Hurricane Bill was the third named storm, and the first hurricane of the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season. Bill developed in the open Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles off the East Coast of the United States, forming from a mid-oceanic trough northeast of Puerto Rico on July 11. Bill moved to the northeast and became a hurricane on July 12.

Bill caused no damage, and no deaths were reported in association with Bill.

Bill as a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean
Formation July 11, 1997
Dissipation July 13, 1997
Highest winds 75 mph
Lowest pressure 986 mbar
Deaths None reported
Damages None
Areas affected None

Meteorological History

Bill developed from a large upper-level low that separated from a mid-oceanic trough northeast of Puerto Rico. On July 7, satellite imagery indicated that cloudiness as well as showers associated with the upper-level low began to increase. Despite surface pressures being quite high north of Puerto Rico, there was a small peturbation of the wind field, as well as a trough at the surface. A low then formed from the trough, with the low being just east of the Bahamas, and the low moved to the west-northwest. The upper-level low then moved southwest into the Carribean Sea, resulting in a decrease in wind shear over the low. There were indications that a tropical depression might be forming due to a 24-hour pressure drop of near 3 mb in the eastern Bahamas as the low approached. Convection gradually became more organized, and it is estimated that a tropical depression developed near 0600 UTC on July 11. By the time of formation, the depression was moving to the northeast ahead of an approaching cold front from the East Coast of the United States. By 1200 UTC July 11, the depression became Tropical Storm Bill.

Bill continued to move to the northeast, and despite predictions of Bill dissipating, it strengthened into a hurricane at 1300 UTC July 12 over progressively cooler waters as it got caught up in the westerlies. At 1500 UTC July 12, it is estimated that Bill reached its peak intensity of 75 mph winds, and a pressure of 986 mb. Bill became absorbed by a frontal boundary shortly thereafter, and by 0600 UTC July 13, Bill was no longer identifiable.


A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for Bermuda, although Bill passed well west of the island, bringing no impact there either.

Lack of Retirement

Because there was no damage, the name Bill was not retired in the Spring of 1998 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

1997 Atlantic hurricane season