2001 Atlantic hurricane season

From Academic Kids

The 2001 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation in the northern hemisphere. It officially started June 1, 2001, and lasted until November 30, 2001.

Notable 2001 storms include Tropical Storm Allison, Hurricane Iris, and Hurricane Michelle. Allison was the deadliest and most costly tropical storm on record in the United States. Hurricane Iris caused widespread damage in Belize when it made landfall at Category 4 strength. Hurricane Michelle was responsible for numerous deaths and large-scale damage in Jamaica, Cuba, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

An unusual spree of named storms with interrupted tracks occurred in 2001, with four identified tropical cyclones degenerating below tropical depression strength and reforming.

Template:Infobox Hurricane Season



Tropical Storm Allison

Main article: Tropical Storm Allison

Allison formed from a low pressure system that had wandered north out of the Bay of Campeche. While 120 nm south of Galveston, Texas, the low developed deep convection and mid and low-level circulation, and on June 5 was named Tropical Storm Allison. Allison would retain some subtropical characteristics, but caused more damage than most full hurricanes.

Allison strengthened somewhat, and made landfall in the afternoon on the 5th near Freeport, Texas. For a typical tropical system, landfall on the mainland United States marks the beginning of its end, but Allison was not typical. Allison, having degraded to a tropical depression, moved northward into Texas, reaching Lufkin on June 7. It then began moving south and on the 10th re-entered the Gulf of Mexico near its landfall location. At this point, Allison had lost many of its tropical characteristics, and was classified as a subtropical depression.

After restrengthening while travelling east over the Gulf, Subtropical Storm Allison made landfall again near Morgan City, Louisiana. Allison continued east-northeastward, passing through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The center of the subtropical depression then drifted north over eastern North Carolina, and moved over the Atlantic Ocean on June 17. Allison would merge with a cold front the next day, and by the 19th had dissipated.

Although a minimal storm and barely tropical, Allison is one of the costliest and deadliest tropical cyclones to affect the United States, and the worst tropical storm on record in that nation. FEMA estimated damages at $5 billion, nearly all of it related to freshwater flooding in the Houston Metropolitan Area. There are 41 deaths directly attributable to Allison, 27 of them due to flooding.

Tropical Storm Barry

Barry formed from a low pressure system in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on August 2. It weakened to a tropical depression, but restrengthened to tropical storm strength on the 5th. Bary made landfall near Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on August 6 as a strong tropical storm. After making landfall, the remnants of Barry continued inland, and dissipated over Missouri on the 8th.

Tropical Storm Barry was responsible for two deaths in Florida, one due to a lightning strike. Damage is estimated at $30 million. The tropical wave that eventually became Barry is blamed for capsizing a boat carrying Cuban refugees, and six of the passengers drowned.

Tropical Storm Chantal

Chantal was a poorly organized storm that formed as a depression on August 14 while well east of the Windward Islands. Sometime on the 16th, the depression degenerated into a tropical wave. This wave passed over the islands, and on the 17th, reformed at tropical storm strength.

Tropical Storm Chantal continued west across the Caribbean Sea, and strengthened somewhat. It was near hurricane strength on August 21, but made landfall at the border between Belize and Mexico before it could gain the necessary wind speed. Chantal continued into Mexico and dissipated on the 22nd.

Chantal officially caused no deaths, but the tropical wave caused two deaths from lightning on Trinidad. Damage in Belize was estimated at $4 million. No significant damages were reported in Mexico.

Tropical Storm Dean

Dean formed from a tropical wave that moved northwest across the Lesser Antilles in mid-August. On August 22, as it approached the U.S. Virgin Islands, the wave was named Tropical Storm Dean. As Dean left the Caribbean, it weakened, and by the 23rd had degenerated to a tropical wave.

The wave held together, and by the 27th had restrengthened back into a tropical storm. Dean approached hurricane strength, but moved over cool water and became extratropical. It was absorbed by a non-tropical low on August 29.

Heavy rainfall from Dean in Puerto Rico caused about $2 million in agricultural damage, as well as flooding homes and causing two bridges to collapse. Damage in the Virgin Islands was minimal.

Hurricane Erin

Tropical Storm Erin formed near 37W in the open Atlantic on September 2. It moved west for several days, but weakened into an area of disturbed weather on the 5th. The storms regenerated, and on the 7th Erin regained tropical storm status. Erin continued to the northwest, and strengthened into a hurricane. On September 8th, Erin came within 90 nm of Bermuda.

After passing Bermuda, Erin continued northwest, but on the 11th its track turned sharply east. On the 13th, Erin began heading northeast and grazed Cape Race, Newfoundland on September 15. It became extratropical and merged with another system over Greenland on the 17th.

No damages or fatalities are reported in relation to Erin.

Hurricane Felix

A tropical wave off the coast of Africa organized into Tropical Depression Seven on September 7 while near the Cape Verde islands. It moved rapidly to the west, and degenerated to a tropical wave the next day. By September 10, the wave had reorganized, and it was again named Tropical Depression Seven. The depression continued to strengthen, and became Hurricane Felix by September 13. Now moving north, Felix intensified rapidly, reaching Category 3 status. Felix turned to the northeast and began to weaken. By September 17, Felix had dropped to tropical storm strength, and it dissipated on the 19th. No damage was reported.

