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Florida Hurricanes in 1999

The year 1999 was relatively quiet on the hurricane and tropical storm front. Only two that gave us any excitement. But one of the storms was a little too exciting for me personally, since it snuck up on me in South Florida and we never got any hurricane warnings. We didn't have hurricane shutters up and I thought for sure we were going to lose some windows in the house. (Fortunately we didn't.)

To give us a run-down on all the storms that brushed Florida -- where they started, what paths did they take and so on -- I'm pleased to present the following article by Bruce Supranowicz. There's a lot of fascinating information here for weather-watchers!

The two storms in this article are: Harvey and Irene.

Tropical Storm Harvey

Harvey began as a tropical depression on September 19. With an initial northward movement, if first appeared as if Harvey might hit somewhere along the central Gulf coast, but the system, influenced by a trough over the eastern U.S., veered towards the east.

Harvey intensified into a tropical storm the next day when it was centered about 300 miles west of Fort Myers. The storm continued to drift eastward slowly and was a moderately strong 60-MPH tropical storm when its center came ashore near Naples on September 21.

Harvey weakened slowly while maintaining tropical storm status and exited Florida near Fort Lauderdale. The storm, which brought mainly heavy rain to south Florida, dissipated after moving a couple of hundred miles offshore.

Hurricane Irene

Irene originated as a tropical depression in the western Caribbean, just off the northeast coast of Honduras, on October 12. This weather system assumed a northward movement and became a tropical storm a day later.

Irene continued to intensify slowly, and was just shy of hurricane status when it crossed western Cuba late on October 14. After emerging into the Florida Straits south of the keys, Irene became a hurricane and moved over and just west of the Florida Keys on a general north-northeast heading on October 15.

On that day, Irene moved inland near the small town of Flamingo and maintained its 75-MPH intensity as it passed over the Everglades and into the populated southeast section of Florida during the evening of October 15. Along with power outages, there was extensive flooding due to Irene’s slow forward motion and the fact that it was s “wet” hurricane, containing huge amounts of moisture.

The hurricane exited the state near Jupiter early on October 16 and later and peaked at 110 MPH while it was south of Cape Hatteras, N.C. early on October 18 before racing out towards the north Atlantic, where it became extratropical.

Wow -- that's some write-up! Thanks a bunch, Bruce, and you can check out more of his "storm stories" on the Articles page.

(A side note: Irene is the storm that caught me -- and all of us in Palm Beach County, Florida -- by surprise.)

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