Tropical Storm Fabian was the sixth named storm of the 1991 Atlantic hurricane season. Fabian developed in the western Carribean Sea on October 15 to the east of Belize. Fabian accelerated northeastward, passed over western Cuba as a tropical storm, and became extratropical over the northern Bahamas on October 16.
Fabian caused no known damage, and no fatalities.
|Formation||October 15, 1991|
|Dissipation||October 16, 1991|
|Highest winds||45 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1002 mbar|
|Areas affected||Cuba, Florida, Bahamas|
|Part of the||1991 Atlantic hurricane season|
On October 12, a cold front moved into the northwestern Carribean Sea and produced northwesterly winds and showers over portions of Cuba and Florida. At this time, a tropical wave near Jamaica was moving slowly westward. On October 13, the front and the tropical wave interacted with each other in the Gulf of Honduras. During this time, pressure falls were noted over Honduras, and satellite imagery showed an increase in convective activity at this time. The upper-level trough which brought the front southward moved out of the area, which allowed an anticyclone to developed atop the area of disturbed weather. The disturbance began to organize, and on October 15, a reconnaissance aircraft was dispatched to the area to investigate. The aircraft found a minimum central pressure of 1006 mb along with surface winds of at least 40 mph. Based on this, the disturbance is estimated to have become Tropical Storm Fabian while located southwest of the Isle of Youth. Fabian was a poorly organized system, with most of the convective activity located east of the poorly defined center. Fabian was accelerating northeastward, and by 2100 UTC October 15, the cyclone made landfall along the Isle of Youth near Punta del Este. Three hours later, the cyclone made landfall along mainland Cuba near Peninsula de Zapa. A few hours later, the cyclone emerged over open waters near Varadero. Subsequently, Fabian moved across the Florida Straits, where it attained its peak intensity of 45 mph along with a pressure of 1002 mb near 0834 UTC October 16. Fabian continued accelerating northeastward, and it became an extratropical cyclone over the northern Bahamas at 1800 UTC October 16 as it began to merge with a cold front.
Tropical Storm Fabian on October 16.
Coinciding with the formation of the tropical cyclone, the National Hurricane Center issued a Tropical Storm Warning from Havana to Ciego de Avila, including the Isle of Youth. In addition to the warning, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the Florida Keys and portions of the Bahamas at 1600 UTC October 15. Small craft were advised to stay in port or to return to port. Shortly after the issuance of the aforementioned Tropical Storm Watch, the watch was upgraded to a warning for the Bahamas, although all watches and warnings were canceled on October 16 as Fabian became extratropical.
Because Fabian was expected to remain at minimal tropical storm intensity, officials in the Florida Keys did not open shelters, and schools remained closed in the keys. In spite of this, however, Fabian did manage to close two state parks in the Florida Keys. A few shelters were opened in Dade County, due to the possibility of flooding from Fabian.
On the Isle of Youth, a station reported a pressure of 1004.9 mb. On the mainland, several weather stations reported wind gusts in excess of 40 mph as well as a pressure drop from 1012 mb to 1008 mb in a six hour period. Fabian produced over 4 inches of rain across central Cuba over 12-24 hour period on October 15. The highest rainfall total reported in Cuba in association with Fabian was 6.2 inches at Caonao along the southern coast of the country. In addition to this, significant rainfall totals were also reported in the towns of Antonio Maceo, Punta del Este and Calimete, Matanzas Province where amounts between 4.7-5.7 inches were recorded. Fabian caused no known damage or deaths in the country, in spite of its heavy rainfall.
The National Weather Service in Key West recorded sustained winds of 28 mph along with gusts up to 32 mph. The highest 24-hour rainfall total up to 2300 UTC October 15 was 1.75 inches. Elsewhere in the Florida Keys, Fabian produced rainfall amounts as high as 3.09 inches within 24 hours. The precursor disturbance to Fabian produced only isolated flooding, and no damage or road closings were reported. Homestead Air Force Base in southern Florida reported rainfall amounts in excess of 3.68 inches, although this was also associated with the precursor disturbance to the cyclone, and not directly related to Fabian when it was a tropical cyclone.
Fabian passed over Grand Bahama as it was becoming an extratropical cyclone. No damage or deaths were reported in the Bahamas in association with Tropical Storm Fabian.
Rainfall totals for Tropical Storm Fabian.
Lack of Retirement
Because damage was minimal, the name Fabian was not retired in the Spring of 1992 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again during the 1997 season, and also during the 2003 season. After 2003, it was retired and replaced with Fred for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.