Here we are into the second month of hurricane season, and well into what is expected to be comparable to the epic season of 2005, which featured the most storms to ever form in the month of July. Among the five storms that formed in July 2005 were two back-to-back category 4 (and 5) storms: Dennis and Emily. Today's NEQ Friday Review looks back at these two monstrous cyclones that five years ago wreaked havoc on the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Dennis was the fourth named storm, second hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2005 season. In July, the hurricane set several records for early season activity, becoming both the earliest formation of a fourth tropical cyclone and the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever to form before August, though it only held that title for about six days until Hurricane Emily (mentioned below) stole its thunder! Dennis hit Cuba twice as a category 4 storm, and made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a category 3. Dennis caused at least 89 deaths in the United States and Caribbean (primarily Cuba) and caused $2.23 billion in damages to both areas equally and respectively.
Hurricane Emily was the fifth named storm, third hurricane, second major hurricane, and first category 5 of the 2005 season. Emily was the strongest hurricane ever to form before August, and also the earliest category 5 ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, and the only category 5 hurricane ever recorded before August. Emily passed through the Windward Islands, where it caused heavy damage in Grenada and then made a second landfall landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a category 4 storm, first on the island of Cozumel and then just north of Tulum on the mainland of Quintana Roo. After crossing the Bay of Campeche, Emily made a final landfall along the north Mexico coast. Across the Caribbean and Mexico, Emily was responsible for about 14 deaths and $810 million in damages.
Well, there you have it... two very intense hurricanes, in one active month, during one very intense hurricane season. In fact, did you know that 2005 was the only season to ever have two hurricanes reach at least category 4 before the end of July? Just something to think about as we look towards the next few weeks...
Enjoy your weekend, and for those stateside... Happy 4th of July!
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