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Hurricane Allison was the first named storm and first hurricane of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. Allison was a very early-forming Atlantic hurricane, forming on June 2 north of Nicaragua. Allison moved northwest, then north through the Yucatan Channel, strengthening into a tropical storm as it did so. In spite of unfavorable upper-level winds, Allison attained hurricane status in the Gulf of Mexico as it continued northward. Before landfall, Allison turned northeast and struck near Alligator Point, Florida as a 70 mph tropical storm, just below hurricane status. Allison continued northeast and dissipated on June 6 over South Carolina.

Allison caused $1.7 million (1995 USD) in damage and 1 fatality, which was a direct one in Cuba.

Allison in the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane
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FormationJune 3, 1995
Dissipation June 6, 1995
Highest winds 75 mph
Lowest pressure 987 mbar
Deaths 1 direct
Damages $1.7 million (1995 USD)
Areas affectedYucatan Peninsula, Cuba, Florida, Georgia, Carolinas, Atlantic Canada
Part of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season


Meteorological history

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Sallite images as well as rawinsonde data show that a tropical wave crossed the Windward Islands on May 28. When the wave entered the western Carribean Sea on June 1, it was accompanied by a broad mid-level circulation, which rawinsonde data indicated was particularly distinct at the 700 mb level. At 0000 UTC June 2, the wave gained enough organization to warrant the first Dvorak classification. During that time, the wave was located a few hundred miles east of Honduras. The wave moved to the north-northwest and gradually became better organized during the daytime hours of June 2. At around 0000 UTC June 3, data from a hurricane hunter aircraft indicated that the system developed into Tropical Depression One while located 230 miles east of Belize City. At 1200 UTC June 3, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Allison while still heading north-northwest. Allison then turned to the north, moving through the Yucatan Channel and into the Gulf of Mexico. Allison strengthened despite strong upper-level southwesterly vertical wind shear that was impinging upon the cyclone. By 1200 UTC June 4, Allison attained hurricane status over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico while located 240 miles west of Key West, Florida. The strengthening trend soon ceased, however, and Allison never attained winds higher than 75 mph. Moving northward at a swift foward speed of 15 knots, Allison headed for the Florida Panhandle. As Allison neared the coast, it turned to the northeast, and weakened slightly due to southwesterly wind shear. Allison weakened to a tropical storm at 0600 UTC June 5. Allison made landfall near Alligator Point, Florida at 1400 UTC, and then made a very brief journey back over water, then made landfall near St. Marks, Florida at 1500 UTC. Maximum sustained surface winds at landfall were estimated at 65 to 70 mph. After landfall, Allison weakened rapidly while northeast into Georgia, but tropical storm force winds persisted over Apalachee Bay until 2100 UTC June 5. By 0000 UTC June 6, Allison weakened to a tropical depression over southern Georgia.

By 0600 UTC June 6, the cyclone acquired extratropical characteristics as it interacted with a warm front to the northeast. Gale force winds developed along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina as the cyclone's isobaric pattern expanded and the pressure gradient increased well to the east of the circulation center. During the day on June 6, the low moved northeast across the East Coast of the United States and emerged into the Atlantic Ocean a little to the north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina at 0000 UTC June 7. The low, accompanied by an area of gale force winds over the southeastern semicircle of the circulation, moved rapidly to the northeast and skirted the eastern portion of Nova Scotia on June 8 as it headed for Newfoundland. After moving across Newfoundland on June 9, Allison's remnants turned to the north, then to the north-northwest, crossing into the Arctic Circle to the west of Greenland on June 11.

Impact

Cuba

Tropical storm force winds were reported throughout western Cuba, with a peak wind gust of 64 mph occuring in Havana. In addition, heavy rains of up to 18 inches were reported in the area. 32 homes were either damaged or destroyed because of the enusing flooding. One person was killed in western Cuba, with three others being injured by the storm. Total damage from the storm in Cuba was reported to have been relatively minor.

Florida

In Florida, where Allison made its landfall, Allison's strong winds knocked down power lines, which left 48,000 residents without electricity or telephone service. Along the 150 mile strech of Florida's Big Bend region, 65 beach houses were flooded, and extensive beach erosion occured because of the storm due to its storm surge. Three hotels and a restauraunt were damaged. Three fishing boats were swamped in Apalachicola, and the storm also closed a bridge linking Apalachicola with St. George Island. The highest storm surge in Florida was around 6 to 8 feet in Wakulla and Dixie Counties, and 2 to 6 feet further east. A tornado spawned by Allison touched down in Jacksonsville Beach, which caused minor damage by knocking down power lines and flipping over vehicles. In addition, minor crop damage was reported. No deaths were reported in Florida due to Allison. Total damage from Allison in Florida is estimated to be at $860,000 (1995 USD), mainly due to the storm surge.

Georgia

In Georgia, Allison spawned several tornadoes. The strongest tornado touched down in St. Marys. At Kings Bay Naval Subarmine Base, an elementary school was destroyed and extensive damage occured to some other buildings as well. Several other tornadoes were spawned in Georgia from Allison, but they caused minimal damage. Total damage is estimated at $800,000 (1995 USD) from the tornado that struck St. Marys.

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Rainfall totals from Hurricane Allison.

Lack of Retirement

Because damage was minimal, the name Allison was not retired in the Spring of 1996 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again during the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season, and was retired and replaced with Andrea, which was used and not retired during the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. It will be used again during the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

1995 Atlantic hurricane season

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