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Gert - 1993
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HURRICANE GERT

A tropical wave moved off the west coast of Africa on September 5. Under heavy westerly steering flow, the system quickly skirted to the west and reached Trinidad in the southern Lesser Antilles on September 11. The wave was unusually located quite far to the south, which caused an approach on the northern coast of South America over the next two days, before it emerged in the southwestern waters of the Caribbean Sea on September 13. Since waters in this area were quite favorable for development, the wave quickly strengthened into a tropical depression on September 14 and began to move to the WNW. Tropical Storm Gert formed from the depression hours later, but further development was halted when Gert made landfall near Bluefields, Nicaragua on September 15 with winds of 40 mph. The storm quickly weakened to a depression and turned more the northwest after landfall and moved over Honduras, which brought Gert back over open waters for a brief time, instead of remaining over Central America. In the Gulf of Honduras, the depression quickly restrengthened into a tropical storm as it turned to the NNW and made its second landfall in Belize late on September 17 with winds of 40 mph once again, representing that of a minimal tropical storm. Unable to continue strengthening, Gert weakened to a depression once again as it began to move over the Yucatan Peninsula on the 18th of September. The depression took a turn to the WNW after landfall, which brought a quicker than expected return to open waters. Once again, now located over the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche, Gert regained tropical storm strength, and then strengthened further into a hurricane just 24 hours later. The winds reached their peak intensity of 100 mph on September 20, as the pressure fell to 970 mbar. Gert made its final landfall near Tuxpan, Mexico at its peak intensity later on the 20th. After landfall, weakening was somewhat slower than expected, but Gert still weakened to a tropical depression before emerging into the East Pacific Basin. Still, the depression had maintained itself enough that it later became Tropical Depression Fourteen-E in that basin. Since spending such large amounts of time over land was a major characteristic of Hurricane Gert, over 76 people were reported dead. By country, the totals were 21 in Honduras, 8 in Nicaragua, 42 in Mexico, and 4 in El Salvador with another in Costa Rica. Damage totals are patchy, but Mexico reported a total of 29,075 homes damaged, and 145,000 acres of crops destroyed which amounted to a damage total of 156 million dollars. Despite these figures, the name Gert was not retired as was used again in 1999 and 2005.

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