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Hurricane Felix was the seventh tropical cyclone, sixth named storm, and the second hurricane of the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. Felix formed on September 7 as a tropical wave had acquired a well-defined center of circulation. Initially, the storm was classified as Tropical Depression Seven. The depression degenerated after moving westward for about 24 hours.

The system continued westward, though it re-generated on September 10. Tropical Depression Seven began to track northward while it strengthened. It attained tropical storm status on September 11 and was named Tropical Storm Felix. Strengthening further, it was upgraded to a hurricane on September 13. Later, Hurricane Felix reached peak intensity as maximum sustained winds reached 115 mph (185 km/h). Hurricane Felix level-off in intensity over the next several days, becoming downgraded to a tropical storm on September 17. Felix meandered around to the south of the Azores before ultimately dissipating on September 19.

Meteorological History

Felix originated from a tropical wave and a weak surface low, which was associated with the wave. This occurred on September 5, as the wave moved off the coast of Africa. In the following days the tropical wave acquired a well-defined center of circulation. Convection became more organized and banding features appeared shortly thereafter.[1] On September 7, the National Hurricane Center classified the wave as Tropical Depression Seven, while the it was centered about 415 miles (667  km) away from the Cape Verde Islands. Tropical Depression Seven headed westward, without strengthening.[2]

On September 8, Tropical Depression Seven degenerated back to a tropical wave. This was due to unfavorably high wind shear in the vicinity. Tracking westward, it did not regenerate until the early morning hours on September 10. The re-generated tropical depression tracked northward and was strengthening. Tropical Depression Seven had began to execute some convective banding features.[1] The National Hurricane Center upgraded it to tropical storm on September 11, it received the name Felix. Tropical Storm Felix continued to track generally northward and was still strengthening slowly.[3]

Felix attained hurricane status late on September 12, at the time, it was centered over 1,500 miles (2414 km) south of the Azores.[4] Shortly thereafter being upgraded, Hurricane Felix underwent rapid intensification. Hurricane Felix reached category 2 hurricane intensity 12 hours after reaching hurricane status.[5] In addition, Hurricane Felix had also been upgraded to a category 3 hurricane in approximately 24 hours after becoming a hurricane. Simultaneously, Hurricane Felix also attained peak intensity on September 14, as maximum sustained wind had reached 115 miles per hour (185 km/h).[1]

After reaching peak, Hurricane Felix began to encounter unfavorable condition, intensity gradually level-off as a result. Although it weakened slowly, Hurricane Felix quickly weakened to a category 2 hurricane. Hurricane Felix, heading generally east, would also remain a category 2 hurricane about 42 hours. It had weakened to a category 1 hurricane as it curved gracefully to the north on September 16. Hurricane Felix slowed down and remained nearly stationary as it maintained minimal hurricane status on September 16 and early on September 17.

Felix, still remaining nearly stationary, had been downgraded to tropical storm strength on September 17. Tropical Storm Felix moved around erratically, also continuing to weaken due to cool water temperatures and higher wind shear. During the day on September 18, Tropical Storm Felix had been downgraded to a tropical depression. Later on September 18, Tropical Depression Felix dissipated, while centered about 400 miles (643.73 km) southwest of the Azores.


There were three ships that encounter Hurricane Felix, two of which reported winds of at least tropical storm force. Hurricane Felix did not affect land.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Stewart, Stacy (November 30, 2001). "Hurricane Felix Tropical Cyclone Report". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  2. Avila, Lixion (September 7, 2001). "Tropical Depression Seven Advisory Number 1". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  3. Avila, Lixion (September 11, 2001). "Tropical Storm Felix Advisory Number 11". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  4. Lawrence, Miles (September 12, 2001). "Hurricane Felix Advisory Number 17". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  5. Avila, Lixion (September 13, 2001). "Hurricane Felix Advisory Number 19". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 

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