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Edouard - 1996
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HURRICANE EDOUARD

edouard96.jpg
Category 4 Hurricane Edouard Near Peak Intensity

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa into the eastern Atlantic Ocean on August 19. The wave became organized quickly upon entry, and a circulation was detected just later that day, and the wave became Tropical Depression Five. The subtropical ridge to the north of the depression was originally expected to weaken and allow the system to move north, but it remained strong, and the system remained on a track to the west. The depression took longer than expected to strengthen, but eventually became Tropical Storm Edouard on August 22, and strengthening became more rapid at this point. Edouard became a hurricane on August 23, and began a cycle of rapid intensification that would last until August 25. At the end of the cycle, Edouard was a powerful and well defined Category 4 storm, packing winds of 145 mph and a pressure of 933 mbar which would be the storm's peak intensity. After becoming a Category 4 storm, Edouard turned to the WNW and continued this motion for the next few days. From the 25th to August 28, the storm underwent periods of shifting wind shear and eyewall replacement cycles, but managed to remain a Category 4 storm all the while. Despite the fact that Edouard remained a Cat 4, the pressure rose steadily throughout these three days, rising nearly 25 mbars to 957 mbar. Edouard weakened to a Category 3 storm on August 28, and a sharp turn to the north was initiated due to a trough that became established near the eastern coast of the United States. After Edouard was on a steady track to the north, the storm was able to regain Category 4 intensity, reaching winds of 140 mph late on August 29. However, as the storm continued northward, it entered colder waters which initiated the steady weakening of the storm which began on August 30. After weakening to a Category 1 hurricane, Edouard appeared to be headed straight for the New England area, but it veered sharply toward the northeast on September 2. The center came within about 75 miles southeast of Nantucket, Mass which was the closest approach that the storm would make to the United States. After turning to the ENE, Edouard weakened to a tropical storm late on September 2, and degenerated into an extratropical system just hours later. The remnant was absorbed by a larger extratropical cyclone on September 6. Edouard was a very large and powerful storm that maintained major hurricane status from August 24 to September 1 as it made a long trek that took it nearly full circle around the Atlantic Ocean. This generated very high surf on many coastlines, which contributed to two deaths; one from a boat that capsized in the high surf, and another from drowning. No major damages were reported due to Edouard.

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