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Hurricane Fran
Hurricane Fran sept 1996.jpg
Hurricane Fran at peak intensity on September 4, nearing landfall
Formed August 23, 1996
Dissipated September 8, 1996
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 195 km/h (120 mph)
Lowest pressure 946 hPa (mbar); 27.94 inHg
Fatalities 22 direct, 5 indirect
Damage $3.2 billion (1996 USD)
Areas affected South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Toronto
Part of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Fran was a hurricane during the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season. This storm caused over $3 billion in damage. It killed 20-30 people. Fran struck North Carolina as a strong Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 miles per hour (185 km/h). The name Fran was later retired and replaced by Fay for the 2002 Atlantic season.

Storm History

Fran 1996 track
Storm path

Hurricane Fran started from a tropical wave that moved off the western coast of Africa, entering the Atlantic Ocean, on August 22. The low pressure area became a tropical depression on August 23. Little changed for several days. By August 26, the storm had been disorganized.

On August 27, the storm grew into a tropical storm and was named Fran. On August 29, the storm intensified into a category 1 hurricane. The interaction with Hurricane Edouard led to weakening and the storm took a northwestward direction. When Edouard was gone, the storm grew into a category 1 hurricane again.

Hurricane Fran peak
Fran near peak intensity.

Fran grew in early September. By September 3, it the winds were at 90 miles per hour (140 km/h). The system started to develop an eye. By September 5, winds were at 120 mph (195 km/h) and its pressure was 946 mbar.

On September 6, the storm hit North Carolina with winds of 115 miles per hour (185 km/h). Once on land, the storm rapidly weakened. It moved through Virginia. It died on September 8.


A Hurricane Watch was issued in the Lesser Antilles in late August. As Fran moved away, the watch was ended.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Huracán Fran para niños

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