Tropical Storm Ana was the first named storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. Ana was a weak tropical storm that developed on August 11 while located several hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The cyclone moved westward within the deep easterlies common of the deep tropics, and briefly attained tropical storm status on August 12 before weakening back to a tropical depression. Subsequently, Ana degenerated into a tropical wave on August 13, and continued westward, regenerating into a tropical depression the next day. Ana regained tropical storm status for the second and final time, as the cyclone would not strengthen from this point on. Ana dissipated several hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands on August 16.
Ana caused no known damage, and no fatalities.
|Formation||August 11, 2009|
|Dissipation||August 16, 2009|
|Highest winds||40 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1003 mbar|
|Areas affected||Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, Bahamas|
|Part of the||2009 Atlantic hurricane season|
Ana's origins began when a vigorous tropical wave left the west coast of Africa on August 8. As the wave progressed westward across the deep tropical Atlantic, banding features were evident. By August 10, a small surface low had formed along the wave axis. The associated deep convection continued to become better organized, and it is estimated that the wave spawned a tropical depression by 0600 UTC August 11 while located about 200 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The next day, the cyclone briefly attained tropical storm status, but later that same day, deep convection associated with the cyclone had faded. By 0000 UTC August 13, Ana weakened to a tropical depression. Six hours later, the cyclone degenerated into a tropical wave while centered about 675 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Ana's degeneration was likely caused by cooler SSTs, strong easterly shear, and mid- to upper-level dry air.
For the next day or so, Ana's remnants continued westward at a quicker forward speed, with little appreciable change in organization. However, by early on August 14, convection once again increased near the center, and by 0000 UTC August 15, Ana regained tropical depression status while about 935 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Six hours later, Ana regained tropical storm status. There was no further strengthening, and Ana maintained minimal tropical storm status for about a day before westerly shear and dry air began to impinge upon the cyclone. By 1200 UTC August 16, while the cyclone was centered about 350 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, Ana weakened back to a tropical depression. Satellite imagery, along with data from a reconnaissance aircraft, suggests that Ana lost its closed surface circulation between 1200 and 1800 UTC as it moved quickly toward the west, at speeds of 20 to 25 knots, and the cyclone degenerated into a tropical wave prior to reaching the Lesser Antilles.
On the afternoon August, the government of the Netherland Antilles issued a tropical storm watch for the islands of Saint Marteen, Saba and Saint Eustatius. Later that same day, the watch was extended to include the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, and the United States Virgin Islands. On August 17, this same watch was further extended to include the island nation of Puerto Rico, along with the island of Dominica. Shortly thereafter, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthelemey were placed under a tropical storm watch. Later that day, the watch was extended further westward, this time toward the eastern end of the Dominican Republic. When Ana weakened to a tropical depression shortly afterward, all watches and warnings were discontinued for the Caribbean island nations.
Cruise ship agencies on Saint Marteen redirected ship routes in order for them to avoid the storm; additionally, docked vessels were secured in preparation for the approaching tropical cyclone. Several small ships were relocated to Simpson Bay Lagoon, where waves are typically relatively small in size. On the island of Saint Kitts, officials evacuated 40 families living in flood-prone areas to storm shelters. On August 17, the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for all of the eastern municipalities on the island; additionally, a green alert was also issued for much of the island. In an effort to avoid the cyclone, flights on the island were delayed for several hours. In the Dominican Republic, government officials issued flood alerts for a total of 12 provinces on the island, Ana's remnants were, at the time, expected to drop 6 inches of rain on the island nation. General Luna Paulino of the civil army, activated relief agencies ahead of the storm and notified residents of possible mandatory evacuations. In addition, officials thoroughly examined the dams on the island in order to avoid loss of life in small villages and towns.
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