Tropical Depression Nine (2003)

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Tropical Depression Nine
Type=Tropical depression
Image location=TD9(2003).jpg

Formed=August 21, 2003
Dissipated=August 22, 2003
1-min winds=30

Fatalities=None reported
Areas=Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Hurricane season=2003 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Depression Nine was a weak tropical depression that developed and dissipated in the eastern Caribbean Sea in August of 2003. It formed from a tropical wave on August 21 to the south of Puerto Rico, and was initially forecast to strengthen to tropical storm status, due to the favorable conditions for development in the area. However, wind shear developed over the system, and the depression degenerated to a tropical wave on August 22. The system produced moderate to heavy rainfall throughout its path, and damage was reported to a few houses in Martinique from severe rainfall. In Puerto Rico, the rains flooded ten houses, while in the Dominican Republic the precipitation led to overflown rivers and two injuries.

Meteorological history

A strong tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on August 14,cite web|author=Lixion Avila|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Tropical Cyclone Report|publisher=National Hurricane Center|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] moved westward as a disorganized system, and passed through the Cape Verde islands on August 15.cite web|author=Avila|year=2003|title=August 15 Tropical Weather Outlook|publiisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] On August 17, the broad and disorganized system developed a weak area of low pressure while located 750 miles (1,200 km) west-southwest of the Cape Verde islands.cite web|author=Pasch|year=2003|title=August 17 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] Convection increased over the western portion of the wave axis,cite web|author=Pasch & Cobb|year=2003|title=August 18 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] and the system began to become better organized on August 18 while located about 1,250 miles (2,000 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.cite web|author=Stewart|year=2003|title=August 18 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] However, convection around the system diminished on August 19,cite web|author=Avila|year=2003|title=August 19 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] and later that day it began to move through the Lesser Antilles. Despite favorable upper-level winds and falling atmospheric pressures, there were initially no signs of a circulation at the surface.cite web|author=Pasch|year=2003|title=August 19 Tropical Weather Outlook (2)|publisher=NHC|Accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] Convection again increased early on August 20 ,cite web|author=Pasch|year=2003|title=August 19 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] and it gradually became better organized.cite web|author=Pasch|year=2003|title=August 20 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] Based on a ship's wind report of the system, it is estimated the wave developed into Tropical Depression Nine on August 21 while located about 260 miles (415 km) south of San Juan, Puerto Rico.cite web|author=Avila|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Discussion One|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=]

The depression quickly showed signs of organization with the development of banding features around its blossoming convection. Due to a favorable upper level environment, forecasters predicted the depression to intensify to a 70 mph (110 km/h) tropical storm after making landfall on Haiti and eastern Cuba. Upper-level outflow remained well-defined, though convection waned near the center early on August 22.cite web|author=Pasch|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Discussion Two|publisher=NHC|Accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] The depression appeared to continue organizing, with a well-defined cloud band to its north and east.cite web|author=Avila & Molleda|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Discussion Four|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] However, strong southwesterly wind shear unexpectedly became established over the system, and the depression degenerated into a tropical wave late on August 22 to the south of the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. The system retained a well-defined cloud pattern with a vigorous mid-level circulation, and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center indicated regeneration could have occurred at any time.cite web|author=Avila & Molleda|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Discussion Five|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] The wave axis moved over the Dominican Republic early on August 23 ,cite web|author=Lawrence|year=2003|title=August 22 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] and became disorganized over the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola.cite web|author=Lawrence|year=2003|title=August 23 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] There existed the potential for redevelopment as it moved into a potentially more favorable area,cite web|author=Pasch|year=2003|title=August 24 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] though the National Hurricane Center ceased monitoring the system on August 25 when redevelopment appeared unlikely.cite web|author=Franklin|year=2003|title=August 25 Tropical Weather Outlook|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=]


