Tropical Strom Fabian 1991

Preliminary Report
Tropical Storm Fabian
15 - 17 October 1991


Tropical Storm Ana (TS)
Hurricane Bob (3)
Hurricane Claudette (3)
Tropical Storm Danny (TS)
Tropical Storm Erika (TS)
Tropical Storm Fabian (TS)
Hurricane Grace (2)

a. Synoptic History

Tropical Storm Fabian had a typical October western Caribbean development. A cold front moved into the northwest Caribbean on 12 October and produced northeasterly winds and showers over Florida and Cuba. At that time, a tropical wave with its axis near Jamaica was moving slowly westward. On 13 October the front and the tropical wave interacted in the Gulf of Honduras. Surface reports indicated that pressure began to fall over the coast of Honduras while satellite images showed an increase in convective activity.

The upper trough which brought the front south moved out of the area, allowing some upper level ridging to develop over the region of disturbed weather. Convection organized, and on 15 October, a NOAA plane was dispatched to the area. A 1006 mb low-level pressure center and 40 mile surface winds were found near 1300 UTC. Based on this data, the system was classified as a tropical storm southwest of the Isle of Youth, Cuba.

Fabian was a poorly organized storm with some banding features and a restricted upper-level outflow. Most of the squalls and tropical storm strength winds were located primarily to the east of its center. Fabian moved northeastward with increasing forward speed and at 2100 UTC 15 October the center crossed the Isle of Youth near Punta del Este, Cuba. Three hours later, the center passed over mainland Cuba near Peninsula de Zapata and a few hours later emerged over the waters just west of Varadero. The storm then moved over the Florida Straits where it reached its maximum intensity. An Air Force Reserve Unit plane reported 46 mile winds and 1002 mb pressure at 0834 UTC, 16 October.

The storm then accelerated northeastward and began to lose its tropical characteristics later on that day. By 1800 UTC, Fabian was declared extratropical when data from a reconnaissance aircraft indicated that the storm was merging with a cold front, loosing its circulation center.

b. Meteorological Statistics

Surface observations at Cayo Largo, along the south coast of central Cuba indicated a wind shift from east-southeast to south, with gusts to 40 miles and a drop in pressure from 1012 mb to 1008 mb in 6 hours as the center of Fabian passed just to the west of that location. La Fe on the northern portion of Isle of Youth, reported a minimum pressure of 1005 mb at 2100 UTC on the 15th when Fabian was crossing that island.

1. Rainfall Data

The primary impact of Fabian on cuba was rainfall of more than 4 inches during a 12 to 24 hour period on the 15th over the central part of the island. The highest reported rainfall was 6.2 inches at Caonao, near Cienfuegos on the south coast of central Cuba. Large rainfall accumulations were also reported at the following central Cuba locations. Antonio Maceo (5.7 inches), Punta del Este (5.5 inches), and Calimete, Matanzas (4.7 inches). Five of the total of 5.5 inches of rain at Punta del Este were received during a 6 hour period as Fabian moved over that region.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

No reports of casualties or damages associated with Fabian were received by the NHC.

Maximum Intensity For Tropical Storm Fabian
15 - 17 October, 1991

Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W)
16/0834 24.5 80.5 1002 45 Tropical Storm

Landfall for Tropical Storm Fabian
15 - 17 October, 1991
Wind Speed
Stage Landfall
15/2100 1004 45 Tropical Storm Isle of Youth,
16/0000 1003 45 Tropical Storm Zapata Peninsula,