Hurricane Humberto was the eighth named storm and third hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. Humberto developed in the western Gulf of Mexico south of the eastern Texas coast on September 12. Humberto underwent rapid intensification, becoming a 90 mph hurricane less than 24 hours after forming. Humberto was the first (and so far only) tropical cyclone in the Atlantic historical record to accomplish such a remarkable intensification feat that close to landfall. Humberto dissipated on September 14 over central Mississippi.
Humberto caused $50,000,000 (2007 USD) in damage, and one fatality.
|Formation||September 12, 2007|
|Dissipation||September 14, 2007|
|Highest winds||90 mph|
|Lowest pressure||985 mbar|
|Damages||$50,000,000 (2007 USD)|
|Areas affected||Texas, Louisiana, southeastern United States|
|Part of the||2007 Atlantic hurricane season|
Humberto developed from a frontal zone (the same one that spawned Gabrielle) that degenerated into a trough and moved offshore south Florida into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on September 5. The trough remained nearly stationary over the next couple of days, then moved slowly to the west-northwest for nearly a week as high pressure built across the southeastern United States. On September 11, the trough axis was located in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and convection significantly increased near the center of the trough that day while it was located a couple hundred miles south of Galveston, Texas. Although convective activity diminished during the night, a weak surface low developed along the trough. Early on September 12, convection redeveloped over the low, and by 0900 UTC that day, the low was sufficiently organized for it to be classified as Tropical Depression Nine while located about 120 miles south of Galveston, Texas. After forming, the depression quickly strengthened into a tropical storm at 1200 UTC, as per ship reports as well as radar data. During this time, Humberto was moving slowly to the north. Intense convection within well-defined spiral bands continued in association with the cyclone, and the small storm continued to intensify as it neared the upper Texas coast. Later that day, the cyclone turned north-northeast due to the steering flow around a large mid- to upper-level high across the southeastern United States. Radar data indicated that Humberto became a hurricane about 20 miles south of High Island, Texas near 0400 UTC September 13, and the storm reached its peak intensity of 90 mph as it made landfall just east of McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge near 0700 UTC September 13.
Humberto moved slowly across southeast Texas, passing over the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. Subsequently, the storm entered southwestern Louisiana, and it weakened to a tropical storm about 75 miles west-northwest of Lafayette, Louisiana. Late on September 13, Humberto weakened to a tropical depression near Alexandria, and dissipated the next day over central Mississippi.
As Humberto became a tropical cyclone, a Tropical Storm Warning was issued from Port O'Connor, Texas to Cameron, Louisiana, while a Tropical Storm Watch was issued from Cameron, Louisiana to Intercoastal City, Louisiana; this watch was upgraded to a warning once Humberto attained tropical storm status. As Humberto became a hurricane, a Hurricane Warning was issued from High Island, Texas to Cameron, Louisiana. In addition, an inland Tropical Storm Warning was issued for several inland parishes across southwest Louisiana. In addition, a Tornado Watch was issued by the National Weather Service for coastal parishes of southwestern Louisiana. Prior to the hurricane's landfall, officials in Calcesieu Parish advised residents living in low-lying areas to consider moving to a safer location. In addition, a storm shelter was opened in Lake Charles, where 29 residents rode out the hurricane.
Also, as Humberto moved across the area, Flood Watches and Flood Warnings were posted for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Texas Governor Rick Perry prepared resources for the potentially impacted areas, which included the dispatchment of 200 Texas Military Forces. Six Black Hawk helicopters and two water rescue teams were also dispatched for rescuing purposes. Shortly after Humberto developed, the Texas State Operations Center was activated.
Radar image of Humberto making landfall along the upper Texas coast.
Because of the threat from Humberto, oil production was slowed, with at least four refineries in Port Arthur being halted. On September 12, oil prices rose above $80 per barrel. The next day, it peaked at a record $80.09 per barrel. Natural gas futures rose 8% ahead of the hurricane, although it lost most of those gains the following day.
A few hours before the system developed, its outer rainbands began affecting the upper Texas coast. During the following days, heavy rainfall from the cyclone, with rainfall amounts reaching as high as 14.13 inches at East Bay Bayou. At Sea Rim State Park, sustained winds reached 69 mph, with gusts as high as 85 mph. The National Weather Service estimates that wind gusts of 90 mph occured in extreme southwestern Jefferson County as well as extreme southeastern Chambers County. Humberto produced a minor storm surge of 2.86 feet at Rollover Pass, and the combination of the surge and waves caused minor beach erosion. The hurricane also destroyed 10 homes in Galveston County, and severely damaged 19 more in the county. In addition, several homes received shingle damage, and road closures occured in Galveston County, which left around 5,000 homes isolated. Because of the saturated ground along with the strong winds, Humberto uprooted trees and downed power lines, with at least 50 high voltage transmission poles severely damaged or knocked down. Over 120,000 customers lost electricity in Orange and Jefferson Counties, with a total of 118,000 Entergy customers in the state without electricity. In addition, widespread flooding was reported in Orange and Jefferson Counties, and at least 20 homes in Beaumont were flooded by the hurricane, and several roadways were also flooded by the storm.
Humberto also killed one person in Bridge City when his carport fell on him outside his house. Total damage in Texas from Hurricane Humberto reached $50,000,000 (2007 USD).
Rainfall totals from Hurricane Humberto.
Lack of Retirement
Because damage wasn't extreme, the name Humberto was not retired in the Spring of 2008 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.