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Danny - 1997
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HURRICANE DANNY

danny1997.jpg
Hurricane Danny Making Landfall in Southern Louisiana

On July 13, a trough triggered a series of thunderstorms in the northern Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The area of convection drifted south for the next few days, and formed an area of low pressure on July 14. The system became larger through the course of the next few days, but failed to organize until July 16 when it became Tropical Depression Four when located about 125 miles south of Louisiana. The depression developed slowly as it inched to the northeast and became Tropical Storm Danny on July 17. Danny strengthened quickly after being named, and the large system became a hurricane early on July 18, and made landfall at Empire on the extreme southern tip of Louisiana later that day packing winds of 75 mph. The storm progressed back into the Gulf of Mexico briefly before striking Fort Morgan, Alabama early on July 19 after strengthening with winds of 80 mph. The hurricane then drifted over Mobile Bay, and then made a third landfall near Mullet Point later on the 19th. After landfall, the slow motion only became slower, and more erratic. After weakening to a tropical storm, and then to a depression on July 20, the system drifted to the north for a few days, before being picked up by a front and accelerated to the east, maintaining depression status all the while. The winds were recorded as tropical storm strength on July 24, and Danny became a Tropical Storm once again, despite still located over land. The strengthening over land was likely due to the strom drawing energy from a baroclinic source. After racing out into the open Atlantic Ocean and strengthening to wind speeds of 55 mph, Danny unexpectedly turned sharply to the north and stalled about 25 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachussetts for about twelve hours. After the storm pounded the area with blustery winds and rains, it lost its tropical characteristics and moved out to sea - as the NHC put it - "For Good." The remnant was absorbed into a frontal system over the northern Atlantic Ocean on July 27. Despite striking heavily populated areas across the southern United States, damages from Danny were estimated at just about 100 million dollars. Danny killed a total of four people directly; one from a tornado in South Carolina, and three other deaths due to drowning. In addition, five indirect deaths were linked to Danny. The name Danny was not retired despite the damage and casualties, and was used again in the 2003 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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