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The 1989 Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, 1989, and ended on November 30, 1989. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin.

There were a few notable storms this year. Tropical Storm Allison, although only a tropical storm, produced torrential rainfall and extensive flooding across portions of southeast Texas and western and west-central Louisiana, reaching 29 inches in some locations. Allison was one of Louisiana's wettest tropical cyclones on record. Hurricane Dean reached Category 2 status and passed over Bermuda on August 6, bringing hurricane conditions to the island. Hurricane Gabrielle was a Cape Verde hurricane that attained Category 4 status, and was also a large hurricane. Gabrielle did not affect land, but is notable for both its size and intensity. Hurricane Hugo was by far the most notable storm of the season, reaching Category 5 status before lashing the northeastern portion of the Lesser Antilles, including the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Hugo then went on to make landfall near McClellanville, South Carolina at Category 4 intensity. At the time, Hugo was the costliest natural disaster in United States history, surpassed only three years later by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Hugo was initially forecast to hit near Savannah, Georgia, which, if it occurred, would have made Hugo the first major hurricane to strike Georgia since the 1898 season.

List of Storms

Storm Names

  • Allison
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dean
  • Erin
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Hugo
  • Iris
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Luis
  • Marilyn
  • Noel
  • Opal
  • Pablo
  • Roxanne
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van
  • Wendy

Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Rating

The list below shows the ACE for each storm in the season. The ACE is, broadly speaking, a measure of the power of the hurricane multiplied by the length of time it existed for, so hurricanes that lasted a long time, as well as particularly strong hurricanes, have higher ACEs.

  • Allison - 0.93250
  • Barry - 1.77500
  • Chantal - 2.45000
  • Dean - 15.93250
  • Erin - 14.18250
  • Felix - 9.86440
  • Gabrielle - 38.23500
  • Hugo - 42.69000
  • Iris - 2.53500
  • Jerry - 4.01750
  • Karen - 2.64750

Retired Names

One name was retired following the 1989 season by the World Meteorological Organization: Hugo. It was replaced with Humberto for the 1995 season.

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