Hurricane Karl was the eleventh named storm, eighth hurricane, and sixth major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Karl formed on September 16 in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean well to the southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Karl moved west, quickly gaining tropical storm status. It then moved to the northwest, where it quickly attained hurricane status. Karl then briefly moved more westerly, but then quickly moved back to the northwest, then to the north, and then finally to the northeast and then north as it recurved out to sea. Karl became an extratropical cyclone on September 28 over the far north Atlantic Ocean. At its peak, Karl was a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph and a pressure of 938 mb.

Karl caused no damage and no deaths.

Karl at peak intensity on September 21
FormationSeptember 16, 2004
Dissipation September 28, 2004
Highest winds 145 mph
Lowest pressure 938 mbar
Deaths None reported
Damages None
Areas affectedFaroe Islands
Part of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season

Meteorological history

On September 13, a vigorous tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. On September 14, convection associated with the wave increased. The next day, Dvorak classifications began on the wave. At around 0600 UTC September 16, the wave had gained enough organization to be classified as Tropical Depression Twelve while located about 340 miles southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. After forming, the depression moved to the west along the southern periphery of the subtropical ridge to the north. Later on September 16, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Karl. On September 17, Karl turned to the northwest, then to the west-northwest while becoming a hurricane on September 18. On September 19, Karl continued to the west-northwest, then turned northwest on September 20, and north-northwest on September 21 towards a weakness in the subtropical ridge. On September 20, Karl reached winds of 135 mph, Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. On September 21, Karl's winds reached 145 mph. Karl continued north-northwest until September 22 when it turned northeastward in response to a deep-layer baroclinic trough that was developing to the north of the hurricane. This motion continued through September 23, and the intensity of the hurricane also fluctuated during this time due to an eyewall replacement cycle, with Karl's winds falling to 105 mph on September 22, and increasing to 130 mph on September 23. Karl turned to the north east of the trough on September 24, weakening and transitioning into an extratropical cyclone as it did so. Early on September 25, Karl became an extratropical cyclone while located about 510 miles east of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Karl's extratropical remnants continued northeastward and eastward across the North Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, eventually reaching Norway before becoming absorbed into another extratropical cyclone late on September 28.


Karl made landfall in the Faroe Islands as an extratropical cyclone. It had sustained winds of 70 mph with gusts as high as 89 mph at landfall. No damage was reported, however, and neither were fatalities. No ships came directly into contact with Karl; the strongest winds reported were from the ship Rotterdam, which reported 52 mph (83 km/h) sustained winds in the north Atlantic while Karl was a Category 1 storm in extratropical transition.

Lack of Retirement

Due to the lack of damage, the name Karl was not retired in the Spring of 2005 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

2004 Atlantic hurricane season


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