Coinciding with the issuance of the first advisory on the tropical depression, the government of the Dominican Republic issued a tropical storm watch from Barahona to its border with Haiti, while a tropical storm watch was issued from Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic westward to Port-au-Prince. The United States' National Hurricane Center in Miami recommended interests in eastern Cuba to monitor the progress of the storm.cite web|author=Avila|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Public Advisory One|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] When the depression was 205 miles (330 km) south-southeast of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic issued a tropical storm warning from Punta Palenque to its border with Haiti.cite web|author=Beven|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Public Advisory Three|publisher=NHC|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] While located 155 miles (250 km) from the coast of Hispaniola, the government of the Dominican Republic extended the tropical storm warning eastward to Isla Saona, while the government of Haiti upgraded its watch area to a tropical storm warning along the coast. The National Hurricane Center also recommended citizens in the Bahamas to monitor the progress of the storm.cite web|author=Avila|year=2003|title=Tropical Depression Nine Public Advisory Four|publisher=NHC|Accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] After the heavy rainfall began in the Dominican Republic, officials evacuated citizens of low-lying areas.cite web||accessdate=2006-10-24|url=|year=2003|title=Unofficial Reports from the Dominican Republic]


Before developing into Tropical Depression Nine, the precursor tropical wave dropped moderate to heavy rainfall across the Lesser Antilles, including 1.96 inches (50 mm) at Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia. There, a peak wind gust of 33 mph (53 km/h) was reported.cite web|author=Mike Davis|year=2003|title=Unofficial Reports from Saint Lucia||accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] In Barbados, the system produced a 65 mph (105 km/h) wind gust at the top of a hotel, and heavy rainfall that resulted in flooding throughout the island. Several roads were covered with floodwaters, and many people caught in the deluge pulled off the road to wait for a break in the downpour. However, the precipitation was beneficial, as it was the first rainfall after two weeks of hot and dry conditions.cite web||year=2003|title=Unofficial Reports from Barbados|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] Heavy rainfall was also reported in Martinique, which resulted in flooding and mudslides. The flooding downed several trees and closed roads in isolated locations. The flooding also damaged several houses, with some people losing everything.cite web||year=2003|title=Unofficial Reports from Martinique|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=]

The depression caused moderate rainfall in Puerto Rico, where two to three inches (50 to 75 mm) of precipitation were recorded.cite web|author=National Climatic Data Center|year=2003|title=Event Report for Puerto Rico|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] The flooding from the rainfall entered ten houses. The deluge flooded streets, leaving some impassable.cite web|author=National Climatic Data Center|year=2003|title=Event Report for Puerto Rico (2)|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] A mudslide was reported in the eastern portion of the island.cite web|author=NCDC|year=2003|title=Event Report for Puerto Rico (3)|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] A river in northeastern Puerto Rico surpassed its banks from flooding, though within hours it returned to normal levels.cite web|author=NCDC|year=2003|title=Event Report for Puerto Rico (4)|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] Damage in Puerto Rico totaled to $20,000 (2003 USD, $23,000 2008 USD).

The depression dropped over 1 inch (25 mm) of precipitation across much of the Dominican Republic; Santo Domingo reported a peak total of 3.9 in (98 mm). The rainfall led to flooding, primarily east and west of the capital city. Several roads were flooded, obstructing traffic. The flooding collapsed a sports center and a house, injuring two people inside. Further inland, 160 people had to be evacuated when more than 100 houses were flooded. Crop damage was also reported. In Pedernales, gusty winds uprooted trees, several of which fell on power lines which caused power outages in the town. Five rivers overflowed their banks, as well.cite web|author=World Meteorological Organization|year=2004|title=Final Report of the 2003 Hurricane Season|accessdate=2006-10-24|url=] The rainfall was welcome in the country, as conditions were dry in the preceding months. Flooding was also reported in eastern Jamaica, though damage there, if any, is unknown.

See also

*Tropical cyclone
*List of storms in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season


External links

* [ NHC's archive on Tropical Depression Nine]
* [ NHC's Tropical Cyclone Report on Tropical Depression Nine]

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