Response Updates

All About Hurricane Don

Reported by Convoy of Hope

The World Meteorological Center creates six lists of alphabetized male and female names for Atlantic cyclones. Each list is repeated every six years, with some names occasionally being replaced by others.

Historically, the name “Don” had been used for two storms before this season:

  • • Tropical Storm Don in 2011
  • • Tropical Storm Don in 2017
A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province Friday Nov.8, 2013 about 520 kilometers ( 325 miles) south of Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy's Joint Warning Center, slammed into central Philippine provinces, with one weather expert warning "There will be catastrophic damage." Meteorologists said Haiyan has maximum sustained winds of 314 kilometers per hour (195 mph) and gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour (235 mph). (AP Photo/Nelson Salting)

Both storms were short lived, and neither grew to hurricane strength. Don replaced Dennis, which was retired from that list after the 2005 hurricane season.

On July 18, the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center began to track Tropical Storm Don, the fourth named storm of the 2023 season. Don achieved hurricane status on July 22, becoming the first hurricane of the season. It weakened back to tropical storm status a day later and remained in the Atlantic as the system dissipated.

Don’s status as a hurricane or tropical storm connected directly to its wind speed. Named storms are tropical cyclones — rotating, organized systems of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over tropical or subtropical waters and have a closed low-level circulation.

When sustained wind speeds are below 39 mph, the cyclone is a tropical depression. Tropical depressions are not given names; they are tracked to determine if they are growing into tropical storms or hurricanes. Don was named a tropical storm with a sustained wind speed of 39 to 40 mph. When that speed reached 74 mph, Don became a hurricane.

Even if a tropical storm never becomes a hurricane, it can pose a threat to lives and property.

When Was Hurricane Don?

Have you wondered if another storm named Don is famous for any reason? Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, “When did Hurricane Don hit?” or “What year was Hurricane Don?”

“Don” has been the name of just two tropical cyclones, neither of which grew to hurricane strength. But the mere fact two storms were named is evidence of their potential destructive power.

Where Did Hurricane Don Hit?

In 2011, Tropical Storm Don was the first tropical cyclone to reach the United States. Its wind speed had grown to 50 mph over the Gulf of Mexico, but sank below 39 mph before moving ashore in Southern Texas. In this case, due to drought across the Lonestar State, Don had been anticipated as a source of much-needed rainfall. But it dissipated quickly, bringing less than an inch of rain.

Tropical Storm Don in 2017 never reached land and died out over the ocean.

flooding near Yellowstone Wyoming

What Category Was Hurricane Don?

Tropical Storm Don in 2011 did not even maintain its status as a tropical storm when it made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 29. It was only a tropical depression over land. Local cotton farmers were grateful for the small amount of rain it brought to the area.

In 2017, a low-pressure trough over the Atlantic Ocean in mid-July had the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone. Tropical Storm Don formed, but quickly weakened as it entered the Caribbean. This year, Hurricane Don achieved Category 1 status.

What Time Will Hurricane Don Make Landfall?

If you’ve asked, “What time did Hurricane Don make landfall?” in the hopes of preparing for a current storm, that’s not going to work.

If a hurricane is being tracked near your region, you should be aware of the predicted landfall. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to reach a safe area.

How Many People Died in Hurricane Don?

Besides the extent of property damage caused by a tropical storm or hurricane, you might naturally ask, “Did anyone die in Hurricane Don?”

Even a weak hurricane can cause loss of life due to environmental damage. Although Tropical Storm Don in 2011 never became a hurricane, communities in its path were wise to prepare for the storm since such a weather system has been known to cost lives. 

For example, oil rigs and platforms in the western Gulf of Mexico sent nonessential personnel home as a precaution. Fortunately, Don never became life-threatening.

In 2017, Tropical Storm Don never made landfall and caused no damage or loss of life.

What Was the Path of Hurricane Don?

Tropical Storm Don in 2011 had its genesis in a tropical wave (an elongated low-pressure area, oriented north to south, that moves across the tropics east to west) off the coast of West Africa. South of Cuba, heading toward Mexico, it grew to tropical storm status. But it was already rapidly weakening by the time it made landfall on Padre Island, Texas.

In 2017, Tropical Storm Don had a brief life and followed a relatively small path across the Atlantic toward the Caribbean. Hurricane Don this year also remained over the Atlantic.

Convoy of Hope & Hurricanes

Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team closely follows weather updates on any named hurricane. Days ahead of a predicted landfall, Convoy’s World Distribution Center sends trucks to the affected area with plans to set up one or more distribution points.

Onsite, volunteers and Convoy team members set up at a distribution point, usually a local church. Pallets of supplies offloaded from semi-trucks are prepped for distribution day.

Lines of cars form to receive:

• Groceries
• Bottled water
• Bags of ice
• Cleaning supplies

And other resources desperately needed following a storm’s impact on a community.

When Hurricane Ian hit central Florida on September 28, 2022, with sustained winds of 155 mph, Convoy responded. By October 6, more than 17,000 survivors had been served.

Disaster-Relief-Working

In some cases, storm damage can be severe enough to merit a long-term recovery response. Even a year after a major storm, Convoy may still organize follow-up distributions. For example, Convoy held a recovery event in LaPlace, Louisiana, in November 2022 for regions hit hard by 2021’s Hurricane Ida.

Since 1998, when Convoy of Hope responded to its first disaster (flooding in Del Rio, Texas, after Tropical Storm Charley), hurricane response continues to be an annual priority. Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreach, and disaster relief.

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