Tropical Storm Marco was the thirteenth named storm of the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season. Marco developed over Cuba on October 9 from a cold low aloft. Marco made landfall along the northwestern coast of Florida as a tropical depression, and it dissipated on October 13. Marco produced some flooding across areas already damaged earlier in the month by Hurricane Klaus.

Marco caused $57,000,000 (1990 USD) in damage and 12 deaths.

Tropical Storm Marco at peak intensity
FormationOctober 9, 1990
Dissipation October 13, 1990
Highest winds 65 mph
Lowest pressure 989 mbar
Deaths 12 direct, 2 indirect
Damages $57,000,000 (1990 USD)
Areas affectedFlorida, southeastern United States
Part of the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season

Meteorological history

Early on October 9, Klaus, then a tropical storm, was located east of the Bahamas, moving northwest, and becoming poorly organized. At the same time, an upper-level low was developing over Cuba. By 1200 UTC October 9, Klaus had dissipated and the aforementioned upper low had worked its way down to the surface over central Cuba. The low was designated a tropical depression near Caibarien, Cuba. After forming, the depression moved west-northwest along the northern coast of Cuba, and then turned to the northwest over the Florida Straits. At 0600 UTC October 10, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Marco while located just 30 miles south-southwest of Key West, Florida. After passing midway between the Dry Tortugas and Key West, Marco moved generally northward parallel and just offshore the west coast of Florida. Near 0600 UTC October 11, Marco is estimated to have reached its peak intensity of 65 mph with a pressure of 989 mb. By 1200 UTC October 11, Marco was located just a few miles west of Bradenton Beach, Florida, continuing to hug the coast, with much of the circulation overland in the vicinity of St. Petersburg, to near Clearwater by 1500 UTC. At 0000 UTC October 12, Marco weakened to a tropical depression just offshore Cedar Key. As Marco made landfall and continued inland, the central pressure rose. By 1200 UTC that day, Marco is deemed to have become extratropical over central Georgia. Marco's extratropical remnants could be tracked across Georgia and South Carolina. Marco's remnants were absorbed near Columbia, South Carolina near 1200 UTC October 13.


A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the west coast of Florida from Key West to Apalachicola. In addition, a Tropical Storm Warning was posted for the east coast of Florida from Vero Beach northward to Fernandina Beach. Prior to the arrival of the tropical cyclone, elementary schools were closed on three barrier islands in Lee County. Florida Governor Bob Martinez closed state offices across Tampa Bay, and also decided against opening University of South Florida along with other universities in the state. Public schools were closed on the day Marco struck Manatee and Sarasota counties, although most other schools remained open. As Marco moved northward, the National Weather Service issued a Flood Watch for much of Georgia. Later on, a Flood Watch was issued for the western portions of the Carolinas, and for mountainous areas of West Virginia and Virginia.



Marco produced tropical storm force winds across much of western Florida as it tracked northward parallel to the west coast. As it paralleled the coast, it developed strong rainbands, which caused sustained winds of 69 mph with gusts to 85 mph on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge; the bridge was closed after wind gusts exceeded 70 mph. Marco's rainbands spawned four tornadoes across Florida, one of which touched down in Crystal River, destroying a mobile home and leaving around 2,000 residents without electricity for around an hour. A total of 25,000 customers in Florida were left without electricity due to Marco, and about 40 families were left temporarily homeless due to the damage. Marco produced a storm surge of 2.62 feet on Sanibel Island. In some areas, the surge rose rapidly, and in spite of the unusual geography of the area, surge levels only varied by as much as 9.8 inches than what the SLOSH model predicted. Marco's waves and surge produced some minor beach erosion. In addition, Marco produced moderate to heavy rainfall across western Florida, peaking at 6.14 inches near Bradenton; the rainfall was beneficial after a very dry summer, though because it fell quickly the precipitation failed to cease water restrictions across the area. Marco produced flooding across its path, causing some flooded homes in Manatee County. Also, several roadways, including two U.S. Highways, were flooded by the storm. Total damage in Florida from Marco reached $3,000,000 (1990 USD), one million of which occurred in Manatee County.


In Georgia, Marco's extratropical remnants combined with the remnants of Hurricane Klaus as well as a slow-moving cold front, which produced torrential rainfall across eastern areas of the state. A weather station near Louisville reported rainfall in excess of 19.89 inches; 16 of the 19 inches fell within a period of 24 hours. In Augusta, Marco produced 2.79 inches of rain within an hour, which caused around 300 people to be evacuated. Some roads across eastern Georgia were flooded with up to 6 feet of water, and police in Augusta rescued some people that were stranded within flooded cars. Marco's flooding caused some power outages. In addition, Marco's flooding in the state killed a total of five people via drowning, and the flooding also left over 450 people homeless. Marco's remnants produced a storm in Brantley County, destroying around 25 unoccupied homes. Total damage in Georgia from Tropical Storm Marco totaled to $42,000,000 (1990 USD).

On October 19, President George H. W. Bush declared several counties in Georgia as disaster areas, which allowed for the affected citizens to apply for federal aid.

The Carolinas

Marco also produced heavy rainfall across the Carolinas, with much of South Carolina receiving over 7 inches of rain from the storm. The highest rainfall total in the state was 13.96 inches at Pageland. In some locations, the rainfall was the highest it had been in 100 years, but despite the intensity of the rainfall, it ended a severe drought in the state. Heavy rains caused 80 bridges to fail across the state, with more than 120 bridges either closed, damaged, or destroyed. Marco caused three people to drown in the state, and total damage reached $12,000,000 (1990 USD).

In North Carolina, Marco produced rainfall amounts as high as 10.74 inches in Albemarle. In addition, the cyclone directly killed two people in the state, and there were also two indirect traffic deaths.

Ohio Valley

Marco produced heavy rainfall as far as the Ohio Valley, with rainfall amounts reaching 3.67 inches near Mountain City, Tennessee. Rainfall amounts in excess of 2 to 5 inches occurred across northwestern Virginia, western Maryland, eastern West Virginia, and the Susquehanna Valley located in Pennsylvania. In New York, the rainfall combined with moisture from Hurricane Lili, which closed a portion of a railway as well as a highway.

Rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Marco.

Lack of Retirement

In spite of the flooding, the name Marco was not retired in the Spring of 1991 by the World Meteorological Organization. It is on the list of names to be used for the 2014 season.

See also


External links

1990 Atlantic hurricane season

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