MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW
FIG. 3. GOES-12 visible satellite image of Hurricane Fabian at 1915 UTC 5 Sep 2003. The eastern eyewall is over Bermuda and maximum winds are estimated at 100 kt at the time of this image (courtesy of CIMSS, University of Wisconsin—Madison).
2) METEOROLOGICAL STATISTICS
Fabian’s peak intensity is estimated to be 125 kt, based on an aircraft reconnaissance wind of 140 kt at a flight level of 700 mb around 1917 UTC 1 September. A minimum central pressure of 942 mb was measured at that time. A lower central pressure of 939 mb was mea- sured by NOAA at 2245 UTC 3 September, but maxi- mum flight-level winds around that time supported an intensity of only 115 kt.
A 10-min average wind speed of 105 kt and a gust to 131 kt were measured by Cable and Wireless at an elevation of 280 ft above sea level. A 10-min wind speed of 104-kt winds, with gusts to 127 kt, were ob- served at Warwick Tower at an elevation of 67 m above ground level. Winds of 102 kt with a gust to 143 kt were measured by Bermuda Harbor Radio at an elevation of 78 m above sea level. These observa- tions are unofficial and at elevations significantly high- er than 10 m. They are, however, consistent with category-3 intensity. Unfortunately, because of a loss of power, the official wind measurements from the Bermuda Airport (TXKF) anemometer ended at
1935 UTC 5 September, and the extreme sustained and gust wind speed values were estimated by the observ- ers.
3) CASUALTIES AND DAMAGES
Fabian was directly responsible for eight fatalities. A man drowned in a rip current near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on 4 September. Four people drowned when they and their vehicles were swept off a causeway in Bermuda on 5 September. Three fishermen drowned when their vessel sank about 350 n mi southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland, on 7 September.
Bermuda was hit hard by Fabian. There was exten- sive damage to vegetation and considerable roof dam- age to houses in exposed locations. Some buildings had more severe damage, due to inherent structural weak- ness in some cases and possibly due to tornadoes (which were not confirmed) in others. There were huge battering waves, estimated at 6–9 m, on the south shore of the island, on top of a storm surge estimated near 3 m. Property damage in Bermuda is estimated to be at least 300 million U.S. dollars.