Tropical Storm Fabian was the seventh named storm of the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season. Fabian formed from a tropical wave that exited the African coast on September 22. Fabian did not develop into a tropical depression until October 4, despite the wave moving off of Africa much earlier. This, as was usually the case in 1997, was because of strong upper-level wind shear. Fabian moved northeast after forming, and went harmlessly out to sea, becoming extratropical on October 8.
Fabian caused no damage, and no reported fatalities, although heavy rainfall and gusty winds over the Lesser Antilles from the precursor wave could've resulted in some minor damage.
|Formation||October 4, 1997|
|Dissipation||October 8, 1997|
|Highest winds||40 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1004 mbar|
|Damages||Unknown, if any|
|Areas affected||Lesser Antilles|
On September 22, a tropical wave crossed Dakar, accompanied by a well-marked wind shift, as well as considerable cloudiness between 8°N and 12°N. The wave moved westward for several days without developing. It reached the Lesser Antilles on September 29, and surface data indicated that a broad area of low pressure with a weak low-level circulation had developed over the northern portion of the Windward Islands in association with the tropical wave. However, strong westerly wind shear prevented the wave from becoming a tropical depression. Despite it not developing into a tropical depression, very heavy rain and gusty winds were reported from a few locations in the Lesser Antilles. The system moved to the north-northwest, passing near Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. The system turned to the northeast and east to the same heading of upper-level winds. At this point, vertical wind shear decreased, and it is estimated that Tropical Depression Seven formed at 1800 UTC on October 4. The depression consisted of a tight swirl of low clouds located on the edge and west of a cluster of deep convection.
Thunderstorm activity fluctuated significantly during the storm's lifetime, and the low-level circulation center was intermittently under the deep convection. It is estimated that at 1800 UTC on October 5, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Fabian. At 1200 UTC on October 7, Fabian reached its peak as a 40 mph tropical storm with a minimum central pressure of 1004 mb during one of the convective bursts. After forming, Fabian moved northeast, and became an extratropical cyclone at 1200 UTC on October 8.
The precursor wave produced gusty winds and very heavy rainfall in the Lesser Antilles. Aside from that, no impacts are associated with Fabian (at least any that were reported).
Lack of Retirement
Because of the lack of damage, the name Fabian was not retired in the Spring of 1998 by the World Meteorological Organization. However, the Fabian used in 2003 was retired, and was replaced with Fred for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.