- Hurricane Luis
Image location=Hurricane Luis 03 sept 1995 1705Z.jpg
3 September 1995at 1705 UTC
August 27, 1995
September 11, 1995
Leeward Islands, Newfoundland
1995 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Luis was the twelfth named
tropical cycloneand one of the most powerful storms during the very busy 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. The Cape Verde-type hurricanelasted for 16 days during August and September. Luis passed through the northern Lesser Antilleswith winds of 135 mph (215 km/h), killing 16 and causing billions in damage; weeks later Hurricane Marilynwould strike the same area.
August 26, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. As it moved slowly westward, it rapidly organized, and developed into Tropical Depression Thirteen on August 27near the Cape Verdeislands. At this time, there were five simultaneous Atlantic tropical cyclones, including Hurricanes Humberto and Iris, Tropical Storm Karen, and Tropical Depression Jerry. After attaining tropical storm status on the 29th, the storm remained a weak tropical storm due to vertical shear. After the shear abated, Luis rapidly intensified over the warm waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, reaching hurricane strength on the 30th and Category 4status on September 2.
Hurricane Luis moved slowly westward due to higher pressures to its north. Continual favorable conditions allowed the hurricane to peak at convert|140|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on on
September 3as it neared the Leeward Islands. The hurricane passed directly over Barbuda, with its convert|135|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on winds affecting Antigua, St. Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, and Anguilla.
Luis turned to the northwest, and remained a
Category 4hurricane until September 7while north of Puerto Rico. Though forecasts predicted a more westward track towards the eastern Bahamas, the hurricane turned to the north, bringing powerful swells to much of the East Coast of the United States. Moving around the periphery of the subtropical ridge, Luis turned to the north, and weakened to a Category 2 hurricane on the 9th. After passing to the west of Bermuda, it accelerated to the northeast and slowly weakened. Hurricane Luis crossed over southeastern Newfoundland on September 11, and became extratropical later that day.
In the days preceding the hurricane's landfall, Luis remained a slow westward moving Category 4 hurricane, giving the
Leeward Islandsample time to prepare for its effects. Hurricane Warnings were issued around 30 hours before Luis passed through, allowing for the opening of shelters and the preparation of the affected islands.
Overall, Luis caused extensive crop and property damage across the Leeward Islands from its high winds and heavy rainfall. Damage totals are unknown, due to lack of reports from every island, though it is estimated at $2.5 billion (1995 USD).
Dominicaexperienced between 60% to 100% damage to all crops, the worst crops being the banana. Property damage was estimated at $47 million, and contributed to the effects of Tropical Storm Iris only weeks before. [ [http://wwwnotes.reliefweb.int/w/RWB.NSF/480fa8736b88bbc3c12564f6004c8ad5/6d83c4613d1eb2bdc125653e005194a2?OpenDocument Dominica - Hurricane Situation Report] ]
Hurricane Luis brought 6 inches of rain and strong winds as it passed by
Saint Martin. 60% of houses were damaged or destroyed, resulting in $1.8 billion in damage (1995 USD).
The entire infrastructure of
Saint Kitts and Neviswere damaged, with troubles especially occurring to the water system. Luis caused moderate house and crop damage amounting to $197 million (1995 USD).
Antigua and Barbuda
As a result of a direct hit from a Category 4 hurricane, both
Antiguaand Barbudaexperienced extensive house damage from 135-140 mph winds and convert|10|in|mm of rain. 70% of houses were damaged or destroyed on Barbuda, and nearly half of the houses on Antigua were eradicated by Hurricane Luis. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995luis.html NHC Luis report] ] Much of the islands experienced power outages and disrupted water systems. In all, 3 people were killed, with 165 injured and 1,700 people in shelter. In addition, their government estimated a damage total of $350 million (1995 USD). [http://wwwnotes.reliefweb.int/w/RWB.NSF/480fa8736b88bbc3c12564f6004c8ad5/7624d5bf35490a98c125658a003861bb?OpenDocument Caribbean - Hurricane Luis Sep 1995 UN DHA Situation Reports] ]
International aid was sought after in the days following the storm, with building and food supplies being the most needed. Sanitation in general was lacking subsequent to the storm, contributing to an increased mosquito population. By 2 weeks after the hurricane, life was slowly returning to normalcy as money came to aid the 2 islands, including $200,000 from France to assist in their troubles.
Atlantic Ocean and Canada
Bermudaexperienced light winds and seas from Hurricane Luis, and damage was minimal.
During a trip between
Southampton, Englandand New York City, the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, in an attempt to avoid the storm, sailed into the outskirts of Hurricane Luis (which was just a Category 1 hurricane at the time). High winds caused the ship to list to one side by seven degrees and a 29 metre (95 ft) freak wavecrashed over the bow of the ocean liner.
Also, a nearby Canadian buoy recorded a wave 30 meters (98 ft) high at about the same time.
Days after passing through the Caribbean, Luis passed through Newfoundland, bringing heavy winds, seas, and 2 to convert|5|in|mm of rain on the Avalon Peninsula. [ [http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm95.html Canadian Hurricane Centre Luis report] ] Damage totaled $2 million (1995 USD), and one person died on the island.cite web|author=Université Catholique de Louvain|year=2007|title=EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database for North America|accessdate=2007-09-07|url=http://www.em-dat.net/]
The name Luis was retired in the spring of 1996 and will never be used for another
Atlantic hurricane. It was replaced with Lorenzo in the 2001 season. Luis was the first L name to be retired since 1954, and was the first Atlantic Hurricane name to be retired in three years, making it the longest gap recorded, although it was tied with the 1980-1983 gap and 1985-1988 gap as well.
At one point during the 1995 season, the storm was one of four simultaneous Atlantic tropical systems, along with Humberto, Iris, and Karen.
List of tropical cyclones
List of Atlantic hurricanes
* [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995luis.html NHC Luis Report]
* [http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/storm95.html Canadian Hurricane Center]
* [http://archinstitute.blogspot.com/2006/10/hurricane-proof-construction.html Archimede Houses Weathered Luis With NO Damage]
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