Hurricane Gordon was the eighth named storm, as well as the third hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, forming from a tropical wave that exited the African coast and followed Florence. Later, the wave got sucked into Florence's large circulation, but eventually managed to break free of Florence's circulation and it began to organize, thus becoming a tropical storm. Gordon moved northwest, then northeast, eventually making landfall in the Azores as a Category 1 hurricane. After that, Gordon's remnants effected Western Europe. Gordon's damages it caused are unknown, though it is likely minimal. Also, Gordon was the first major hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.
|Formation||September 10, 2006|
|Dissipation||September 20, 2006|
|Highest winds||120 mph|
|Lowest pressure||955 mbar|
|Areas affected||Azores, Iberian Peninsula, British Isles|
In the first week of September, a tropical wave exited the African coast, tracking westward behind Florence. Eventually, the wave became embedded within the immensely large circulation of Florence, but was eventually able to break free of Florence's influence. After that, the wave began to gradually organize by continuously flaring up thunderstorms, despite unfavorable conditions around the wave. On September 10, the wave had organized enough to be upgraded to Tropical Depression Seven, while located in the open Atlantic Ocean, northeast of the Lesser Antilles. The depression organized into Tropical Storm Gordon on September 11, since by that time, Florence was far enough away from the system that wind shear wasn't really a problem for the system anymore. After becoming a tropical storm, Gordon moved slowly west, then took a turn to the northwest, under the influence of a hole in the ridge near the Azores. After turning to the northwest, Gordon turned to the north, becoming a hurricane shortly after it did so. Gordon then intensified at a rather rapid pace, becoming a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds less than 24 hours after becoming a hurricane.
Gordon continued to intensify, becoming a Category 3 major hurricane with 115 mph winds on the evening of September 13. Gordon organized a bit more after that, reaching a peak of 120 mph. Gordon remained a major hurricane for over 24 hours, but eventually, cooler waters caused Gordon to begin weakening on September 15. During Gordon's weakening phase, steering currents became weak, and Gordon remained stationary for 24 hours. A trough then took Gordon to the northeast, after Gordon stalled for 24 hours. On the morning of September 16, Gordon was a minimal Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds, and was forecast to weaken because of cooler waters. Gordon never weakened as predicted, however, and the storm instead restrengthened to a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds as it churned directly towards the Azores on September 19. Gordon weakened slightly before crossing the Azores, but still made landfall there as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds.
After landfall, Gordon weakened and then transitioned into an extratropical storm. Gordon's extratropical remnants then began to interact with an Atlantic low-pressure area located to the west of Ireland, as well as interacting with an associated front to the south. Gordon's remnants tracked northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. On September 21, Gordon's remnants turned northward, straight towards southwest Britain and Ireland. On the morning of September 22, Gordon had been completely absorbed into the Atlantic low-pressure area.
In the Azores, Gordon caused all 9 of the Azores Islands to be placed under red alert, and residents were told to take emergency precautions. A Hurricane Warning was also issued for all of the Azores Islands by the Meteorological Service of the Azores. Antonio Cunha, civil protection agency head closed all schools on the island as a precautionary measure. Residents were warned to stay indoors, close their windows and doors, move livestock to safer areas, and clear storm drains. Also, fisherman were ordered to stay on land because of Gordon's approach. Heavy rain, as well as winds in excess of 105 mph was forecast for the Azores Islands by forecasters. Waves were also forecast to be in excess of 40 feet.
In Spain, the region of Galicia was placed under red alert. On September 21, classes were suspended by the regional education ministry. Aside from the Galicia region in Spain, 11 other regions, including as far east as Madrid and as far south as Andalusia, were under lower levels of warning.
In the British Isles, Gordon's extratropical remnants were forecast to affect the 2006 Ryder Cup in Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland. This forecast raised fears that the event may be greatly interrupted or delayed. On September 19, it was said that Gordon's remnants would cause strong winds and heavy rain in parts of the United Kingdom. The UK Met Office said that a "period of very windy weather" with "exceptionally severe gales" was expected to affect a lot of northern Ireland and Scotland. Northern Ireland was forecast to bear the brunt of Gordon's remnants, with winds possibly up to 80 mph in some of the gales. Localized flooding was also forecast, with rainfall rates of up to 2 inches expected. Finally, Wales and western England were told that they might receive gusts in excess of 50 mph from Gordon's extratropical remnants.
In the Azores, Gordon knocked down some trees and some power lines, but other than that, no significant damage was reported. Also, all of that mainly occured on Santa Maria Island.
In the northwest province of Galicia, Gordon hit that area as an intensifying extratropical storm, bringing wind gusts as high as 101 mph at Fisterra. As far as Madrid, wind gusts in excess of 65 mph battered Punto Navacerrada. Heavy rainfall also fell across Spain, peaking at 2.58" in Canfrac. At A Coruña, the barometric pressure dropped to as low as 989.7 hPa. Also, high waves, in excess of 7 metres was reported. Traffic lights, trees, placards and hi fool containers were blown all over the area because of Gordon's strong winds in the area. One person died because of a tree falling on his car. Damage in Spain was light, though some roads were blocked as a result of Gordon's passage through the area.
Republic of Ireland
Practice rounds for the 2006 Ryder Cup were delayed on September 20 because of the high winds. However, Meteorological Office charts showed that those strong winds were not caused by Gordon, but by another Atlantic low-pressure area. On September 21, Gordon's remnants brought stormy weather, leaving 1,500 homes without power. The areas worst affected were on the east coast between Wexford and Drogheda. Also, in the south, the Cork and Limerick areas were also hit hard by Gordon's remnants. On September 21, a woman who was attending the 2006 Ryder Cup was injured after a tree branch fell near a golf buggy, which she happened to be traveling in at the time. Also, the media centre in the area was evacuated because of high winds brought by Gordon. On September 22, the gates opened up as was originally planned and the tournament's first day went on without any major interruptions.
In the United Kingdom, the remnants of Gordon slammed into southwest Britain on the evening of September 21. A wind gust as high as 81 mph was recorded because of Gordon's passage through the area. Power lines were knocked down in the area as well, leaving more than 1,000 homes without power in Truro, Cornwall. At Devon, the railroad between Exeter and Plymouth was damaged because of high surf at Dawlish brought by Gordon's remnants. This caused disruption to services there, but little else. Northern Ireland received wind gusts as high as 75 mph with Gordon's passage through the area on the night of September 21 and September 22. As many as 100,000 houses lost power because tree branches fell on power lines in the area. At County Down, several people had to be rescued from their vehicles, thanks to trees falling on them. Also, at Rostrevor, flooding was reported. Also, several roads in the province were blocked off because of fallen trees, including the M1 motorway, as well as the main roads from Derry to Belfast and Coleraine.
In Derry, the Foyle Bridge was closed for 2 hours on September 22 because of the high winds brought by Gordon's remnants. In Scotland, strong winds led to the cancellation of ferry services from Stranraer and Cairnryan. Also, lorries on the A715 road were forced to park on the roadside overnight because of the dangerous driving conditions in the area.
Lack of Retirement
Because of the minimal effects brought by Gordon, the name was not retired, and will be on the list for names to be used in the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.