Hurricane Erika (2003)

Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in 2003

Hurricane Erika was a Atlantic hurricane that hit extreme northeastern Mexico near the Texas-Tamaulipas border. It happened on August 16, during the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. Erika was the eighth tropical cyclone, fifth tropical storm, and third hurricane of the season that year. The storm was created from a non-tropical area of low pressure that was tracked for five days before developing in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on August 14. Under the influence of a high pressure system, Erika moved quickly westward and became stronger under favorable conditions.

Hurricane Erika
Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Hurricane Erika at peak intensity over northeastern Mexico on August 16
FormedAugust 14, 2003
DissipatedAugust 17, 2003
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 75 mph (120 km/h)
Lowest pressure986 mbar (hPa); 29.12 inHg
Fatalities2 direct
Damage$10,000 (2003 USD)
Areas affectedFlorida, Mexico, south Texas
Part of the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season

Storm history change

Storm path

A weak surface area of low pressure came apart from a frontal system on August 8. It was moving southwestward during that time. On August 9, it created convection when it was passing underneath a cold-core upper-level low. As the system rapidly continued westward, a lot of the convection stayed near the center of the upper-level low, preventing development of a closed surface circulation. On August 13, while located near the northwestern Bahamas, an increase in convection made the upper-level low building downwards to the middle levels of the troposphere, which caused the development of an upper level anticyclone.[1]

On August 14, a closed low-level circulation nearly developed to the east of Key Largo, Florida, but because of the deep convection remaining to the north over the mid-level center, it was weakened. The mid-level storm continued going westward and it moved across Florida.[1] After crossing Florida, Hurricane Hunters showed a poor circulation, but with winds higher than tropical storm strength, and the system was designated as Tropical Storm Erika late on August 14 while located 85 miles (135 km) west of Fort Myers.[2]

NEXRAD image of Erika making landfall on northeastern Mexico.

With well-established outflow and low levels of wind shear,[2] Erika became stronger as the circulation became better defined. A high pressure system covered over the south-central United States, forcing the storm to move just south of due west at 25 mph (40 km/h). On August 15, convection were made into bands, and as its winds were turning into hurricane strength, an eye developed within the storm. The storm quickly weakened over the Sierra Madre Oriental, and Erika was calming down early on August 17.[1] After entering the Gulf of California on August 18, It led to the formation of a tropical disturbance. It went to the northwest and weakened on August 20.[3]

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Franklin (2003). "Hurricane Erika Tropical Cyclone Report". NHC. Retrieved 2006-09-24.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Avila (2003). "Tropical Storm Erika Discussion One". NHC. Retrieved 2006-09-24.
  3. David Roth (2007). "Rainfall Data for Hurricane Erika". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2007-01-04.

Other websites change

Tropical cyclones of the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season

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