Hurricane Lorenzo was the twelfth named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. Lorenzo developed in the Bay of Campeche on September 25 and moved slowly south, then west towards the coast of central Mexico. It became a hurricane prior to landfall, and it dissipated over the mountains of central Mexico on September 28.
Lorenzo caused $92,000,000 (2007 USD) in damage and caused 6 fatalities.
|Formation||September 25, 2007|
|Dissipation||September 28, 2007|
|Highest winds||80 mph|
|Lowest pressure||990 mbar|
|Damages||$92,000,000 (2007 USD)|
|Part of the||2007 Atlantic hurricane season|
Lorenzo originated from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on September 11. The wave moved westward across the Atlantic Ocean with little development until September 21, when convection increased along the wave axis. The northern portion of the wave moved across the Yucatan Peninsula and then emerged into the southern Gulf of Mexico. On September 24, the wave spawned a small surface area of low pressure in the southwest Gulf of Mexico, and convection increased. Initially, strong vertical shear inhibited development of the system, but the following day, the shear began to relax and the system developed into Tropical Depression Thirteen around 1800 UTC September 25 while located about 150 miles east-northeast of Tuxpan, Mexico. Initially, steering currents in the vicinity of the cyclone were rather weak, and over the next 30 hours or so, the cyclone made a small cyclonic loop. During this period, little development occured, due to strong southwesterly shear in association with a trough near the coast of Texas. As the trough retrogated westward, shear over the system decreaed, and an upper-level anticyclone built over the system, providing an environment favorable for intensification. At 1200 UTC September 27, the depression became a tropical storm while centered about 130 miles east of Tuxpan. At around this time, a mid-levelridge built in across the northern Gulf of Mexico, which provided a more definite steering flow.
Lorenzo also began to move westward because of this high, strengthening rapidly as it did so. Lorenzo attained hurricane status less than 12 hours after becoming a tropical storm, and the cyclone reached its peak intensity of 80 mph at 0000 UTC September 28. As the storm was approaching landfall, it weakened slightly to 75 mph, and made landfall near Tecolutla, Mexico at 0500 UTC September 28. This location is also about 35 miles south-southeast of Tuxpan. Lorenzo weakened rapidly after landfall, with Lorenzo weakening to a tropical depression by 1200 UTC that day. 12 hours later, the system dissipated over the mountains of Mexico.
On September 27, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for central Mexico. Later on, this was extended and upgraded to a warning. As Lorenzo underwent rapid intensification, a Hurricane Warning was issued. A separate Tropical Storm Warning was issued from Palma Sola to Veracruz. By 1500 UTC September 28, all watches and warnings for Mexico were discontinued as the cyclone tracked inland. A red alert was declared by Mexican officials for much of the state of Veracruz. Schools were also closed along the coast of Veracruz, and authorities made evacuations in at least 30 communities and also set up around 60 storm shelters. About 100,000 people in total were evacuated from the Mexican coastline to storm shelters. In addition, ports in Tecolutla and Nautla were closed. The government Army and the Ministry of Marine and Navy established a plan to assist residents living in the affected areas.
Lorenzo caused signifciant damage along east-central Mexico, with its strong winds severely damaging shacks, along with downing trees and power lines. In addition, the cyclone's heavy rains produced flooding as rivers began to rise due to the heavy rains. The storm also produced some landslides. Total damage in this area is estimated at $92,000,000 (2007 USD).
The government of Mexico indicates that at least six people were killed by the hurricane in the country: one person died in Veracruz when he fell into a hole near his home in the town of Pánuco: five people were killed in Puebla, which includes a woman and two children in Chiconcuautla in Puebla's Sierra Norte region. At least four of the six deaths can be attribued to flash flooding or mudslides. Downed trees and power lines, along with flooded roads and homes, occured in both the aforementioned states. Media reports indicate that strong winds from Lorenzo peeled off roofs on a number of homes in the coastal town of Nautla. In Puebla, 169 homes were damaged by the storm, and landslides made many roads impassable. The San Lorenzo River in the state of Hidalgo overflowed its banks, which caused 200 residents to have to be evacuated.
Lack of Retirement
Because damage was not extreme, the name Lorenzo 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.