Tropical Storm Bonnie (2004)

Tropical Storm Bonnie
Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)
TS Bonnie 2004.jpg
Tropical Storm Bonnie near peak intensity on August 11
FormedAugust 3, 2004
DissipatedAugust 14, 2004
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 65 mph (100 km/h)
Lowest pressure1001 mbar (hPa); 29.56 inHg
Fatalities3 direct, 1 indirect
Damage$1.27 million (2004 USD)
Areas affectedLesser Antilles, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, Yucatán Peninsula, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maine
Part of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Bonnie was a tropical storm that made landfall on Florida in August 2004. The second storm of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, Bonnie developed from a tropical wave on August 3 to the east of the Lesser Antilles. After moving through the islands, its fast forward motion caused it to dissipate. However, it later regenerated into a tropical storm near Yucatán Peninsula. Bonnie attained peak winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) over the Gulf of Mexico, turned to the northeast, and hit Florida as a 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) tropical storm. The storm accelerated to the northeast and became an extratropical cyclone to the east of New Jersey. Bonnie was the first of five tropical systems to make landfall on Florida in the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, and the second of a record eight disturbances to reach tropical storm strength during the month of August.

Bonnie's impact was minimal. Throughout the Caribbean Sea, the storm's effects consisted primarily of light rainfall, and in Florida, the precipitation caused flooding and minor damage. The tropical storm caused a tornado outbreak across the Southeastern United States which killed three people and inflicted over $1 million (2004 USD) in damage. Bonnie made landfall in Florida the day before Hurricane Charley struck.

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

The origins of Bonnie were in a tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa on July 29 and entered the Atlantic Ocean. It moved westward, attaining convection and a mid-level circulation. Convection steadily increased, and, upon the development of a low-level circulation center, the system organized into Tropical Depression Two on August 3 while 415 miles (670 km) east of Barbados. It moved rapidly westward at speeds of up to 23 mph (37 km/h); after crossing through the Lesser Antilles on August 4, it degenerated back into a tropical wave.[1] The tropical wave continued to move rapidly to the west-northwest, until it reached the western Caribbean Sea. While south of Cuba and through the Cayman Islands, the system slowed down to regenerate convection, and it re-developed into a tropical depression on August 8.[1] Operationally, the system was classified a tropical wave until a day later.[2] The depression moved through the Yucatán Channel, and intensified into Tropical Storm Bonnie on August 9 while 70 miles (115 km) north of the Yucatán Peninsula.[1]

Bonnie to the north of Charley on August 12

Bonnie continued to the west-northwest; late on August 9, the storm presented a 9-mile (15-km) wide eyewall, a very unusual occurrence in a small and weak tropical storm.[3] Bonnie quickly strengthened while turning to the north, a directional shift caused by a break in the mid-level ridge.[4] The storm briefly weakened late on August 10; it re-strengthened again the following day to attain a peak intensity of 65 mph (100 km/h). Soon after, strong southwesterly wind shear disrupted the storm, causing Bonnie to weaken again. On August 12, Bonnie made landfall just south of Apalachicola as a 45 mph (75 km/h) tropical storm. It quickly weakened to a tropical depression, and accelerated northeastward through the southeastern United States. After paralleling the Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina coastlines, Bonnie lost its tropical characteristics on August 14 to the east of New Jersey.[1] Its remnant low continued northeastward, making landfall in Massachusetts and Maine and continuing into Atlantic Canada.[5]