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1987 Hurricane Season

By Wikipedia

The 1987 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1987, and lasted until November 30, 1987.

The 1987 season was relatively quiet, with the most notable storm being Hurricane Emily.

Emily formed east of the Windward Islands, and headed west, causing considerable damage on St. Vincent. It then slowly began turning north, and landfall in the Dominican Republic, where three people were reported dead, and there was $30 million (1987 dollars) in damage. After passing over Hispaniola, Emily began a turn to the northeast, and eventually made landfall at Bermuda, where it caused $35 million (1987 dollars) in damage, but no lives were lost. Thousands of migratory birds took refuge on Bermuda during the storm, including ten thousand Bobolinks and thousands of Connecticut Warblers.

The first storm to have the new tropical storm warning issued for it was an unnamed tropical storm in August. A tropical depression formed just off the upper Texas coast, but was not classified as a named storm until an after the fact analysis of wind reports from offshore oil rigs revealed the storm had the sustained winds necessary for that classification. Had the storm been considered a tropical storm at the time, it would have been the first named storm of the season.

Atlantic hurricane seasons
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989

1987 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1987. This is the same list used for the 1981 season. No names were retired, so it was used again in the 1993 season. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Arlene
  • Bret
  • Cindy
  • Dennis
  • Emily
  • Floyd
  • Gert
  • Harvey
  • Irene
  • Jose
  • Katrina
  • Lenny
  • Maria
  • Nate
  • Ophelia
  • Philippe
  • Rita
  • Stan
  • Tammy
  • Vince
  • Wilma


Tropical Storm One

A tropical depression formed off the coast of Louisiana on August 9. It quickly strengthened into a tropical storm, however this strengthening was not known at the time, so the storm remained unnamed. It travelled northwest and as it neared the coast, the first tropical storm warning ever issued for a tropical system was issued for the Texas and Louisiana coasts from Galveston to Lake Charles. The tropical storm made landfall near High Island, Texas on the 10th.

Hurricane Arlene

Arlene was a Category 1 hurricane that took an unusual track across the Atlantic. The depression formed on August 8 (before Tropical Storm One but this was how it was recorded). It made an anticyclonic loop off the coast and strengthened into a tropical storm. Arlene then proceeded to do long, leap-frogging hops across the Atlantic like a rock skipping off a pond. After 12 and a half days as a tropical cyclone, Arlene strengthened into a hurricane. Those twelve days mean that Arlene took longer than any other tropical cyclone to become one (discounting Dennis of 1981, who dropped to a tropical wave and then regenerated). Arlene became extratropical a couple hundred miles north of the Azores.

Tropical Storm Bret

Tropical Depression Three formed off the African coast near the Cape Verde Islands on August 18 and headed west. The depression strengthened into a tropical storm just west of the islands an turned slightly northwest. The Bret began to weaken in the mid-Atlantic. He dissipated in open waters on the 24th.

Tropical Storm Cindy

Cindy formed as a depression just west of the Cape Verde Islands. The depression turned north and strengthened into a tropical storm. Cindy continued north on a gradual curve to the northwest. Cindy became extratropical a couple hundred miles south of the Azores.

Tropical Storm Dennis

Dennis formed in about the same place as Bret did. The depression strengthened to a storm not long after forming and headed northwest. This track stayed unbroken for a few days until Dennis began to weaken. He turned west and weakened into a tropical depression. Dennis then swung north, hooked east and dissipated; all over open waters.

Hurricane Emily

Tropical Depression Six formed a couple hundred miles southeast of the Windward Islands and quickly strengthened into a tropical storm. Emily moved northwest into the Caribbean, strengthening rapidly as she approached the coast of Hispaniola. Emily soon loomed as a major hurricane of Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo harbor. Emily hit the Dominican Republic capital with winds exceeding 120 MPH. She was moving very rapidly when she hit the island, which decreased the rainfall but increased the wind damage. Over $25 million dollars in damage was reported in the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola was faithful to its reputation as a hurricane killer: Emily emerged from the island as a disorganized tropical storm, however, for the residents of Bermuda, the Caribbean island wasn't faithful enough. Emily regained hurricane strength and struck the island with winds exceeding 92 MPH. The damages in Bermuda were over $50 million. In all, Emily caused over $100 million in damage and killed three people. The hurricane became extratropical over the north Atlantic.

Hurricane Floyd

Floyd formed as a tropical depression in the Western Caribbean and moved north. The depression quickly attained tropical storm strength and continued to strengthen. Floyd became a hurricane just south of Cuba before crossing over the island and curving east. Floyd lashed the Florida Keys with hurricane force winds before moving away from Florida, crossing the Bahamas (weakening on the way) and dissipating in the open Atlantic. Some say that Floyd continued across the Atlantic and became the Great Storm of 1987 which hit England.


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Courtesy of NASA

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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