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Erin - 2001

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Hurricane Erin Accelerates Off the U.S. Coast

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on August 30, the system was originally very organized, with large bands of convection. Convection was still sporadic for the next few days, until September 1, when the cloud pattern became more indicative of a tropical system. A closed circulation was determined on September 1, and it became Tropical Depression Six later that day. The depression moved west and was quick to strengthen into Tropical Storm Erin early on September 2. Under a relatively favorable area for development, the winds strengthened to 55 mph on September 3, but later that day, the vertical shear increased and the center of circulation became exposed and separated from the main convection. This caused Erin to weaken slightly, and winds went down to 45 mph, until September 4, when the shear slackened, and the storm regained a slight bit of strength with winds at 50 mph.

However, this was very short lived, and Erin began a weakening trend late on September 4. By September 5, shear tore the system apart, and it degenerated into an area of showers and the remnant took a turn to the north. The center of circulation began to redevelop already on September 6, and it became Tropical Depression Erin once again that day. The depression re-strengthened into Tropical Storm Erin on September 7, and it curved to the northwest as it continued to strengthen. The strengthening became rapid on September 8, and Erin became hurricane that day. The strengthening brought Erin to Category 3 strength on September 9, with winds of 120 mph as the storm passed to the east of Bermuda, about 90 miles away, at peak intensity. After passing Bermuda, the storm continued northwest and began to weaken on September 10, slowing in speed on September 11, as it weakened to a Category 1 storm.

Erin turned to the west and then to the northeast as it remained a minimal hurricane and began to accelerate on September 13. Erin weakened to a tropical storm as it passed just a few miles off of Cape Race, Newfoundland on September 14. Erin lost tropical characteristics on September 15, due to cold waters and increasing wind shear. The extratropical remnant continued racing to the northeast, and passed over Greenland on September 16 before merging with another system. Despite close brushes with both Bermuda as a Category 3 storm, and Newfoundland as a Category 1, no damages or deaths were reported due to Erin.