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Tropical Storm Gustav was the only tropical cyclone to be sheared to dissipation during the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season. The seventh tropical cyclone and seventh named storm of the season, Gustav developed on August 26 from an area of disturbed weather just south of Cape Verde. Nearby Tropical Storm Fran immediately halted any rapid intensification, and the new tropical depression did not strengthen into Tropical Storm Gustav until early on August 28, two days after development. Although Fran moved away, wind shear increased again as a result of a cut-off low, and eventually weakened Gustav to a tropical depression late on September 1. Tropical Depression Gustav was eventually sheared to dissipation on September 2.
The origins of Tropical Storm Gustav were from an area of disturbed weather that emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa on August 24; the system already had a low-level cloud circulation as it entered the Atlantic on that day. Becoming further organized, the area of disturbed weather was was estimated to have developed into the seventh tropical depression of the season on August 26 0000 UTC, while situated south of the Cape Verde archipelago. Although developed on early on August 26, it was not operationally designated as Tropical Depression Seven until late on August 27, nearly 48 hours later. Developing as Tropical Depression Seven, the storm slowly intensified after forming on August 26, from being sheared by the outflow of Hurricane Fran. Tropical Depression Seven initially headed briefly due west, then a ridge of high pressure to the north caused the system to track west-southwestward around 15 mph (20 km/h).
By August 27, Tropical Depression Seven was no longer under the influence of Hurricane Fran, and wind shear The tropical depression again briefly tracked westward, and Tropical Depression Seven had simultaneously intensified into a tropical storm on August 28 0600 UTC; The National Hurricane Center assigned the system to the name Gustav. After intensifying into a tropical storm, a mid-Atlantic trough curved Tropical Storm Gustav northwestward. The mid-Atlantic trough eventually transitioned into a cut-off area of low pressure, which would prevent any significant intensification and later increase wind shear. By midnight on August 29, Tropical Storm Gustav attained its peak intensity with winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 1005 mbar (hPa; 29.68 inHg).
Wind shear began to further increase from the cut-off area of low pressure on Tropical Storm Gustav after peak intensity on August 29, preventing any further intensification. Continuing to track northwestward, Tropical Storm Gustav remained a minimal tropical storm for nearly three days. By early on September 1, wind shear began to take its took on Gustav, weakening to a tropical depression later that day. After struggling with unfavorably high wind shear for about twenty-four hours, Tropical Depression Gustav had been declared dissipated on October 2 at 0600 UTC, situated roughly almost 1,000 miles (1,609 km) from any landmass.
Tropical Storm Gustav remained far from land during its duration, and no watches or warnings were necessary for the storm. Also as a result of remaining far from land, Tropical Storm Gustav would not cause any property damage or fatalities, and no ships reported winds of at least tropical storm force.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lawrence, Miles (28 November 1996). "Tropical Storm Gustav Preliminary Report". National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1996gustav.html. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- ↑ "Tropical Storm Gustav". Unisys Weather. 2009. http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1996H/GUSTAV/track.dat. Retrieved 5 November 2010.