Hurricane Gabrielle

A cut-off low in the Gulf of Mexico was classified as a tropical depression on September 11th. After performing a small loop in the gulf, the depression reached tropical storm strength and was designated Gabrielle. Tropical Storm Gabrielle headed northeast and made landfall near Venice, Florida on September 14th.

Eighteen hours later, Gabrielle moved offshore, still a tropical storm. It continued northeast, and strengthened to a minimal hurricane. On September 19, while south of Newfoundland, Gabrielle was designated an extratropical storm. By the 21st, it had merged with another low.

Gabrielle caused two drowning deaths in Florida, and an estimated $115 million in damage. Over six inches of rain were reported in parts of Newfoundland, with one station reporting a rainfall rate of nearly 2 inches/hour.

Hurricane Humberto

Humberto formed from an area of low pressure generated by Hurricane Gabrielle. The low formed into a tropical depression on September 21 while 425 nm south of Bermuda. The low tracked northwest and was named Tropical Storm Humberto the next day. It began moving north, and then northeast as it passed Bermuda and strengthened into a hurricane. Humberto headed over the colder waters are of the far north Atlantic Ocean, and dissipated quickly on September 27. There were no reports of damage related to Humberto.

Hurricane Iris

Main article: Hurricane Iris

Tropical Depression Eleven formed just southeast of Barbados on October 4th. It travelled across the Windward Islands, and was named Tropical Storm Iris while south of Puerto Rico on the 5th. Iris continued to the west and intensified. After passing just south of Jamaica, Iris reached Category 4 hurricane strength. Iris made landfall near Monkey River Town, Belize on October 9th at Category 4 strength, but weakened rapidly. It dissipated later that day.

An exact death toll is unknown, but 31 are confirmed dead, 3 in the Dominican Republic, 8 in Guatemala, and 20 from the M/V Wave Dancer, a ship that capsized off the Belize coast. Newspapers have reported an additional 30 deaths in Belize, but the government there has only confirm the 20 deaths from the Wave Dancer. Damage in Belize is reported at 66.2 million USD.

Tropical Storm Jerry

Jerry formed east of the Windward Islands on October 7. It passed just south of Barbados and into the Caribbean where it disippated later the next day. There were no reports of damage.

Hurricane Karen

On October 12, an extratropical low just south of Bermuda was classified as Subtropical Storm One. After passing Bermuda, the storm took on enough tropical characteristics to be reclassified as Tropical Storm Karen. Karen continued north, strengthening into a hurricane, but slowly weakened and made landfall on Nova Scotia on October 15 as a tropical storm. Its remnants were absorbed by a larger system later that day.

Karen was responsible for sinking several small ships in St. George Harbor, but no other damages were reported. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick actually benefited from the storm, as it helped relieve a drought that was occurring there.

Tropical Storm Lorenzo

A non-tropical low became a tropical depression on October 26 while 750 nm southwest of the Azores. The depression tracked westward and strengthened into Tropical Storm Lorenzo on October 30. It merged with an approaching front the next day. No damages are reported from Lorenzo

Hurricane Michelle

Main article: Hurricane Michelle

Hurricane Michelle was a powerful storm that was first named on November 1st near Cabo Gracias, Nicaragua. It headed north, and quickly strengthened, reaching Category 4 intensity by November 4th. Michelle made landfall near the Bay of Pigs shortly afterward. Weakened, but still a hurricane, Michelle continued on through the Bahamas, where it degenerated and was absorbed by a front on November 6th.

Michelle is officially responsible for 17 deaths, and 26 missing. Damage estimates for most locations affected by Michelle are not available, but $28 million in damages were caused to the Cayman Islands.

Hurricane Noel

Noel was originally classified as a subtropical storm on November 4 while well east of Bermuda. The storm headed north and organized into a minimal hurricane, but by November 6 became extratropical and was absorbed by a larger system. Noel caused no reported damage.

Hurricane Olga

Olga was a late-season hurricane that formed out of a non-tropical system 780 nm east-southeast of Bermuda on November 24. Initially a subtropical storm, Olga began taking on tropical characteristics and started on a winding southwestward track. Olga strengthened into a hurricane, but by early December had weakened, and dissipated by December 5. The only damage report came from a single yacht, which passed through Olga's center on the 24th.

2001 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 2001. The names not retired from this list will be used again in the 2007 season. This is the same list used for the 1995 season except for Lorenzo, Michelle, Olga, and Rebekah, which replaced Luis, Marilyn, Opal, and Roxanne. Storms were named Lorenzo, Michelle, and Olga for the first time in 2001. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Allison
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dean
  • Erin
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Olga
  • Pablo (unused)
  • Rebekah (unused)
  • Sebastien (unused)
  • Tanya (unused)
  • Van (unused)
  • Wendy (unused)


The World Meteorological Organization retired three names in the spring of 2002: Allison, Iris, and Michelle. They will be replaced in 2007 by Andrea, Ingrid, and Melissa.

Allison became the first tropical storm to have its name retired. The name Edna, which was last used for a tropical storm in 1968 was also retired, but that retiring was due to a previous hurricane with the same name and not the tropical storm.

See also

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