Hurricane Florence was the sixth storm and the third hurricane of the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season. Florence formed out of a cold front that exited the East Coast of the United States in early September. The front spawned a low-pressure area, which ultimately became Florence. Florence peaked as an 80 mph Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Florence moved slowly and eratically in the beginning, but then accelerated northeast and recurved out to sea.
Florence caused no damage but killed three people directly in North Carolina because of high surf.
|Formation||September 10, 2000|
|Dissipation||September 17, 2000|
|Highest winds||80 mph|
|Lowest pressure||985 mbar|
During the first week of September, a cold front moved off the North American continent and became stationary over the western subtropical Atlantic. On September 8 and September 9, a weak wave along the front amplified slowly, and then on September 10, began to deepen more rapidly underneath an upper-level cold low. During the daytime hours of September 10, the flow around the developing low became less wavelike and more ciruclar, and it is estimated that the low lost its frontal structure and became a subtropical depression by 1800 UTC on September 10, while it was located about 325 miles west-southwest of Bermuda. At this time, the convection was west of and close to the circulation center, but it was very limited in coverage. It is assumed that the upper-level circulation was still cold core, and thus the system was not designated a tropical, but rather a subtropical, depression. At 0000 UTC on September 11, the convection began to increase depth and coverage as it rotated to the south side of the low-level circulation center. It is estimated that by 1243 UTC on September 11, the subtropical depression has developed a weak warm core, and it is estimated that a tropical depression formed at 0600 UTC on September 11.
The burst of convection on September 11 continued to rotate around the east side of the low-level circulation center where it was associated with a rapid increase in wind speeds. By 1200 UTC that same day, the depression became Tropical Storm Florence, and by 1800 UTC, Florence became a hurricane. At the time Florence became a hurricane, it was located 425 miles west-southwest of Bermuda. However, Florence's strongest winds were confined to a very small area near the edge of the convection. By 0000 UTC on September 12, Florence entrained some dry air into its circulation and as a result, Florence weakened back to a tropical storm, albeit briefly. A reconnaissance flight into Florence on September 12 reported pressure falls, the development of an elliptical eyewall, and a return of hurricane-force winds, thus Florence was upgraded to a hurricane again after that fact. On September 11, Florence moved very slowly westward under the influence of a mid-level ridge over the mid-Atlantic coast. The flow was soon balanced, however, by another ridge of high pressure southeast of Florence. As a result, Florence moved little from September 12 to September 14. By 1200 UTC on September 13, the minimum centrla pressure within the cyclone began to rise, and Florence weakened to a tropical storm again, possibly due to upwelling because of its slow movement.
On September 14, north-northwesterly vertical wind shear began to increase, and Florence's winds decreased to 45 mph during this time. An approaching shortwave trough in the westerlies brought Florence to the east-northeast on September 15. With most of the convection and strong winds in the southeast quadrant of the storm, Florence strengthened again late on September 15, accelerated rapidly to the northeast, and became a hurricane again for the third time at 0000 UTC on September 16, when it was centered about 175 miles west-southwest of the island of Bermuda. Florence made its closest at around 0800 UTC on September 16, when it passed about 65 miles northwest of the island. Later on September 16, an eye was briefly visible within Florence's center and at this time, Florence reached its peak intensity of 80 mph. As Florence headed over cooler waters, it weakened, and Florence weakened back to a tropical storm for the fourth time at 0000 UTC on September 17, while located about 425 miles northeast of Bermuda. After 1800 UTC on September 17, Florence was located about 125 miles south of St. Johns, Newfoundland, and Florence became absorbed by an extratropical cyclone associated with the shortwave trough.
Florence killed 3 people in North Carolina because of high surf. Other than that, no impact occured on land, except perhaps some high surf along the Eastern Seaboard as well as Bermuda and Atlantic Canada. Florence caused no damage.
Lack of Retirement
Because there was no damage, the name Florence was not retired in the Spring of 2001 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again in the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.