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Tropical Storm Jerry was the tenth named storm of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. Jerry formed on August 22 while over the western Bahamas. Just before landfall near Jupiter, Florida, Jerry became a tropical storm. Jerry, even though it was only a minimal tropical storm at landfall, produced very heavy rainfall. Jerry was one of four tropical cyclones to coexist with other tropical cyclones during August of 1995. At the time, Jerry's formation as a tropical storm was the earliest formation of the tenth named storm in the Atlantic basin, but it has since dropped to second earliest after Tropical Storm Jose in 2005 beat the record.

Jerry caused $46.9 million (1995 USD) in damage and killed 8 people; 6 directly, and 2 indirectly.

Jerry near landfall
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FormationAugust 22, 1995
Dissipation August 28, 1995
Highest winds 40 mph
Lowest pressure 1002 mbar
Deaths 6 direct, 2 indirect
Damages $46.9 million (1995 USD)
Areas affectedFlorida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina
Part of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season

Meteorological history

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Satellite images indicate that a tropical wave left the coast of Africa on August 9. The wave moved westward across the Atlantic Ocean from August 9 all the way up to August 15. Despite an increase in convection on August 15 when the wave approached the Leeward Islands, there were no significant pressure falls noted in the islands. When the wave moved across the eastern and central Carribean Sea, rawinsonde data from San Juan as well as Santo Domingo indicated that the wave was fairly strong at the low- to mid-levels of the atmosphere, as evidenced by 35 to 45 mph wind reports east of the wave axis at 850 mb and 700 mb. By August 19, satellite imagery as well as surface observations indicated that a surface circulation had developed near 18°W 75°W at 1200 UTC. Despite this, the wave did not develop further over the next few days as it moved west-northwest to northwest, interacting with the mountainous terrain of eastern Cuba. On August 22, cloudiness and convection became better organized near the western Bahamas, and surface observations indicate that the wave developed into Tropical Depression Eleven while located a short distance southwest of Andros Island at 1800 UTC August 22. The environment was marginally favorable for development, as anticyclonic outflow prevailed over the eastern semicircle of the cyclone, while outflow was inhibited to the west and northwest. As the depression moved north-northwest towards southeastern Florida, it gradually intensified. Based on measurements from a NOAA aircraft, it is estimated that the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Jerry around 1200 UTC August 23. Later that same day, Jerry made landfall near Jupiter, Florida as a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph. After landfall, Jerry moved northwest to west-northwest across the Florida Peninsula, weakening to a tropical depression by 1800 UTC August 24 while nearing the upper west coast of Florida.

At this point, the foward speed of the cyclone slowed, and after the center drifted a short distance out over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Jerry turned to the north and moved inland again over northern Florida and across the Georgia/Florida border on August 25. Jerry moved slowly north to north-northwest over Georgia on August 26 and August 27.

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Jerry as as tropical depression over Georgia.

Later on August 27, Jerry turned eastward towards South Carolina. By 0000 UTC August 28, Jerry's center of circulation became elongated in a northeast-southwest oriented trough, and six hours later, it was impossible to locate a center within the cyclone. Despite this, Jerry's remnants persisted near the Carolinas over the next few days and two discrete low pressure centers appeared. The first moved eastward from North Carolina and into the Atlantic Ocean with no significant development. The second became evident just offshore the Georgia/South Carolina border early on August 29. This weak surface low moved south and southwest across the Florida Peninsula on August 30 and August 31, and slowly died over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico during the early days of September. There was, and still is, confusion concerning which, if any, of these two lows was derived from the original circulation of Jerry.

Preparations

Because much of the circulation was overland, Jerry was not expected to attain tropical storm status. Because of this, Tropical Storm Warnings were not issued until just before landfall. While crossing the Florida Peninsula, Jerry retained its strength, which caused Tropical Storm Warnings to be issued for the Florida Panhandle. However, Jerry remained a tropical depression over the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, all warnings were discontinued after Jerry's second landfall.

Impact

Florida

Jerry produced a 1 to 2 foot storm surge in most areas of southeastern Florida. When Jerry made landfall along the Florida Panhandle, however, storm surge was much higher, around 6 to 7 feet at Navarre Beach. Jerry produced generally moderate amounts of rainfall in the southeastern portion of Florida, with the highest amounts of over 10 inches occuring in Martin and St. Lucie Counties. Higher rainfall totals were reported in southwestern Florida, with a peak rainfall amount of 16.8 inches reported at Golden Gate. Winds were generally light, peaking at 43 mph at Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County. Jerry also spawned two weak tornadoes as well as a waterspout, though damage was minimal. Jerry also caused light beach erosion.

While wind damage from Jerry was minimal, the heavy rains it produced left many roads in Florida underwater. In addition, Jerry damaged 352 houses and destroyed 12, most of which were in Collier County. Some residents used sandbags to protect their property, while others evacuated to shelters. In northwestern Florida, Jerry caused severe damage to the citrus crop due to the flooding it produced, with total agricultural damage reaching $19,000,000 (1995 USD). Total damage in Florida from Tropical Storm Jerry is estimated at $20.8 million (1995 USD). Jerry also caused two indirect deaths in the state, but no direct deaths were reported to have been caused by Jerry in Florida.

Georgia

In Georgia, Jerry produced heavy rains of over 14 inches in some locations, covering numerous waterways as well as flooding numerous homes. The flooding damaged 23 homes in Savannah, five severely, which forced 72 residents to evacuate. The flooding also caused rivers to crest past their peaks. Total damage in Georgia from Jerry reached $7.3 million (1995 USD). Although the rain was severe, it was welcomed in western Georgia, which was in a drought during the summer of 1995. However, this was not the case for northeastern Georgia, where rainfall was above normal throughout the year.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, Jerry produced heavy rainfall of up to 20 inches. This caused flash flooding which covered numerous roads and washed out bridges, with statewide transportation damage reaching $4.5 million (1995 USD). Jerry produced significant river flooding throughout the state, including the Abner Creek in Spartanburg County, which peaked at 20 feet deep. The rainfall also broke dams, flooded homes, and covered fields. Total damage in South Carolina from Jerry was $10.1 million (1995 USD). In addition, Jerry caused 3 direct deaths in the state.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, Jerry produced heavy rainfall, reaching as high as 17 inches in isolated locations in the northern portion of the state. Numerous homes as well as roads were flooded throughout the state. In Harrisburg, the flooding forced a nursing home as well as a mobile park to evacuate. In Charlotte, 300 families were evacuated, some by boat. In Raleigh, over 140 homes or buildings were either damaged or destroyed by Jerry, which caused a damage total of $6,000,000 (1995 USD) in the area. In all, Jerry caused $8.7 million (1995 USD) in damage in North Carolina and killed 3 people directly.

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Rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Jerry.

See Also

1995 Atlantic hurricane season

References

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

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

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