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Fabian - 2003
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HURRICANE FABIAN

fabian.jpg
Hurricane Fabian in the Atlantic

A vigorous tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on August 25, and formed Tropical Depression Ten on August 27. The depression was located 365 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. With low vertical shear and warm waters, it became Tropical Storm Fabian as it continued west. The strengthening continued and Fabian became a hurricane on August 30. The intensification became quite rapid after this, and Fabian became a powerful Category 3 storm on August 31 as it began to track more WNW around a subtropical ridge. The intensification continued, bringing Fabian to its peak intensity at Category 4 status with winds of 145 mph and a central pressure of 939 mbar.

Fabian was able to maintain Category 4 status for over 3 days, until weakening temporarily to a Cat 3 as the storm rounded a curve to the north. Fabian remained a Category 3 for the majority of the next three days, with the exception of strengthening briefly to a Cat 4 on two seperate occasions. It was during this time, on September 5, that Fabian struck Bermuda. Fabian's eye passed over the island as a Category 3 hurricane packing winds of 115 mph.

After scraping Bermuda, the storm accelerated to the northeast and began to weaken as it entered colder waters. Fabian remained a hurricane until it lost its tropical characteristics on September 8. It turned north after this and merged with another system near Greenland.

Bermuda was hit hard by Fabian, with eight total fatalities. Most buildings suffered severe damage, and 20 to 30 foot waves were reported along with an estimated ten foot storm surge that swept the island. Property damage was estimated at 300 Million US Dollars. Due to the extent of the damage, the name Fabian was retired in the spring of 2004 and will be replaced by Fred when the list is used again in 2009.

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