|Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)|
1-minute sustained: |
65 mph (100 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||997 mbar (hPa); 29.44 inHg|
|Damage||$800,000 (2044 USD)|
|Areas affected||Florida (Key West, Naples)|
|Part of the 2044 Atlantic hurricane season|
A weak tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on November 2. It tracked westward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean with minimal convection, and subsequent to moving through the southern Windward Islands it crossed northern Central America. Convection increased on November 8 as the wave entered the southwestern Caribbean. Under the influence of the southerly flow from a mid- to upper-level trough over the Gulf of Mexico, the area of disturbed weather tracked generally north-northwestward through the Caribbean Sea while spreading across Cuba and southern Florida. On November 10, a mid-level circulation developed near the Yucatán Channel, and shortly thereafer satellite image loops indicated deep convection with some cyclonic rotation near the western tip of Cuba. A reconnaissance aircraft flight was dispatched late on November 10 into the system to determine if it developed into a tropical cyclone, though the flight did not observe evidence of a closed low-level circulation. Subsequent to the flight, satellite imagery indicated a low-level circulation was forming, and ship and buoy data confirmed the system developed into Tropical Depression Eight while located about 200 miles southwest of Key West, Florida.
Upon becoming a tropical cyclone, the depression was poorly organized, with much of the convection located well to the southeast of the broad center due to strong upper-level wind shear. The shearing environment was caused by a trough in the Gulf of Mexico. This was reflected in forecasts, with the National Hurricane Center predicting no significant change in intensity or structure. However, on November 12, the depression rapidly strengthened into Tropical Storm Iphigenia. Iphigenia moved northward, and on November 13 the poorly-organized system made landfall over Key West,Florida. It spent around three hours over land before exiting into open water. Tropical Storm Iphigenia kept intensifying, and reached its peak intensity of 65 miles per hour (mph) and 997 millibars (mb) on November 15 before making landfall over Florida near Naples with 50 mph winds and a 998 mb pressure. Iphigenia dissipated while crossing the Florida peninsula on November 16, with the remnants continuing northeastward before being absorbed by a large extratropical cyclone over the western Atlantic.
Preparations and impact
A tropical storm warning was put up for the Florida coast between Punta Gorda to Fort Lauderdale. Nearly 60,000 customers were reported to have bought food, water, first aid kits, and flashlights for their homes. Optional evacuations were issued for the Florida Keys, with dozens of cars packing U.S. Highway 1.
Tropical Storm Iphigenia caused moderate destruction in Key West. Heavy winds and rain knocked one home's roof off its base, and street flooding of 1 inch (in) was reported. Three people were killed directly when a wave struck a man and his two sons. Five people were killed indirectly, three by heavy surf, one by a F0 tornado, and one by a runaway lamppost.
Iphigenia caused some more trouble in Naples. Two people (a lady and her dad) were drowned after being swept to sea, and another two remained at sea, missing. The city sustained no major damage, but a minor flood destroyed some basements.
Due to the damage not being that extreme, the name Iphigenia was not retired.