Tropical Depression Nine was a tropical depression that did not reach tropical storm status during the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. The depression formed on August 21 south of Puerto Rico. It moved northwest and dissipated on August 22. It was initially expected to become a 70 mph tropical storm, although it failed to strengthen and it lost its closed surface circulation on August 22.
The depression caused $20,000 (2003 USD) in damage and caused no fatalities.
|Formation||August 21, 2003|
|Dissipation||August 22, 2003|
|Highest winds||35 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1007 mbar|
|Damages||$20,000 (2003 USD)|
|Areas affected||Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic|
|Part of the||2003 Atlantic hurricane season|
On August 14, a vigorous tropical wave emerged off the coast of Africa. The wave began heading westward across the Atlantic Ocean as a disorganized wave. On August 15, the wave passed through the Cape Verde Islands. On August 17, the broad and disorganized wave developed a weak area of low pressure while located about 750 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Convection increased over the western portion of the wave axis, and it began to become better organized on August 18 while located about 1250 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Despite the increase in organization, convection weakened with the wave on August 19. Later that day, it began to move across the Lesser Antilles. Despite favorable upper-level winds as well as falling atmospheric pressure, there were no signs of a surface circulation associated with the wave. Early on August 20, convection increased once again, and the wave gradually became better organized. Based on a ship report, it is estimated that the wave developed into Tropical Depression Nine on August 21 while located about 260 miles south of San Juan, Puerto Rico. After forming, the depression quickly showed signs of additional organization, as banding features developed around its deepening convection. Due to a favorable upper-level environment, the National Hurricane Center predicted the wave would intensify to a 70 mph tropical storm after making landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba. Convection decreased near the center early on August 22, although the upper-level outflow remained well-defined. The depression appeared to be continuing to organize, however, despite the decrease in convection near the center, as a well-defined cloud band existed to its north and east. Unexpectedly, southwesterly wind shear began to affect the depression, and the depression degenerated into a tropical wave while located south of the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. Despite this, the depression maintained a vigorous mid-level circulation as well as a well-defined cloud pattern on satellite imagery, and the National Hurricane Center indicated that the depression could've regenerated at any time.
The wave crossed the Dominican Republic on August 23, and it became disorganized over the mountains of Hispaniola. The possibility existed for the depression to re-develop into a tropical cyclone as it entered an area of more favorable atmospheric conditions. Despite this, the NHC stopped monitoring the system on August 25 when regeneration appeared unlikely.
When the first advisory was issued on the depression, the government of the Dominican Republic issued a Tropical Storm Watch from Barahona all the way to the country's border with Haiti. In addition, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued from Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic westward to Port-au-Prince. The National Hurricane Center recommended residents in eastern Cuba to monitor the progress of the depression. When the depression was located 205 miles south-southeast of Santo Domingo, a Tropical Storm Warning was issued from Punta Palenque to the Dominican Republic's border with Haiti. When the depression was located 155 miles from the coast of Hispaniola, the government of the Dominican Republic extended the Tropical Storm Warning eastward to Isla Saona, while the government of Haiti upgraded its watch area to a Tropical Storm Warning along the coast. Also, the National Hurricane Center recommended that residents in the Bahamas monitor the progress of the cyclone. After heavy rainfall began falling in the Dominican Republic, officals evacuated residents living in low-lying areas.
The remnants of Tropical Depression Nine over the Greater Antilles.
The precursor wave to the depression dropped moderate to heavy rainfall across the Lesser Antilles, which included 1.96 inches of rain at Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia. A peak wind gust of 33 mph was reported there. In Barbados, the storm produced a wind gust of 65 mph at the very top of a hotel, and it also produced heavy rainfall that caused flooding across the island. Several roads on the island were flooded, and many people that were caught in the torrential rainfall pulled off the road to wait for the rain to subside. The rain was beneficial, however, as it was the first rainfall after two straight weeks of hot and dry conditions. In Martinique, heavy rainfall was reported, which produced flooding and mudslides. The flooding downed several trees and caused road closures in some locations. The flooding also damaged some houses, with some people losing everything.
In Puerto Rico, the depression produced moderate rainfall, and 2 to 3 inches of rain was reported in the country. Flooding entered a total of 10 homes on the island. In addition, the heavy rainfall flooded streets, which in turn left some of them impassable. A mudslide was reported along the eastern portion of the country. A river in the northeastern part of the country overflowed its banks, although within hours returned to normal. Total damage in Puerto Rico from the depression reached $20,000 (2003 USD).
In the Dominican Republic, the depression produced over 1 inch of rain across the country. The capital city of Santo Domingo reported 3.9 inches of rain from the depression. The heavy rains resulted in flooding, mainly west and east of Santo Domingo. Several roads were flooded, which obscured traffic. The flooding also collapsed a sports center as well as a house, injuring two people inside. Further inland in the country, 160 people had to be evacuated when more than 100 homes were flooded by the depression. Also, crop damage was reported in the country. In the city of Pedernales, gusty winds caused by the storm uprooted trees, several of which fell on power lines and caused power outages. In addition, five rivers overflowed their banks. The heavy rainfall was welcome, however, as the months preceding the storm were dry ones.
Flooding was reported in eastern Jamaica from the depression, but damage, if any, is unknown.