Make your own free website on

Hurricane Hut

Dennis - 1999
Tropical Terminology
Active Storms
About Hurricanes
About Us
Atlantic Basin Storm Archives
East Pacific Storm Archives
Hurricane Naming
Retired Hurricane Names


Hurricane Dennis off the Florida Coast

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on August 17, and it moved westward through the Atlantic with little or no development until August 21 when shower and thunderstorm activity increased slightly. The wave acquired a low level circulation over the next few days as it moved to the north of the Caribbean Islands. The wave became Tropical Depression Five when it was located about 190 miles east of the Turks Island late on August 23, and it strengthened further to become Tropical Storm Dennis later that day. Dennis was in an area of moderate wind shear, but this did not keep the storm from strengthening steadily and reaching hurricane strength early on August 26 when it slowed in motion and swerved to a northwest direction. The storm grazed the northern Bahama Islands as a Category 1 storm on the 26th through the 28th, and Dennis began to move even more northward on the 28th as it became a Category 2 storm and reached a peak intensity of 105 mph winds on that day. Dennis was able to maintain this intensity through August 30 as it began a direction to the northeast that day, keeping the hurricane away from the coast of North Carolina for now. The hurricane weakened to a Category 1 as it began to stall about 110 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC.

Dennis weakened further to a tropical storm early on September 1 as it remained stationary due to wind shear and dry air entering the circulation. It remained in a drift until September 2, when it gained motion to the south, due to a ridge over the United States, and the storm actually strengthened during this time, nearly regaining hurricane strength on September 4 when it turned back to the northwest. The northwest direction brought Dennis to a landfall near Harkers Island, North Carolina on the 4th, as a strong tropical storm on the borderline of hurricane strength. Dennis continued inland after landfall and weakened to a depression on September 5, and continued a very erratic path over the states. It followed a zig-zag course through the Eastern United States before finally dissipating on September 8. In the United States, insured losses due to Dennis totaled 157 million, with about half of that in each North Carolina and Virginia. Dennis killed four in Florida due to high surf spawned by the storm, but no other deaths were reported. No damage or casualties were reported in the Bahamas despite a close strike.