Tropical Storm Gert was the seventh named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, forming in the Bay of Campeche from a tropical wave that moved off the African coast on July 10. Gert then travelled northwest, making landfall in Mexico 6 miles southeast Pánuco, and dissipated just a day after making landfall. Gert's peak wind speed was 45 mph. The NHC predicted that Gert may strengthen further, due to it moving more north than they had originally predicted, but this never occured, with Gert remaining a minimal tropical storm. Gert caused one fatality, and damage is estimated at $6,000,000 (2005 USD). Overall, Gert was an extremely minimal storm.
|Formation||July 23, 2005|
|Highest winds||45 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1005 mbar|
|Damages||$6,000,000 (2005 USD)|
|Areas affected||Central Mexico|
On July 10, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. While passing over the Cape Verde Islands, the wave developed into a low pressure area, but nevertheless, did not develop into a tropical depression, due to cooler waters on the surface, as well as wind shear. Despite the unfavorable conditions, the wave moved to the west, and it continued travelling through the Lesser Antilles until July 18. Later on July 18, while located south of Puerto Rico, the wave split in two; the northern half moved northwest and headed into the Bahamas, this same wave becoming Tropical Storm Franklin. On the other hand, the southern half of the wave moved westward, with the thunderstorm activity increasing around the wave as it did so. On July 22, a low pressure area developed while the wave was in the Gulf of Honduras. Despite this, the wave was unable to develop into a tropical depression, due to moving over the Yucatan Peninsula. After its one day passage through the Yucatan Peninsula, the wave emerged over the Bay of Campeche, though it did not have any deep convection associated with it. Nevertheless, the wave quickly developed the deep convection needed to get it going into a tropical depression, and it became Tropical Depression Seven by the NHC in Miami, Florida on July 23, while it was located 255 miles east-southeast of Tuxpan, Mexico.
Early on July 24, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gert. After becoming a tropical storm, Gert moved to the northwest, and reached its peak as a 45 mph tropical storm on July 24. Further strengthening was predicted by the National Hurricane Center, due to Gert moving more north than they had originally anticipated, thus it would have more time over open water than it otherwise would have. Nevertheless, more strengthening did not occur, and Gert made landfall in central Mexico, just 6 miles southeast of Pánuco, as a 45 mph tropical storm. The time of landfall was 10:00 PM CDT (0000 July 25, UTC). Early on July 25, Gert quickly weakened back to a tropical depression, becoming a remnant area of low pressure twelve hours after that. Six hours later, a mere day after it made landfall, Gert dissipated over the mountains of central Mexico.
Because Gert's track was slightly more north than the National Hurricane Center had originally predicted, they mentioned the possibility of Gert strengthening further than a 45 mph tropical storm, though this did not occur. It could've occured because Gert spent more time over the water than the NHC originally predicted with its more northerly track, and it did just that, but nevertheless did not strengthen more as predicted. The primary concern from Gert was the torrential rainfall it could produce, since Mexico had already been other tropical storms earlier in the season.
In Mexico, the Mexican Servicio Meteorológico Nacional issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the eastern Mexican Gulf Coast between Palma Sola and Cabo Rojo as soon as the depression formed. Also, at that time, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued from Cabo Rojo northward, all the way to La Cruz. Also, the same day, the government of Veracruz declared a state of emergency in 24 municipalities of the state. This allowed them to make money from the National Disaster Fund that was available to those affected by Gert. As Gert came closer to the littoral, the Tropical Storm Warning that was initially issued when Tropical Depression Seven formed was extended further north to La Cruz, then to La Pesca. The warning was cancelled shortly after Gert made landfall.
Also, Gert struck just to the south of where the much more powerful Emily had struck earlier in the season, as well as where Bret had hit earlier in the season. This resulted in serious concern that flooding and mudslides could occur, due to heavy rainfall falling on already saturated ground. About 1,000 people were evacuated from low-lying residences and businesses near the towns of Naranjos and Tamiahua in Veracruz. Finally, around 6,000 people were evacuated throughout Tamaulipas as a precaution.
Gert dumped heavy rainfall throughout its path over central Mexico, with a 24-hour period of rainfall reaching 8.46" in Tamuin, San Luis Potosi, as well as 7.29" in Tamesi, Tamaulipas. Also, in Veracruz, the highest rainfall amount that was measured was 4.61" at El Higo. One man was killed when the La Silla River when he was pushing a stalled car across the flooded stream. This fatality was the only associated with Gert. Damage was minimal, amounting to only $6,000,000 (2005 USD).
The government of Tamaulipas stated that most of the damage associated with Gert occured in farmland and residents' dwellings, mainly near Reynosa, Valle Hermoso, and San Fernando. Also, in Matamoros, part of the city lost power, as well as running water. Also, in Valle Hermoso, two schools were damaged. In Reynosa, 180 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in five districts of the city. Finally, in San Fernando, the main highway that leads through the city was closed. Also, traffic on the bridge over the Conchos River was restricted to one lane only. In Mier, the spillway of the Las Blancas Dam was overtopped by Gert. This overtopping of the dam caused a river bridge to be destroyed, and also caused electricity to be losed in that region as well. In Río Bravo, as much as 50 families were evacuated, since seven collective farms became hard to reach by road; approximately 90% of the residences in the farms were affected by Gert.
In Altamira, 200 families were evacuated, relocating to seven shelters. In the municipalities of Burgos, Méndez, and Cruillas, flooding was reported in collective farms, as well as family dwellings. After Gert had passed, the government promised to take the necessary action needed to prevent a dengue outbreak, as well as a West Nile Virus outbreak.
In Nuevo León, Gert caused around 6,000 residents who lived near the Conchos River, Guayalejo River, and the Grande Rivers to evacuate from their residences across the state. Rainfall associated with Gert caused 100 collective farms to become isolated from the rest of the state in the municipality of Montemorelos. Also, in the city, one building was evacuated, due to a 100 foot fissure appearing on the ground near the structure. Finally, in the municipalities of Valles, Ebano, and San Vicente Tancuayalab, 100 people were evacuated.
Lack of Retirement
Because of its minimal effects, the name Gert was not retired in the Spring of 2006 by the World Meteorological Organization, therefore it is on the list of names to be used for the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. Also, this was the fourth time the name Gert had been used to name an Atlantic tropical cyclone.