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Arlene - 1993

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TROPICAL STORM ARLENE


A tropical disturbance was noted on June 9 over the western Caribbean Sea near Central America. Over the next week, satellite imagery showed that the disturbance gradually acquired more convection, and grew larger in size as it moved to the northwest. However, the harsh wind shear caused by El Nino that would limit the activity of four consecutive hurricane seasons from 1991-1994 prevented any significant development of the system. Despite this, as the disorganized disturbance moved over land areas, it triggered a landslide in El Salvador that killed twenty. On June 18, the system entered the Gulf of Mexico and began to interact with an area of low pressure in the vicinity. This cluster eventually formed Tropical Depression Two later that day when it was located less than 100 miles from the Yucatan Peninsula. The original movement was slow to the WNW, but this was followed by a curve to the northwest and an acceleration in that direction on June 19. Moderate shear over the storm still prevented any major development, but the depression managed to strengthen into Tropical Storm Arlene when deep convection became more concentrated later on the 19th while located very near to the coast of Texas. Arlene did not gain anymore strength before it struck Texas near South Padre Island at 4 AM EST on June 20 as a minimal storm with winds of just 40 mph. After landfall, Arlene quickly weakened to a depression and dissipated a few days later. Damages from the storm were moderate, with flooding in Mexico killing five, and additional flooding in Texas killing one. Effects from the storm were limited, with beach erosion and a minimal surge, and a total damage estimate of 55 million dollars was assumed.

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