Tropical Storm Edouard was the fifth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. Edouard developed on August 3 in the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually made landfall near Gilchrist, Texas as a 65 mph tropical storm.
Edouard caused only $250,000 (2008 USD) in damage, but caused 6 fatalities, all direct.
|Formation||August 3, 2008|
|Dissipation||August 6, 2008|
|Highest winds||65 mph|
|Lowest pressure||996 mbar|
|Damages||$250,000 (2008 USD)|
|Areas affected||Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas|
|Part of the||2008 Atlantic hurricane season|
Edouard's origins can be traced back to the remnants of an old frontal zone that moved southward into the Gulf of Mexico on August 2. Later that day, convective activity became more concentrated around the trough while it was located south of the Florida Panhandle, and by early on August 3, a small low-pressure area had developed along the trough. By 1200 UTC that day, the low developed a well-organized low-level circulation along with organized deep convection. With this, it is estimated that the system developed into a tropical depression during this time while located around 140 miles south of Pensacola, Florida. At 1930 UTC August 3, reconnaissance aircraft discovered that the cyclone had only light surface winds on their first pass through the system, along with a pressure of 1007 mb. However, at around that time, a burst of deep convection developed over the circulation center, and just an hour and a half later, the cyclone's pressure fell markedly, to 1002 mb. In addition, flight-level winds had increased to 54 kt. With this development, the depression is assumed to have strengthened into Tropical Storm Edouard. Edouard's development was short-lived, however, as northerly wind shear and dry air entrainment arrested development. There was little change in strength over the following 24 hours as the cyclone moved westward along the southern periphery of a ridge over the south-central United States. Late on August 4, as Edouard passed around 50 miles south of the Louisiana coast, the aforementioned northerly vertical shear began to relax, which allowed Edouard to develop and expand its upper-level outflow in the northwestern quadrant of the circulation. Consequently, Edouard began to intensify as it moved west-northwest. As the cyclone approached the upper Texas coast early on August 5, banding features became better defined, and Edouard reached its peak intensity of 65 mph at 0600 UTC August 5.
Edouard maintained this strength until its landfall near the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge between High Island and Sabine Pass at 1200 UTC that day. Edouard rapidly weakened after landfall as it continued moving to the west-northwest, and by 0000 UTC August 6, the cyclone had weakened into a tropical depression. Six hours later, Edouard degenerated into a remnant low as convection diminished around the center. Edouard's remnants continued moving across central Texas, producing intermittent bursts of deep convection before completely dissipating later that day.
Emergency crews were dispatched along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, in anticipation of the impact from Tropical Storm Edouard. Texas Governor Rick Perry declared 17 counties in Texas disaster areas. In addition, the governor also dispatched as many as 1,200 National Guardsmen, a 70 member rescue team, six helicopters, and an incident management team meant to send food and water to the affected citizens following the storm. Around 200 buses were made available in Houston and San Antonio in order to assist with any evacuations that might become necessary.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued a state of emergency for the state. In Cameron Parish, the Office of Emergency Preparedness issued a mandatory evacuation, and sheriff deputies erected roadblocks.
In the Gulf of Mexico, Shell Oil evacuated around 40 of its employees from their offshore oil rigs. In addition, BP and Chevron also evacuated their own personnel from various oil rigs throughout the western and central Gulf of Mexico. Despite this, Edouard was not expected to significantly disrupt oil production.
Florida and Alabama
Edouard produced rip currents along the beaches of Florida and Alabama, which killed five people, three of which were reported in Panama City Beach, Florida.
In Louisiana, Edouard produced moderate rainfall of 3.81 inches at Hackberry, with 1 to 3 inches of rain falling throughout other areas of the state. Edouard produced a storm surge of around 4 to 5 feet, with a slightly higher surge being reported at Intercoastal City. The lowest pressure recorded in Louisiana in association with Edouard was 1007.8 mb. Strong winds were primarily limited to Cameron, Vermilion, and Calcasieu Parishes, where wind gusts in excess of 40 mph were reported. At Lake Charles, a wind gust as high as 62 mph was reported. Because of the storm surge, portions of Louisiana Highway 82 between Holly Beach and Johnson Bayou was closed. Minor flooding occurred in Lake Charles, when the water from the storm surge traveled up the Calcasieu River and made it into the city, with the aforementioned water causing flooding to a local yacht club. In addition low-lying portions of Intercoastal City experienced some flooding from the cyclone, which caused disruptions to the marine industry. Edouard also knocked out power to around 2,000 customers, and the cyclone's strong winds damaged the roofs of several mobile homes. Also, a man fell overboard from a shrimping boat in rough seas near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
A buoy was broken loose and forced onshore by Edouard in Holly Beach, LA.
Edouard produced heavy rainfall across Texas, peaking at 6.48 inches in Baytown. In central Texas, a burst of heavy thunderstorms near the cyclone's center produced 6.11 inches of rain near Hamilton, which caused flooding along portions of Texas State Highway 36; portions of the highway had to be closed for a time. Elsewhere throughout the state, the cyclone produced 3 to 5 inches of rain, with the heavy rains expected to alleviate a drought that was ongoing there at the time. Wind gusts ranged anywhere from 50 to 70 mph, with a gust of 71 mph being reported at Texas Point. The lowest pressure in the state in association with Edouard was 996.6 mb at Sea Rim State Park. Edouard produced a storm surge of 2 to 5 feet, and high surf also occurred along the coast. Edouard's strong winds caused widespread power outages in Jefferson County, with trees and power lines being knocked down throughout the county. In addition to that, the winds caused some damage to hundreds of homes. During the height of the storm, at least 37,000 customers lost electricity in southeastern Texas. Edouard caused minor storm surge flooding along the Bolivar Peninsula, which amounted to $95,000 (2008 USD) in damage, and also forced the closure of Interstate 10 in Chambers County. Numerous buildings had over 6 inches of water in them, with localized amounts of 18 inches. Despite the aforementioned effects, damage in Texas from Edouard was relatively minor.
Rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Edouard.
Lack of Retirement
Undoubtedly due to the minimal damage, the name Edouard was not retired in the Spring of 2009 by the World Meteorological Organization, and is on the list of names to be used during the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.