The 1999 Atlantic hurricane season was a slightly above-average season. This season featured a total of 16 tropical cyclones, 12 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes. The two most notable storms were Floyd, and Lenny. Floyd, the strongest storm of the season, struck North Carolina as only a Category 2. However, it caused 57 direct deaths, 20-30 indirect deaths and $6.9 Billion 1999 USD in damage. While Lenny, is known for the unusual, extended west-to-east track, it caused $685.8 Million 1999 USD in damage throughout the Caribbean Sea.
Arlene, the first tropical storm of the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season, spent its life at sea in the central Atlantic. Arlene passed roughly 100 n mi east of Bermuda, but did not bring tropical storm force winds to the islands.
Bret was a small hurricane that made landfall along a sparsely-populated section of the south Texas coast with sustained winds up to 100 knots. Bret was the first hurricane to strike the Texas coast since Hurricane Jerry in October 1989. It was the first hurricane to affect south Texas since Hurricane Allen in August 1980, and it was the strongest since Hurricane Alicia in 1983.
Dennis was a larger-than-average western Atlantic hurricane that was erratic in both track and intensity. Although it never made landfall as a hurricane, it affected the North Carolina coast with hurricane force winds, heavy rains, prolonged high surf, and beach erosion. Dennis also produced tropical storm force winds over portions of the Bahamas.
Floyd was a large and intense Cape Verde hurricane that pounded the central and northern Bahama islands, seriously threatened Florida, struck the coast of North Carolina and moved up the United States east coast into New England. It neared the threshold of category five intensity on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale as it approached the Bahamas, and produced a flood disaster of immense proportions in the eastern United States, particularly in North Carolina.
Irene was a typical wet October tropical cyclone that moved over the Florida Keys and southeast Florida dumping from 10 to 20 inches of rain. This resulted in severe flooding conditions. This type of tropical cyclone was a common phenomena during the 30's and 40's. Figure 1 shows the track of Irene over Cuba and Florida.
Hurricane Lenny was the fifth category-four hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS) of the 1999 season - a record. This hurricane had a major impact on numerous land areas in the Caribbean Sea. Moreover, Lenny was the first storm to have an extended west-to-east track across the central and eastern Caribbean Sea in the 113-year Atlantic tropical cyclone record.
In Spring 2000, it was announced the World Meteorological Organization had retired the names Floyd and Lenny for the damage and deaths caused by the storms. They were replaced by Franklin and Lee for the hyperactive 2005 Atlantic hurricane season