20th Anniversary of Hurricane Luis

Hurricane Luis at peak intensity the day before hitting the islands. (NOAA)
Hurricane Luis at peak intensity the day before hitting the islands. (NOAA)

On the night of September 4, 1995, Hurricane Luis roared over the Lesser Antilles, bringing destruction to Antigua and Barbuda.  Luis also brought strong winds to Guadeloupe and Dominica and was the strongest hurricane to make landfall during the very busy 1995 hurricane season.

Luis formed near the Cape Verde Islands and took a week to cross the Atlantic, gaining strength along the way.  The day before it reached the Antilles, its winds reached a maximum of 140 mph (220 km/hr) and remained at that peak value over the next two days, even as it passed over the islands.  The two NOAA P-3s flew Vortex Motion and Evolution Experiments into Luis at this time, operating out of Barbados.  HRD scientists followed up three days later with another research flight.

After visiting destruction on the Caribbean, Luis recurved northward and made another landfall on Newfoundland as a hurricane six days later.  During its trek, Luis killed 19 people and brought US$3 billion in damages.

Here are some research papers written by HRD scientists using the data on Luis:

Velden, D., J. Daniels, D. Stettner, D. Santek, J. Key, J. Dunion, K. Holmlund, G. Dengel, W. Bresky, and P. Menzel, 2005: Recent Innovations in Deriving Tropospheric Winds from Meteorological Satellites. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 86, 205–223.

Eastin, M. D., W. M. Gray, and P. G. Black, 2005: Buoyancy of Convective Vertical Motions in the Inner Core of Intense Hurricanes. Part I: General Statistics. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 188–208.

Eastin, M. D., P. G. Black, and W. M. Gray, 2002: Flight-Level Thermodynamic Instrument Wetting Errors in Hurricanes. Part I: Observations. Mon. Wea. Rev., 130, 825–841.

Bogner, P. B., G. M. Barnes, and J. L. Franklin, 2000: Conditional Instability and Shear for Six Hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean. Wea. Forecasting, 15, 192–207.

Powell, M. D., and S. H. Houston, 1998: Surface Wind Fields of 1995 Hurricanes Erin, Opal, Luis, Marilyn, and Roxanne at Landfall. Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 1259–1273.

Landsea, C. W., G. D. Bell, W. M. Gray, and S B. Goldenberg, 1998: The Extremely Active 1995 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Environmental Conditions and Verification of Seasonal Forecasts. Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 1174–1193.