Hurricane Gert (1993)

Hurricane Gert (1993)

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Hurricane Gert
Image location=Hurricane Gert (1993).jpg

Formed=September 14, 1993
Dissipated=September 21, 1993
1-min winds=88

Fatalities=76 direct
Areas=Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico
Hurricane season=1993 Atlantic hurricane season
1993 Pacific hurricane season

Hurricane Gert was a Category 2 hurricane that crossed Central America and Mexico, maintaining its structure and restrengthening every time it reached a body of water. Gert caused moderate damage and deaths as it moved through mountainous terrain. The system was redesignated Tropical Depression Fourteen-E when it reached the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Meteorological history

On September 5, a tropical wave exited the coast of Africa and moved rapidly westward. It was initially unable to develop due to its rapid momentum, but as it slowed down, a weak surface low was able to form as the wave crossed the Leeward Islands. It moved across northern South America with generally favorable conditions; warm water temperatures and favorable upper level winds. When the only inhibiting factor, land, was removed, the wave quickly developed curved bands and deep convection over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. Based on its organization, the wave was upgraded to Tropical Depression Eight on September 14.

As the depression's large circulation moved west-northwestward, it was able to intensify, reaching tropical storm strength on September 15. It made landfall just hours later near Bluefields, Nicaragua, and weakened back to a tropical depression. Because of some contact with both Atlantic and Pacific waters, Gert maintained its circulation, and when it reached the extreme western Caribbean Sea on the 17th, it quickly re-strengthened to a tropical storm. Gert again made landfall, this time near Belize City, Belize, on the 18th.A mid-tropospheric ridge forced Gert slowly westward, where after crossing the Yucatán Peninsula it reached the Gulf of Mexico on September 18. Finally over open waters for the first time of its life, Gert quickly re-intensified to a tropical storm on the 19th. Intensification continued, and the storm was upgraded to Hurricane Gert on the 20th. Continuing to strengthen up until landfall, Gert made landfall in Mexico near Tuxpan, Veracruz, on the 20th as a convert|100|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on hurricane. It moved quickly westward over the mountainous Mexican terrain. When the large circulation of Gert entered the eastern North Pacific late on the 21st, the tropical cyclone became Tropical Depression Fourteen-E and quickly re-organized. Conditions initially appeared favorable and satellite data suggest that it could have been a minimal tropical storm for a short period, but cooler waters caused it to dissipate on the 26th. [ [ report on Tropical Depression Fourteen-E] ]


Gert was a large and persistent tropical cyclone, dropping heavy rains throughout its path. It always remained close enough to the coast to quickly re-strengthen and redevelop convection. A total of 76 people were killed from Central America through Mexico, mainly from flooding and mudslides.

Central America

As a forming tropical storm, Gert brought torrential rainfall to Central America, leaving 100,000 people homeless from its heavy flooding. Mudslides were reported in mountainous areas, causing considerable damage, especially to roads. Excluding Honduras, 13 people died across the region. [ Gert Report Page 3] ]

Though Gert crossed Belize, there were no reports of damage or deaths. Nearby Chetumal in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo experienced heavy rainfall amounting to 7.4 inches (18.8 cm). [ Gert Report Page 3] ]


A maximum of 6.77 inches (17.2 cm) of rain was recorded in Tegucigalpa, and many other parts of the country received similar amounts. Continuous flooding since Tropical Storm Bret 1 month prior led to extensive banana and citrus crop damage across low-lying fields. Gert's rainfall demolished numerous roads and bridges, as well as many buildings. Damage totaled at $10 million (1993 USD). The evacuation of tens of thousands of people, combined with well-executed warnings, allowed for a low death toll of 21 people, compared to other similar hurricanes. [ Honduras Floods Sep 1993 UN DHA Situation Reports 1 - 4] ]


Like in Central America, Tropical Storm Gert caused heavy rains and flooding in Mexico. The Pánuco River in Veracruz reached its highest level in 40 years, forcing 12,000 from their homes in Veracruz and Tamaulipas. [ 1993 Global Register of Extreme Flood Events] ] The highest amount recorded in Veracruz was 13.35 inches (33.9 cm) of rain in Tempoal. 5.8 inches (14.7 cm) of rain occurred in Tuxpan, while Tampico to the north in neighboring Tamaulipas fared much worse. [ Gert Report Page 3] ] Half of the city was inundated from mudslides, damaging the road network in the city, and over 200,000 were evacuated. Massive crop damage, mainly to coffee, corn, bean, soy, and other vegetables, occurred outside the city, damage throughout the area was increased as flooding persisted in the following weeks. [ Mexico Tropical Storm Oct 1993 UN DHA Situation Reports 1 - 3] ]

Further inland, extensive rainfall amounts were recorded in the mountainous regions of San Luis Potosí, with a maximum of 16.8 (42.7 cm) inches in Tanzablanca in one day. Other heavily flooded areas include Gallinas and Tierra Blanca, both reporting almost 13 inches (33 cm) of rain in one day. Throughout Mexico, 29,075 houses were damaged or destroyed, and convert|145000|acre|km2 of crops were destroyed from heavy flooding. In all, Gert caused $156 million in damage (1993 USD) and 42 casualties. [ Gert Report Page 3] ]

Lack of retirement

The name Gert was not retired, and was reused in 1999 and 2005.

ee also

* List of tropical cyclones
* List of Atlantic hurricanes


* NHC reports on [ Hurricane Gert] and [ Tropical Depression Fourteen-E]
* HPC rainfall report on [ Gert/T.D. #14E]
* [ 1993 Monthly Weather Review]
* [ Honduras Effects]
* [ Mexico Effects]
* [ Veracruz Effects]


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