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Tropical Storm Gabrielle was the seventh named storm of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. Gabrielle formed on August 10 in the western Gulf of Mexico east of northeastern Mexico. Gabrielle peaked with 70 mph winds before landfall, which is just under hurricane intensity. Gabrielle produced heavy rains over portions of Texas and Mexico. Gabrielle dissipated on August 12 over the mountains of northeastern Mexico. Interestingly, Gabrielle struck Mexico just as Hurricane Flossie in the East Pacific was striking the Baja Peninsula.

Gabrielle caused no known damage, but killed 6 people.

Gabrielle approaching northeastern Mexico
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FormationAugust 10, 1995
Dissipation August 12, 1995
Highest winds 70 mph
Lowest pressure 988 mbar
Deaths 6 direct
Damages Unknown
Areas affectedMexico, Texas, New Mexico
Part of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season


Meteorological History

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On July 27, a tropical wave exited the coast of Africa and began heading westward across the Atlantic Ocean. The wave was well-defined system as it was tracked across the Atlantic Ocean and Carribean Sea over the following 12 days. On August 8, the wave entered the western Gulf of Mexico. On August 9, a weak low-level circulation center was evident in satellite imagery, and on August 10, reconnaissance aircraft indicated that a well-defined low-level wind field had developed within the wave. Based on this, the wave was upgraded to Tropical Depression Eight on the afternoon of August 10 while located about 160 miles east of La Pesca, Mexico and 225 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas. The depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Gabrielle later on August 10. Gabrielle took a sharp southward turn on August 10, and a northwestward turn on August 11. The storm's overall path was an erratic motion to the west. Late on August 11, just prior to landfall, Gabrielle attained its peak intensity of 70 mph, just shy of hurricane status.

Gabrielle made landfall just south of La Pesca, Mexico and about 150 miles south of the United States/Mexico border late on August 11. After landfall, Gabrielle quickly weakened, dissipating early on August 12.

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Infrared satellite image of Gabrielle at landfall.

Preparations

At 2100 UTC August 10, a Tropical Storm Warning was issued from Baffin Bay, Texas to La Pesca, Mexico. The warning was soon extended to Tampico, Mexico at 0900 UTC August 10 and 12 hours later, extended even further to Tuxpan, Mexico. By 2100 UTC August 10, all warnings for Texas were discontinued, with the warnings in Mexico discontinued six hours later. 800 people were evacuated in Soto la Marina and San Fernando in Tamaulipas. People in poor villages in the Rio Grande Valley were given sandbags with Tropical Storm Gabrielle approaching.

Impact

Gabrielle caused only light damage, but exact totals are not known. It killed 6 people, however, most likely from flooding.

Mexico

There were no reports of wind damage from the storm, but tropical storm force winds occured along the northern coast of Tamaulipas. According to the National Hurricane Center, rainfall amounts as high as 24 inches occured occurred in much of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, but the rain was reportedly benefical due to an ongoing drought there. The rainfall amount of 24 inches is debatable, since the rainfall database maintained by the National Weather Service in Mexico shows rainfall under 20 inches occuring in the region. Gabrielle's heavy rains flooded streets and destroyed bridges and highways in northern Mexico, which is an industrial capital.

Texas

Gabrielle produced heavy rains of up to 6 inches in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Gabrielle produced widespread rainfall of 4 to 6 inches in the state. Gabrielle's rains came after a drought, and some if it soaked in. Gabrielle's heavy rains caused damage to unharvested cotton. In addition, minor flooding occured. Brownsville reported rains as high as 4 inches due to Gabrielle. Gabrielle's storm surge was minor in Texas. It is unknown the storm surge Gabrielle produced in Mexico, since records of it were not taken. It is estimated by the NHC that a storm surge of a few feet occured north of the cyclone's circulation center. In southern Texas, minor coastal flooding occured due to Gabrielle's storm surge.

New Mexico

On August 15, the remnants of Gabrielle produced heavy thunderstorms in New Mexico.

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Rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Gabrielle.

Lack of Retirement

Due to the minor damage, the name Gabrielle was not retired in the Spring of 1996 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again during the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season, and was used again during the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

1995 Atlantic hurricane season

References

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1995gabrielle.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Gabrielle_%281995%29

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