Hurricane Elena

Category 3 Atlantic hurricane in 1985

Hurricane Elena was a category 3 major hurricane that caused heavy damage along the Gulf Coast of the United States in August and September of the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Elena
Category 3 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Hurricane Elena in the Gulf of Mexico from Space Shuttle Discovery on September 1, 1985
FormedAugust 28, 1985
DissipatedSeptember 4, 1985
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 125 mph (205 km/h)
Lowest pressure953 mbar (hPa); 28.14 inHg
Fatalities0 direct, 4 indirect
Damage$1.25 billion (1985 USD)
Areas affectedCuba, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Mississippi Valley region
Part of the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season

Elena's unusual path through the Gulf of Mexico, which included a loop, caused many people to evacuate from the coastline.

Meteorological history

Storm path

Before Hurricane Elena, there was a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on August 23. It remained weak due to its fast westward motion and Saharan Air Layer around the circulation. As it moved through the Greater Antilles, it slowed and a tropical depression formed on August 28 between Cuba and Haiti. It paralleled the northern cost of Cuba, and became Tropical Storm Elena that night. Conditions were good for the storm to develop in the Gulf of Mexico, and Elena became a hurricane on the 29th.

Tropical cyclones of the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5