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Josephine - 1996
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TROPICAL STORM JOSEPHINE

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Tropical Storm Josephine

On September 29, a front began to stall in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, after moving over the area. The tail end of the front began to develop showers and thunderstorms, and an area of low pressure developed over the Bay of Campeche on October 1. The two merged, and gradually, the system acquired deep convection near the center. The system was noted to be more well defined by October 4, and a hurricane hunter aircraft was sent to the center. The aircraft found the system organized enough to be deemed Tropical Depression Ten when located about 100 miles east of the Mexican Coastline. The depression was under weak steering currents, which led to a slow path to the north over the next few days with little or no further organization; probably due to wind shear over the area. The depression moved more to the northeast later on the 5th, followed by a complete turn to the east, and an acceleration in that direction. The depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Josephine at last on October 6, and a pressure of 1001 mbar was found. Josephine was steered on a swift pace to the ENE over the next few days, due to a trough that dominated the eastern portion of the United States. Unexpectedly, Josephine rapidly strengthened in terms of pressure on October 7, while winds remained below hurricane strength. The pressure dropped 15 mbar to 981 mbar in just 12 hours on that day, and the winds reached 65 mph, which would be the peak intensity of the storm. The development was halted by an increase of wind shear later on the 7th, but Josephine was able to retain winds of 65 mph right up to the point of landfall which occurred near Apalachee Bay, Florida late on October 7. After landfall, Josephine quickly lost tropical characteristics as it entered Georgia on October 8 and began to accelerate rapidly to the northeast. The extratropical remnant re-entered the Atlantic Ocean later on the 8th, and was tracked over Nova Scotia on October 9, before finally merging with a larger system near Iceland on October 16. Damages from Josephine totaled about 130 million dollars in the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. No direct deaths were attributed the the storm, a woman suffered a heart attack during a tornado in Edgewater, and a surfer suffered a broken leg in Pinellas County, bringing a total of two indirect deaths. For reference, the name Josephine was not retired.

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