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Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane.gif
Duration September 29 – October 15
Peak intensity 195 mph (315 km/h) (1-min)  864 mbar (hPa)

The meteorological history of Hurricane Peter, a exceptionally destructive Category 5 hurricane, is explained in detail below.

Meteorological history

Formation

Hurricane Peter had a exceptionally complicated beginning. In late September, the same weather system that produced Tropical Depression Nate and Hurricane Olivia merged with a extratropical cyclone. However, when the extratropical cyclone neared the Windward Islands, a tropical wave broke off from the cyclone around 1200 UTC 28 September. Almost instantly, Dvorak estimates began on the system. Around 1800 UTC 29 September, a closed circulation and extremely deep convection led it to being designated Tropical Depression Seventeen.

Intensification

Warm waters and unclimatologically low wind shear aided the gradual development of Tropical Depression Seventeen. A trough aided the depression's movement toward the Bahamas and Florida, an area already severely affected by Hurricane Olivia. The storm strengthened gradually until 0600 UTC 1 October, when it was classified as a tropical storm, with the National Hurricane Center naming it Peter. After being named, Peter began to pick up its abnormally slow speed, however, throughout 2 October, it failed to strengthen beyond 55 mph. Then, on 3 October, Peter underwent an exceptionally phenomenal intensification. The day began when Peter moved over a area of very warm waters, and it became the 8th hurricane of the 2029 season around 0600 UTC. By 0730 UTC, Peter was already a 110 mph Category 2. Thirty minutes later, the hurricane reached Category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, making it the sixth major hurricane of the 2029 season. It became a Category 4 hurricane at 1200 UTC 3 October, then became a Category 5 hurricane five hours later. In just 24 hours, Peter had turned from a 55 mph, 996 mb tropical storm to a 195 mph, 864 mb Category 5 hurricane. The pressure of Peter dropped 132 millibars in that span, a record, besting Hurricane Wilma's record by 34 millibars (Wilma had a 98 millibar drop). The NHC staff recorded a 1.75 mi eye, another worldwide record.

Landfall at Florida

Hurricane Peter maintained Category 5 status for 5 days before weakening into a 150 mph Category 4 hurricane, another Atlantic record. A series of troughs aided Peter toward southern Florida. Around 1432 UTC 10 October, Peter made landfall at Miami Beach with winds of 135 mph. A pressure of 942 mb was recorded at the Julia Tuttle Causeway by a barometer on a semi truck. The eye of Peter, still 5 miles wide, moved over Biscayne Bay before hitting Miami directly, affecting the area still recovering from Hurricane Olivia. As Peter moved over the northwest suburbs of Miami, the trough aiding the system dissipated, leaving it drifting over southern Florida. Peter moved over Lake Okeechobee, weakened to a Category 3, but it still heavily battered the area. On 11 October Peter finally moved over the Gulf of Mexico. Very soon after entering the Gulf, shear included, and a extratropical cyclone began to absorb the system. Despite these conditions, Peter still reached a secondary peak intensity of 130 mph before weakening.

Dissipation

As Hurricane Peter was getting abosrbed, it lost its circular appearance, and its eye grew to 50 miles. The hurricane weakened to a Category 2, and started to look like as if it was a part of the non-tropical low. Peter then weakened to a Category 1 and accelerated toward Louisiana. The hurricane was quite disorganized on satellite imagery. At 1400 UTC 14 October, Peter grazed the Mississippi River Delta as a 50 mph tropical storm and was completely absorbed into the low 15 hours later.

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