|Category 6 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)|
|Formed||October 3, 2024|
|Dissipated||November 18, 2024|
1-minute sustained: |
205 mph (335 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||856 hPa (mbar); 25.28 inHg|
|Damage||$102.88 billion (2024 USD)|
|Areas affected||US East Coast, Newfoundland, Iceland, the UK, France|
|Part of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season|
Hurricane Rafael was the 21st named storm, and the last hurricane and last major hurricane of the extra-active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.
Meteorological historyOn October 1, a single cumulonimbus cloud formed in the Gulf of Mexico, considered a remnant of Hurricane Patty. The next day, this began to look like a tropical depression on satellite image, but lacked a closed circulation. On October 3, it began rapidly organizing and was coined a tropical depression. The storm had a very hard time intensifying due to strong wind shear battering it from the north. On October 4, the storm managed to escape from the zone, intensifying into a tropical storm. A Hurricane-Hunters aircraft intercepted the storm on several occasions between October 4 and 6. Pictures showed that a weak eye was starting to form, showing that the storm is slowly intensifying.
On October 5, a low-level trough moved in the way of Tropical Storm Rafael, eventually getting absorbed by it. Rafael then intensified into a category 1 hurricane. A day later, Rafael entered a zone favorable for rapid intensification. It managed to intensify into a category 3 and its eye became more prominent to satellites. Winds managed to increase to 125 mph (201 km/h) and barometric pressure lowered to 947mb. 6 hours later, it slo