Hurricane Dennis

Dennis formed in the western Atlantic a couple hundred miles east of the Turks and Caicos islands late on August 23rd, 1999. The system moved slowly west-northwest for the next five days. The system intensified into a tropical storm on the afternoon of the 24th and a hurricane early on the 26th. Dennis reached peak intensity of 105 mph, which is a category two on the Saffir-Simpson scale, on the afternoon of the 28th and maintained this intensity until early on the 30th while parallelin the lower southeast U.S. coast. The hurricane lashed the Carolina coast on the 30th and part of the 31st with sustained tropical storm force winds, gusts to hurricane force, large waves and high surf. The hurricane turned northeast away from the coast on the morning of the 30th and began to accelerate later that day while moving to the east-northeast. Dennis stalled about 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras on the morning of the 31st and then began to drift westward and weaken. During the first couple of days of September, Dennis continued to weaken as was downgraded to a tropical storm as it drifted slowly to the southwest along the lower Outer Banks. The storm turned to the northwest on the 4th and made landfall over the Outer Banks between Cape Lookout and Ocracoke as a tropical storm.

The following preliminary information is for southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina:

Highest Winds:
    Wilmington International Airport:
        2 minute sustained wind - 48 mph at 207 AM on the 30th
        peak gust - 61 mph at 252 AM on the 30th

    Frying Pan Shoals Tower:
        10 minute sustained wind - 93 mph at 600 AM on the 30th
        peak gust - 112 mph at 600 AM on the 30th

    Grand Strand Airport, North Myrtle Beach
        2 minute sustained wind - 33 mph at 332 AM on the 30th
        peak gust - 48 mph at 332 AM on the 30th

    Other wind reports

Lowest Pressure:
    Wilmington International Airport - 996.1 mb at 553 AM
    Frying Pan Shoals Tower - 977.2 mb at 530 AM

Storm Tides:
    About 3 feet above normal in Long Bay, between Cape Fear, NC and Cape Romain, SC.
    Minor flooding on the 29th at 10 PM high tide at Cherry Grove, SC.
    About 4 feet above normal north of Cape Fear.
    Minor ocean overwash at Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach and Topsail Beach, NC.

Beach Erosion:
   Reports mainly along Brunswick county, NC. 3 to 6 feet at Holden Beach.
    Either minor erosion or accretion occurred in New Hanover and Pender counties.

Rainfall reports

Radar and satellite images are available for veiwing along with some data plots for Frying Pan Shoals Tower. To view a larger version of the images, click on the small image of interest or the text next to it.  Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the radar or satellite images should contact the National Climatic Data Center.

Data Plots

Pressure at Frying Pan Shoals Winds at Frying Pan Shoals
Sea Heights at Frying Pan Shoals Map of Dennis's Track
List of Coordinates Three Day Rainfall Totals


Satellite Image Loops

Large loop from 8/23 through 9/4/1999

Smaller loop from 8/23 through 9/4/1999


Radar Images

Dennis Radar

Radar Loop from 3 PM 8/29 through 10 AM 8/30

Velocity Images

8/29 3:02 PM 8/29 6:02 PM
8/29 9:03 PM 8/29 11:57 PM
8/30 3:02 AM 8/30 6:02 AM


Radar estimates of rainfall
3:25 AM 8/29 through 10:00 AM 8/30

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Page created September 21, 1999