Hurricane Bonnie

Hurricane Bonnie developed over the tropical Atlantic on August 19th approximately 675 miles east of the Leeward Islands and moved on a general west-northwest track. Bonnie gradually strengthened, becoming a hurricane early on August 22nd. Bonnie's motioned slowed to less than 10 miles an hour on the 23rd as it intensified into a category three hurricane with sustained winds of 115 mph.

After the 23rd, Bonnie moved toward the southeast United States coast in the general direction of the Carolinas. As the center neared the North Carolina coast on August 26th, the forward speed slowed to nearly stationary. The center of Bonnie drifted along the coast, with the western part of the eye moving across extreme southeast Brunswick county and over eastern New Hanover county. The center officially came onshore a short distance northeast of Wilmington during the late evening of the 26th and early morning of the 27th.. Bonnie then moved slowly over extreme eastern North Carolina, emerging off the Outer Banks near Kitty Hawk early on the 28th. After being downgraded to a tropical storm while over land, Bonnie re-strengthened into a hurricane with 75 mph winds as it moved back into the Atlantic. Bonnie weakened back to a tropical storm as it moved northeast over the Atlantic and into cooler waters. It finally lost its tropical characteristics on August 30th south of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

The following preliminary information is for southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina:
        Highest Winds:
            Wilmington International Airport: 2 minute sustained wind - 56 mph at 228 PM on the 26th
                                                                   peak gust - 74 mph at 227 PM on the 26th
            Myrtle Beach International Airport: peak gust - 60 mph at 115 PM on the 26th
                    (wind equipment did not function during the entire storm)
            Florence Airport: 2 minute sustained wind - 39 mph at 244 PM on the 26th
                                         peak gust - 51 mph at 550 PM on the 26th
            Frying Pan Shoals Tower: peak gust - 104 mph between 4 and 5 PM on the 26th
            Kure Beach: peak gust - 89 mph between 2 and 3 PM on the 26th

        Lowest Pressure:
            Wilmington Airport: 969.9 mb at 853 PM on the 26th
            Frying Pan Shoals Tower: 964 mb between 12 and 1 PM on the 26th

        Early estimates of storm tides:
            Georgetown and Horry coasts: 2 to 3 feet above normal and no overwash reported
            Brunswick coast: 7 to 9 feet above normal. 2 feet of overwash at Bald Head and eastern end of other islands.
            New Hanover and Pender coasts: 9 to 10 feet above normal. 2 to 3 feet overwash at north end of Carolina Beach.
                                                                  Less overwash on the south end of Topsail Island.


Radar and satellite images are available for veiwing along with some data plots for the Wilmington airport. To view a larger version of the images, click on the small image of interest or the text next to it. During the early afternoon of August 26th, the power was lost at the Wilmington radar sight and the radar was out of service for the rest of the storm. Velocity data images are available only for the time that the Wilmington radar was operating. The refectivity images are from the Wilmington and Morehead City radars. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the radar or satellite images should contact the National Climatic Data Center.


Data Plots

Pressure at NWS Wilmington

Winds at NWS Wilmington

Map of Bonnie's Track

Map of Bertha's, Fran's and Bonnie's Tracks

List of Coordinates


Satellite Images

Individual Satellite Images

Individual Satellite Images

Animated Loop

Animated Loop


Radar Images

250 Mile Reflectivity Images 250 Mile Reflectivity Images
125 Mile Velocity Images 125 Mile Velocity Images
125 Mile Reflectivity Images 125 Mile Reflectivity Images

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Page created September 30, 1998.