Tropical Storm Danielle 1992

Preliminary Report
Tropical Storm Danielle
22 - 26 September 1992


Hurricane Andrew (5)
Hurricane Bonnie (2)
Hurricane Charley (2)
Tropical Storm Danielle (TS)
Tropical Storm Earl (TS)
Hurricane Frances (1)

a. Synoptic History

Danielle originated within a weak surface trough and area of cloudiness and thunderstorms that had persisted over the Atlantic near the southeast U.S. coast since 18 September. It is also speculated that a weak tropical wave, which passed from Africa into the Atlantic on 8 or 9 September, moved into this area on the 18th. A cold front merged with the northern portion of this stationary weather area on the 20th.

By the 22nd, surface reports and satellite imagery showed that a closed cyclonic circulation formed about 175 nautical miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The circulation is estimated to have become a tropical depression at 1200 UTC on the 22nd at this location and the "best track" begins at this time. An Air Force Reserve Unit aircraft reconnoiterd the system several hours later and reported 52-mph floght-level winds and the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Danielle.

In response to an approaching trough in the westerlies, Danielle moved slowly northeastward, but the trough passed and was replaced by a high pressure to the north of the storm. This resulted in a small clockwise loop on the 23rd and 24th followed by a westward motion toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina on the 25th. However, the storm soon turned northward as a large extratropical low approached the Great Lakes and, in combination with high pressure anchored to the east of the storm, set up a north-northwestward steering current. Some strengthening occurred as the storm paralleled the coast of North Carolina, with sustained winds increasing to 63 mph and the central pressure falling to 1001 mb.

The center of the storm moved inland on the 25th, over the Delmarva dection of Maryland. The weakening storm moved across Maryland and Delaware and over eastern Pennsylvania on the 26th, where it dissipated.

b. Meteorological Statistics

The maximum wind reported by aircraft was 72 mph at an elevation of 1500 feet at 1704 UTC on the 25th, while the minimium central pressure was 1001 mb several hours earlier. Peak satellite intensity estimates were 52 mph and 1000 mb.

There were several coastal reports of tropical storm force winds. The highest sustained wind speed was 51 mph at Cape Charles, Virginia. The report of 74 mph from the ship Stonewall Jackson is suspected of being somewhat too high, although it was near the center of the storm at the time and its pressure of 1001 mb agrees with the reconnaissance value mentioned above. Also, offshore data buoys as far north as New York Harbor reported tropical storm force winds.

The storm was within range of several radars including Hatteras, Patuxent River NAS, the WSR-88D radar at Stirling and, for a short period, Atlantic City. These showed an increasingly better presentation of a center and heavier convection prior to landfall which allows for the possibility that the 74-mph ship report might not be too far off.

1. Storm Surge Data

The highest storm surge report was 5.4 feet above normal astronomical tide at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

2. Rainfall Data

Storm rainfall totals were near 4 inches over central Virginia and up to 3 inches along the extreme eastern portions of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Eastern Pennsylvania had up to 2 inches of rain.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There were 1 death attributed to Danielle; 1 in New Jersey.

One death was the result of a sailboat being battered and sunk by high seas to the east of New Jersey. There was minor flooding and significant beach erosion along the mid-Atlantic coast. According to press reports, only minor damage resulted from the storm.

Maximum Sustained Winds For Tropical Storm Danielle
22 - 26 September, 1992

Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W)
25/1200 35.9 75.2 1001 65 Tropical Storm

Minimum Pressure For Tropical Storm Danielle
22 - 26 September, 1992
Wind Speed
Stage Landfall
25/2200 1007 65 Tropical Storm Delmarva Peninsula,