Hurricane Cindy was the first hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, forming from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa. The wave did not develop into a depression until it reached the Carribean Sea on July 3. Cindy made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, emerging into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and intensifying into a tropical storm, then briefly a hurricane before its landfall in extreme southeastern Louisiana late on July 5 as a minimal hurricane. Cindy made a second landfall in Mississippi on July 6 as a 50 mph tropical storm. Cindy then headed northeast through the United States, producing severe weather. Cindy became extratropical on July 7 over the Carolinas, and it dissipated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on July 9. Operationally, it was thought that Cindy did not reach hurricane strength, but post-season analysis showed it actually did reach minimal hurricane strength. Total damage from Hurricane Cindy totalled $320,000,000 (2005 USD). Cindy caused 3 deaths; one direct, two indirect.
|Formation||July 3, 2005|
|Highest winds||75 mph|
|Lowest pressure||991 mbar|
|Deaths||1 direct, 2 indirect|
|Damages||$320,000,000 (2005 USD)|
|Areas affected||Yucatan Peninsula, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland|
Cindy developed from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on June 24. The wave did not organize enough to be classified as a tropical depression until it reached the Carribean Sea, where it became Tropical Depression Three while located about 80 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico on July 3. After becoming a depression, the system made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula on July 4 as a tropical depression with 35 mph winds. After landfall, the depression began to lose its circulation as it was over land. However, on July 4, the depression established a new center of circulation to the north of where the original center of circulation was (this center was located in the Gulf of Mexico). This ended the confusion that the models originally had about predicting the depression's track (initally, it was thought that the depression would strike Texas), since the models now predicted a landfall in Louisiana. After the new center reformation, the depression began moving to the north, as opposed to its previous northwest track, and the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Cindy early on July 5. After becoming a tropical storm, Cindy continued to move northward towards the coast of Louisiana, becoming a minimal hurricane (Category 1) with 75 mph winds before its landfall in extreme southeastern Louisiana, thanks to weakened wind shear in the area.
After landfall in Louisiana late in the evening of July 5, Cindy made a second landfall near Waveland, Mississippi on July 6 as a 50 mph tropical storm. After that, Cindy moved northeast through the United States, becoming extratropical on July 7 over the Carolinas. After becoming extratropical, Cindy continued moving northeast, dissipating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on July 9.
In Louisiana, Cindy produced a storm surge of 4 to 6 feet, causing beach erosion near Grand Isle. In New Orleans, wind gusts reached as high as 70 mph, downing, and in some cases, uprooting trees. Some minor street flooding was also reported. Thousands of people in the city lost power, the worst blackout since Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Overall, damage in Louisiana wasn't extreme. Slidell also picked up over 5 inches of rain from Cindy. Also, residents in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area expected to receive only minimal effects from Cindy, but instead they were cleaning up debris and were without power for days. This encouraged the city to evacuate when Hurricane Katrina approached the city nearly two months later.
In Mississippi and Louisiana alone, over 300,000 homes and businesses in Mississippi and southeast Louisiana were left without power. Overall, damage in Mississippi was light, mainly limited to heavy rain and some power outages. Gulfport also picked up over 5 inches of rain from Cindy.
In Alabama, Cindy produced over 5 inches of rain. Other than that, impacts were minimal, limited to some power outages caused by Cindy's strong winds, as well as some heavy rainfall. Cindy also produced a direct death in Alabama.
In Georgia, Cindy spawned an F2 tornado in Hampton, which damaged parts of the Atlanta Motor Speedway and Tara Field. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport reported 5 inches of rain from Cindy on July 6, most of that rain falling within a 2 hour period. This amount of rainfall is more than the area typically gets in a typical July. Cindy also produced two indirect deaths in Georgia.
In Maryland, Cindy produced over 5 inches of rain.
Lack of Retirement
Due to the minimal effects produced from Cindy, the name was not retired in the Spring of 2006 by the World Meteorological Organization, and so it is on the list for names to be used in the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.