was a fairly active Atlantic hurricane season that produced 17 tropical cyclones, 15 named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes. The season officially lasted from June 1, 2001, to November 30, 2001, dates which by convention limit the period of each year when tropical cyclones tend to form in the Atlantic Ocean basin. The season began with Tropical Storm Allison on June 4, and ended with Hurricane Olga, which dissipated on December 6. The most intense storm was Hurricane Michelle, which attained Category 4 strength on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.

2000 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2000 Atlantic hurricane season was a fairly active hurricane season, but featured the latest first named storm in a hurricane season since 1992. The hurricane season officially began on June 1, and ended on November 30. It was slightly above average due to a La Niña weather pattern although most of the storms were weak It was also the only Season to Include 2 storms in Ireland. The first cyclone, Tropical Depression One, developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on June 7 and dissipated after an uneventful duration. However, it would be almost two months before the first named storm, Alberto, formed near Cape Verde; Alberto also dissipated with no effects on land. Several other tropical cyclones—Tropical Depression Two, Tropical Depression Four, Chris, Ernesto, Nadine, and an unnamed subtropical storm—did not impact land. Five additional storms—Tropical Depression Nine, Florence, Isaac, Joyce, and Leslie—minimally affected land areas.

1997 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1997 Atlantic hurricane season was a below-average season and is the most recent season to feature no tropical cyclones in August – typically one of the most active months. The season officially began on June 1, and lasted until November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. The 1997 season was inactive, with only seven named storms forming, with an additional tropical depression and an unnumbered subtropical storm. It was the first time since the 1961 season that there were no active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin during the entire month of August. A strong El Niño is credited with reducing the number of storms in the Atlantic, while increasing the number of storms in the Eastern and Western Pacific basin to 19 and 26 storms, respectively. As is common in El Niño years, tropical cyclogenesis was suppressed in the tropical latitudes, with only two becoming tropical storms south of 25°N.

1996 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1996 Atlantic hurricane season had the most major hurricanes since 1950, which are Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The season was above-average, featuring a total of thirteen named storms, nine hurricanes, and six major hurricanes. The season officially began on June 1, 1996 and ended on November 30, 1996, dates which conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. The season's first tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Arthur, developed on June 17, while the final cyclone, Hurricane Marco dissipated on November 26. The most intense hurricane, Edouard, was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that affected portions of the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. The season featured nine tropical cyclone landfalls, including six hurricanes, one of which was a major hurricane. In total, six major hurricanes formed during the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season—the highest number produced in a single season since 1950.

1984 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1984 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active since 1971, though the season was below average in hurricanes and major hurricanes. It officially began on June 1, 1984, and lasted until November 30, 1984. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. The 1984 season was an active one in terms of named storms, but most of them were weak and stayed at sea. Most of the cyclones tracked through the northwest subtropical Atlantic west of the 50th meridian to near the Eastern coast of the United States between mid-August and early October. The most damaging storm was Hurricane Klaus, which caused $152 million (1984 dollars) in damage in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Diana was the first hurricane to strike a nuclear power plant without incident; it was also the first major hurricane to strike the U.S. East Coast in nearly 20 years. Also of note was Hurricane Lili, which lasted well after the official end of the season. It was downgraded from a named storm on December 24. Damage overall from the tropical cyclones in 1984 totaled $228.7 million. Unusually, no hurricanes developed from tropical waves in 1984, which usually are the source of the strongest storms in an Atlantic hurricane season.

1990 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1990 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season since 1969, with a total of 14 named storms. The season also featured eight hurricanes, one of which intensified into a major hurricane. It officially began on June 1, 1990, and lasted until November 30, 1990. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. However, tropical cyclogenesis can occur prior to the start of the season, as demonstrated with Tropical Depression One, which formed in the Caribbean Sea on May 24.

Hurricane Isidore Category 3 Atlantic hurricane in 2002

Hurricane Isidore was a powerful tropical cyclone that caused widespread flooding and heavy damage across Mexico, Cuba, and the United States in September 2002. The ninth named storm and the second hurricane in the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season, and the fifth of eight named storms to occur in September of that year, Isidore peaked as a Category 3 hurricane, causing damage, as well as four fatalities in Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, and the United States. Isidore is also noted for threatening to strike the northern Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane, however, the storm struck the region as a moderately-strong tropical storm, due to a track change that brought the storm over the Yucatán Peninsula for over a day, which significantly weakened the cyclone in the process. The primary impact from the storm was the heavy rainfall, which fell across southeast Mexico, and also from the central United States Gulf coast into the Ohio Valley.

2005 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history, until the record was broken 15 years later in 2020. The season broke numerous records at the time, with 28 tropical or subtropical storms recorded. The United States National Hurricane Center named 27 storms, exhausting the annual pre-designated list and resulting in the usage of six Greek letter names, and also identified an additional unnamed storm during a post-season re-analysis. A record 15 storms attained hurricane status, with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (119 km/h); of those, a record seven became major hurricanes, which are a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson scale. Four storms of this season became Category 5 hurricanes, the highest ranking on the scale.

