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Felix - 1995
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HURRICANE FELIX

felix95.jpg
Hurricane Felix

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa into the eastern Atlantic Ocean on August 6. Evidence of a circulation was found as the storm moved to the west over the next few days, and the system fairly quickly became Tropical Depression Seven on August 8 while located about 300 miles WSW of the Cape Verde Islands. The depression moved to the WNW at a steady pace, and strengthened into Tropical Storm Felix later that day, and gradually began to shift its track more northbound. After taking some time to strengthen and organize, Felix reached hurricane status on August 11 while located about 500 miles ENE of the Leeward Islands. A period of rapid intensification began at this point, as the storm turned to the NW. By August 12, the storm reached its peak intensity with winds of 140 mph and a pressure of 929 mbar. Felix was a very large and well-defined storm at the time of peak intensity. However, the organization did not hold as the storm turned to the north, and entered an area of increased wind shear. By August 14, when the storm neared Bermuda and turned to the WNW, it had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane. Over the next few days, Felix passed 65 miles south of Bermuda and continued WNW at a slower pace towards the eastern United States Coastline, remaining a Cat 1 the whole time. However, as Felix approached the coast, a weakeness in the ridge over the western Atlantic caused the storm to slow and turn to the north on August 17. During this time, an unusually large eye - 50 to 70 miles wide - was reported. As the storm remained in a weak steering environment, it wandered to the west and completed an anticyclonic loop and weakened to a tropical storm in the process. Finally, on August 20, the storm accelerated rapidly to the northeast ahead of a trough. After moving in that direction for about a day, Felix became extratropical about 300 miles east-northeast of Newfoundland on August 22. The extratropical remnant was tracked across the North Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland and then toward Norway. Despite never making landfall, a total of 8 deaths were confirmed in association with Felix, all of these fatalities were as a result of drowning.

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