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Tropical Storm Hanna was the eighth named storm of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. Hanna was one of six tropical cyclones to strike the United States during the 2002 season. Hanna formed in the Gulf of Mexico on September 12. It moved westward, then northward, striking extreme southeastern Louisiana, then striking near the Mississippi/Alabama border as a tropical storm. Hanna peaked with 55 mph winds and a pressure of 1001 mb. Hanna's remnants later moved inland where they dissipated on September 15.

Hanna caused $20.3 million (2002 USD) in damage and killed 3 people.

Hanna nearing its landfall
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FormationSeptember 12, 2002
Dissipation September 15, 2002
Highest winds 55 mph
Lowest pressure 1001 mbar
Deaths 3 direct
Damages $20.3 million (2002 USD)
Areas affected Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia

Meteorological History

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A trough of low pressure developed in the Gulf of Mexico in early September. During that period, a tropical wave moving in from the east merged with a trough and became a 1008 mb low pressure area. After formation of the low, convection was weak until later on September 11, convection steadily deepened east of the upper-level low and surface low. At 1200 UTC on September 12, the low had become organized enough to be classified as Tropical Depression Nine while located 250 miles south of Pensacola, Florida. Despite strong amounts of vertical wind shear, the strengthened into Tropical Storm Hanna that same day as it headed westward then northward. Before making its first landfall in southeastern Louisiana on September 14, Hanna reached its peak intensity of 55 mph. That same day, Hanna's second and final landfall occured near the Mississippi/Alabama border. As Hanna moved northeast across Alabama, it quickly weakened, dissipating on September 15. Hanna's remnants then moved over Georgia and the Carolinas.

Preparations

As soon as Tropical Depression Nine formed, forecasters issued a Tropical Storm Watch. The system was forecast to become a tropical storm within the next 24 hours. The watch was extended from Pascagoula, Mississippi to the Florida Panhandle. By September 13, the watch was extended as far west at southeastern Louisiana. When the depression became a tropical storm, the watches were quickly upgraded to warnings. When the cyclone was nearing landfall, forecasters predicted that it would produce 4-8 inches of rain, possible tornadoes, and a storm surge of 2-4 feet. Also, high waves and strong rip currents were predicted. Offshore, several oil platforms were shut down and evacuated prior to the cyclone. On September 14, the warnings east of Apalachicola, Florida were discontinued. After Hanna's landfall, forecasters issued Flood Watches for inland portions of Mississippi and Alabama. Also, western portions of Georgia and the Carolinas were under Flood Watches.

Impact

Hanna produced tropical storm force winds and heavy rains across the U.S. Gulf Coast. In Georgia and North Carolina the heavy rains from Hanna caused moderate flooding. The storm left around $20,000,000 (2002 USD) in damage.

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Hanna as a tropical depression after landfall.

Florida

A weather station in Pensacola recorded sustained winds of 55 mph with gusts to 68 mph. The city of Chipley reported 9.68 inches of rain and Apalachicola received 2.28 inches of rain from the storm. Also, a storm surge of 2-4 feet was reported along the Florida Panhandle. In addition, the St. Marks River crested .10 feet above flood stage. The heavy rainfall from the cyclone caused major flooding that closed several roads. In Perry, 15 houses were flooded and the strong winds knocked down power lines, leaving 15,000 residents without power in that city. Along the coast, Hanna caused minor beach erosion. Also, two fatalities were reported, both from drowning incidents.

Alabama

A weather station in Mobile recorded 30-40 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 65 mph. In the city of Coden, a rainfall total of 7.55 inches was reported, and a rainfall total of 5.8 inches was reported in Belle Fontaine. Also, at Dauphin Island, a storm surge of 3.7 feet was reported.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, Hanna produced 1 inch of rain. In addition, minor tidal flooding occured.

Georgia

In Albany, 3.47 inches of rain occured, and the city of Augusta picked up 1.3 inches of rain. The highest rainfall amount reported in Georgia was in Donalsonville, where 14 inches of rain fell within a 24-hour period. Hanna's heavy rainfall caused moderate street flooding, damaging 250 homes and 50 businesses in Donalsonville. In addition, the flooding also caused minor crop damage. In Miller County, 35 homes were damaged by the flooding, and Governor Roy Barnes declared three counties in the state disaster areas. In Atlanta, 48,000 residents were left without electricity when Hanna's remnants moved northeastward, bringing with them 40-50 mph gusts. These winds downed trees and power lines.

South Carolina

In Marion County, South Carolina, Hanna produced 3 inches of rain, flooding Highway 41. Also, in Anderson County, 4-5 inches of water closed several roads. Elsewhere in the state, heavy rainfall from Hanna caused flooding that damaged several homes and businesses, and also produced isolated sinkholes in Greenville County.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, Hanna's remnants produced over 2 inches of rain which caused minor flooding.

Virginia

In Virginia, the remnants of Hanna caused significant flooding in Pulaski County. The flooding stranded a motorist and produced minimal damage to farming areas. Total damage from the flooding was $300,000 (2002 USD).

In all, Hanna left $20.3 million (2002 USD) in damage, and killed 3 people, all directly.

Lack of Retirement

Because damage was not extreme, the name Hanna was not retired in the Spring of 2003 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

2002 Atlantic hurricane season

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Hanna_%282002%29

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