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Florence - 2000
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HURRICANE FLORENCE

florence.jpg
Tropical Storm Florence in the Northern Atlantic

A cold front stalled in the central Atlantic early in September, and a tropical wave formed along the front on September 8. The convection became more prominent and the system formed Subtropical Depression One midday on September 10 when about 325 miles WSW of Bermuda. The convection was displaced from the center at this time, and movement was very slow to the southwest. The subtropical depression almost immidiately showed signs of acquiring tropical characteristics, and it did so on September 11 when it became a tropical depression. The depression was quick to strengthen into Tropical Storm Florence just six hours later, and continued to strengthen rapidly and reached hurricane status in just another six hours. The hurricane was still very disorganized, with the bulk of the winds in a single band of convection in the northern half of the storm. This allowed some dry air to enter the circulation, which collapsed the convection and weakened it to a tropical storm in another six hours.

The weakening was short lived, and Florence was able to strengthen back to hurricane status later on September 12 as it moved in a very slow, almost stationary drift. The hurricane once again began to weaken early on September 13, and was downgraded to a tropical storm later that day. The weakening was due to increasingly cold waters from its own wake, and an increase in shear. This combination weakened the storm to 45 mph winds on September 14. The steering currents finally began to pick up on the 15th, and Florence accelerated to the ENE and began to regain strength. The storm became a hurricane for the third time late on September 15 when about 175 miles WSW of Bermuda. The storm passed about 65 miles to the northwest of the island, early on the 16th.

Florence reached a peak intensity later on the 16th with winds of 80 mph, and an eye was briefly visible at this point. The cooler waters of the north Atlantic began to get the best of the storm later that day, and Florence became a tropical storm for the fourth time early on September 17 when about 425 miles northeast of Bermuda. The storm continued to race to the northeast and was absorbed by an extratropical low later on the 17th when about 125 miles south of St. Johns Newfoundland. Florence never directly struck land, but rip currents generated by the storm killed three surfers in North Carolina. No damages were reported due to the storm despite a fairly close swipe at Bermuda.

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