Hurricane Hortense

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Flooding in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Hortense was the first hurricane landfall in Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The eight tropical cyclone, eight named storm, and sixth hurricane of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season, Hortense developed on September 3 from a tropical wave in the central Atlantic Ocean. Initially a tropical depression, it headed westward without significant strengthening for four days due to unfavorable upper-level winds. While nearing the Lesser Antilles upper-level winds decreased, allowing the depression to become Tropical Storm Hortense on September 7. Hortense crossed Guadeloupe as a moderately strong tropical storm on September 8 and entered the Caribbean Sea. By on the following day, it was upgraded to a hurricane, while curving northwestward and approaching Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Hortense made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 9 and brushed Dominican Republic shortly thereafter. After re-entering the Atlantic, Hortense began to substantially strengthened and peaked as a 140 mph (220 km/h) Category 4 hurricane early on September 13. Thereafter, the storm steadily weakened as it tracked rapidly north-northeastward. Early on September 15, Hortense made landfall in Nova Scotia as a minimal Category 1 hurricane. It quickly weakened further to a tropical storm before re-entering the Atlantic to the south of Newfoundland. Late on September 15, Hortense transitioned into an extratropical cyclone and subsequently merged with a frontal system about 24 hours later.

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