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Hurricane Claudette (1991)

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Hurricane Claudette was the strongest hurricane of the relatively inactive 1991 Atlantic hurricane season. Claudette remained at sea for its entire duration. However, Claudette passed within 125 miles (201 km) of Bermuda on September 8, the remnants also moved in the vicinity of the Azores.

Claudette developed on September 4 from a non-tropical system in the Central Atlantic Ocean. After strengthening to a tropical depression, it quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Claudette on September 5 while remaining nearly stationary. Claudette underwent rapid intensification after it attained hurricane status on September 6, and became a major hurricane while located about 275 miles southeast of Bermuda. After attaining Category 3 status, Claudette reached a peak intensity of 135 mph (215 km/h) winds and 943 mbar in pressure, or Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Dramatic weakening occurred as Claudette began to move generally north over cooler sea-surface waters, just after peak intensity. Claudette weakened to a category 2 hurricane just 12 hours after peak intensity, and started to affect Bermuda. Thereafter, gradual weakening occurred on September 8, and hurricane Claudette safely passed just east of Bermuda on September 8 as a Category 1 hurricane. Claudette turned sharply east and steadily weakened while remaining far out at sea. Interaction with nearby Tropical Storm Erika started to occur late on September 9, and Claudette weakened to a minimal hurricane with 75mph winds and 989mbar in pressure. Influence from Tropical Storm Erika may have also resulted in Claudette turning to the east-southeast on September 9. Hurricane Claudette weakened to a tropical storm early on September 10, while moving to the east. Claudette was now accelerating quickly eastward across the Atlantic Ocean, far away from any land areas. It later weakened to a tropical depression and ultimately became an Extratropical cyclone on September 14. The remnants entered the Azores, bringing light rain to the islands before dissipating soon after.

Meteorological historyEdit

The origins of Hurricane Claudette were from a non-tropical low, which developed in the Atlantic during August 1991. On September 1, scattered convection associated with the system became noted. This system was several hundred miles east of Florida and moved in a generally eastward direction. By September 2, the system moved had passed by Bermuda. On September 3, a low level system was induced by the non-tropical system, the two system became quasi-stationary, while it was located about Template:Convert/LoffAnoneDbSoff to the southeast of Bermuda. Convection increased and became organized as a cold front weakened and ultimately dissipated. Cloud patterns within the system became even further organized.[1]

By September 4, the National Hurricane Center initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Six.[2] After the upgrade, the depression remained nearly stationary.[3] The depression developed slowly as it moved on a southwesterly course.[1] By noon AST on September 5, the depression had been upgraded to a tropical storm, it was given the name Claudette. At the time of its upgrade to a tropical storm, it had a forward speed of only three mph (five km/h).[4] Environmental conditions remained favorable, with low wind shear, a digging trough, and a large anticyclone. These features also created efficient outflow for Tropical Storm Claudette, as a result, Claudette soon began to deepen at a faster rate.[1] On September 6 at 0600 UTC, it was estimated that Tropical Storm Claudette attained hurricane status. This all happened while Claudette began to acquire a faster forward movement.[5] Hurricane Claudette soon underwent rapid intensification. Later that day, a reconnaissance flight went into Hurricane Claudette, only to discover that the hurricane was already a major hurricane, with winds at Template:Convert/mph, equivalent to a minimal category 3 hurricane.[6] For most of September 6 and September 7, no reconnaissance aircraft entered Hurricane Claudette, and intensity was estimated by satellites during that period. Based on satellite estimates, Hurricane Claudette attained its peak intensity with winds of Template:Convert/mph and a minimum barometric pressure 944 mbar.[7] Operationally, its peak winds were estimated to be at Template:Convert/mph.

Peaking as a category 4 hurricane on September, Claudette rapidly weakened back to a category 3 hurricane, then to a category 2 hurricane not long later.[8] Claudette only gradually weakened after this. Hurricane Claudette bypassed Bermuda on September 8, while centered about Template:Convert/LoffAnoneDbSoff to the east. At the time, it was a strong category 1 hurricane. By September 9, Claudette began to turn away from Bermuda.[9] On September 10 at 02:00 UTC, Hurricane Claudette was downgraded to a tropical storm.[10] Tropical Storm Claudette turned to the east-southeast, this was likely due to Claudette being influenced by Tropical Storm Erika, which was a few hundred miles away. Claudette accelerated, and on September 11 at 1800 UTC, it was downgraded to a tropical depression. Late on September 12, the depression then decelerated, but lost its tropical characteristics. It was therefore, declared extratropical, while centered several hundred miles away from the Azores. The remnants continued until September 14, where it dissipated in the vicinity of the Azores.[7]


Claudette did not cause any serious damage to Bermuda. As Claudette approached, a hurricane watch was issued for the entire island of Bermuda late on September 7, by about 24 hours later, it was replaced by a hurricane warning. Late on September 8, this warning was canceled as it appeared that Claudette would approach no closer.

In Bermuda, Claudette caused winds sustained near just Template:Convert/mph, with gusts up to Template:Convert/mph. Waves along Bermuda had reached up to eight ft (2.43 m) in height. In addition to that, no further affects on Bermuda, nor any other landmass.

Several ships also reported tropical storm force winds, including a Turkish vessel the "Mar Transporter II", a Dutch ship called the "Beursgracht", and a British ship called the "Allegro".[11] Because there was no severe damage or high death toll, the name Claudette was not retired.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Pasch, Richard (1991). "Hurricane Claudette Preliminary Report". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  2. Miles, Lawrence (September 4, 1991). "Tropical Depression Six Advisory 1". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  3. Gerrish, Hal (September 4, 1991). "Tropical Depression Six Advisory 2". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  4. Lawrence, Miles (September 5, 1991). "Tropical Storm Claudette Advisory 4". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  5. Lawrence, Miles (September 6, 1991). "Hurricane Claudette Advisory 8". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  6. Lawrence, Miles (September 6, 1991). "Hurricane Claudette Advisory 9". Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Pasch, Richard (1991). "Hurricane Claudette Preliminary Report2". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  8. Pasch, Richard (1991). "Hurricane Claudette Preliminary Report5". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  9. Lawrence, Miles (September 9, 1991). "Hurricane Claudette Advisory 19". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  10. Lawrence, Miles (September 10, 1991). "Tropical Storm Claudette Advisory 23". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  11. Pasch, Richard (1991). "Hurricane Claudette Preliminary Report3". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 

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