2006 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season was the least active since 1997 as well as the first season since 2001 in which no hurricanes made landfall in the United States, and was the first since 1994 in which no tropical cyclones formed during October. Following the intense activity of 2003, 2004, and 2005, forecasters predicted that the 2006 season would be only slightly less active. Instead activity was slowed by a rapidly forming moderate El Niño event, the presence of the Saharan Air Layer over the tropical Atlantic, and the steady presence of a robust secondary high-pressure area to the Azores high centered on Bermuda. There were no tropical cyclones after October 2.

1900 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1900 Atlantic hurricane season featured the Galveston hurricane, the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. A total of 10 tropical cyclones formed, 7 of which intensified into a tropical storm. Three of those made landfall in the United States. The first system was initially observed over the central Atlantic Ocean on January 17, while the final storm transitioned into an extratropical cyclone on October 28. These dates fall within the period with the most tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic. Every storm of the season except the seventh system existed simultaneously with another tropical cyclone.

2007 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season was the first season since 2003 to record tropical activity before and after the official bounds of the season. With 15 named storms, it was an above-average season, however many storms were weak and short-lived. Despite the high activity of weak storms during 2007, it was the first season to feature more than one Category 5 landfalling hurricane, a feat that would not be matched until ten years later. It produced 17 tropical cyclones, 15 tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. It officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean, although as shown by Subtropical Storm Andrea and Tropical Storm Olga in early May and early December, respectively, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. The first system, Subtropical Storm Andrea, developed on May 9, while the last storm, Tropical Storm Olga, dissipated on December 13. The most intense hurricane, Dean, is tied for the eighth most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded as well as the fourth most intense Atlantic hurricane at landfall. The season was one of only seven on record for the Atlantic with more than one Category 5 hurricane. It was the second on record in which an Atlantic hurricane, Felix, and an eastern Pacific hurricane, Henriette, made landfall on the same day. September had a then record-tying eight storms, until it was surpassed in 2020. However, the strengths and durations of most of the storms were low.

2008 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was the most destructive Atlantic hurricane season since 2005, causing over 1,000 deaths and nearly $50 billion in damage. The season ranked as the third costliest ever at the time, but has since fallen to eighth costliest. It was an above-average season, featuring sixteen named storms, eight of which became hurricanes, and five which further became major hurricanes. It officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. However, the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur caused the season to start one day early. It was the only year on record in which a major hurricane existed in every month from July through November in the North Atlantic. Bertha became the longest-lived July tropical cyclone on record for the basin, the first of several long-lived systems during 2008.

1994 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1994 Atlantic hurricane season was the final season in the most recent negative Atlantic multidecadal oscillation period of tropical cyclone formation within the basin. Despite the below average activity, the season was very deadly, with almost 97% of deaths occurring during Hurricane Gordon, a devastating late-season tropical cyclone that severely impacted the Caribbean Sea, the Greater Antilles and the United States, and one of the longest-lived Atlantic hurricanes on record at the time. The season produced seven named tropical cyclones and three hurricanes, a total below the seasonal average. The season officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally limit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean. The first tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Alberto, developed on June 30, while the last storm, Hurricane Gordon, dissipated on November 21. The season was unusual in that it produced no major hurricanes, which are those of Category 3 status or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale. The most intense hurricane, Hurricane Florence, peaked as a Category 2 storm with winds of 110 mph (180 km/h). Aside from Chris, Florence, and Gordon, none of the storms exceeded tropical storm intensity.

Timeline of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season

The 1996 Atlantic hurricane season had 13 named storms, of which 9 became hurricanes and 6 became major hurricanes. These major hurricanes were Bertha, Edouard, Fran, Hortense, Isidore, and Lili. This timeline documents all the storm formations, strengthening, weakening, landfalls, extratropical transitions, as well as dissipation. The timeline also includes information that was not operationally released, meaning that information from post-storm reviews by the National Hurricane Center, such as information on a storm that was not operationally warned on, has been included. The season officially began on June 1, 1996, and ended on November 30 that same year.

2009 Atlantic hurricane season Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season was a below-average Atlantic hurricane season that produced eleven tropical cyclones, nine named storms, three hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. It officially began on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates that conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones develop in the Atlantic basin. The season's first tropical cyclone, Tropical Depression One, developed on May 28, while the final storm, Hurricane Ida, dissipated on November 10. The most intense hurricane, Bill, was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that affected areas from the Leeward Islands to Newfoundland. The season featured the lowest number of tropical cyclones since the 1997 season, and only one system, Claudette, made landfall in the United States. Forming from the interaction of a tropical wave and an upper-level low, Claudette made landfall on the Florida Panhandle with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (70 km/h) before quickly dissipating over Alabama. The storm killed two people and caused $228,000 in damage.

Timeline of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season

The 2002 Atlantic hurricane season was an average Atlantic hurricane season in which twelve named storms formed. Although Tropical Storm Arthur formed on July 14, the season officially began on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates that conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones develop in the Atlantic basin. The season's final storm, Tropical Depression Fourteen, dissipated on October 16.

Timeline of the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season

The 1990 Atlantic hurricane season featured the most named storms of any hurricane season at the time. During the season, 14 tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean became named storms. Although Tropical Depression One formed on May 24, the season officially began on June 1; it ended on November 30, dates that conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones develop in the Atlantic basin. The season's final storm, Hurricane Nana, dissipated on October 21.

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