Tropical Storm Bill
Tropical storm (SSHS)
Alex aug 1 2004 1602Z

Bill making landfall over Daytona Beach, Florida.
Formed August 2
Dissipated August 5
Accumulated Cyclone Energy 1.45
Highest winds 45
Lowest pressure 998 (mb)
Damages $4 million (2015 USD)
Direct Fatalities 2
Indirect Fatalities 1
Missing 1
Areas affected Florida (Daytona Beach)
Part of the
2039 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Bill was a tropical cyclone that was notable for causing a tornado that severly damaged the Daytona International Speedway. It was the second tropical cyclone and second named storm of the 2039 Atlantic hurricane season.

Meteorological history

On August 1, a patch of thunderstorm activity spawned up in the Gulf Stream. It was quite evident a tropical cyclone was forming. A Hurricane Hunters flight was sent to investigate the disturbance. It reported deep organization near the center, and a closed circulation was clearly identified. This information prompted the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to upgrade the system to Tropical Depression Two at 1200 UTC on August 2, less than 24 hours after Tropical Storm Ana was named. Despite the very warm waters of the Gulf Stream, as well as exceptionally low wind shear, the depression struggled to get past 35 miles per hour (mph) and 1000 millibars (mb) for the next 30 hours. At 2100 UTC on August 3, after failing to develop a well organized structure, Tropical Depression Two made landfall near Daytona Beach, Florida with winds of 35 mph and a pressure of 999 mb. But over land, an extraordinarly rare event occured. Primairly due to Lake Okeechobee's warm waters, the depression actually intensified over land to the point where at 40 knot (kt) (or 45 mph) windspeed was recorded at Orlando International Airport, prompting the NHC to upgrade Tropical Depression Five to a tropical storm and name it Bill at 0300 UTC August 4. Bill exited into the Gulf of Mexico three hours later. After entering the Gulf of Mexico, Bill began a short-lived Fujiwhara interaction with Tropical Storm Ana. It reached a peak intensity of 45 mph and 998 mb at 0900 UTC on August 4. One hour later, Bill weakened to a tropical depression and was heavily sheared by Ana's circulation. Over the next two hours, Bill started to degenerate into a spiral swirl of clouds on the southern edge of Ana, and was completely absorbed by 1200 UTC. For details after the merger, please see Ana's meteorological history.

Preparations and impact

A tropical storm watch was put up for the Florida coastline from Jacksonville Beach and Jupiter at 2100 UTC on August 2. It was cancelled after the storm moved into the Gulf of Mexico.

Many people took some minimal care of their belongings. Windows were boarded up, gas stations all over the coast reported long lines of cars, and food prices went down 40%. No one wanted to bear a tropical cyclone of any kind.

Upon its landfall, Bill brought a four foot (ft) storm surge on shore. Fortunately, the surge came in mostly rural areas, causing minimal damage (only $500,000 2015 USD).

However, in Daytona Beach, damage got a bit more extreme. The storm surge caused another $500,000 (2015 USD) to shops, coastal villas, and other low rising structures. But the most notable damage occured when two tornadoes touched down. One was a F0 that caused no known damage, but the other was a F4 that tossed racecars into the Daytona International Speedway, causing $3 million (2015 USD) from racecar explosions and track damages.

Aftermath and records

While most areas bill hit quickly recovered, the Daytona International Speedway took a year to rebuild, even with funding from the government. Numerous race car drivers lost their cars and had to waste all their money to buy new ones. This caused unemployment rates to dracastically rise for a couple months. Since the incident, August 4 is unoffically called "Speedway Apocalypse Day" by local citizens.

The Floridian government sent a request for the name Bill to be retired in the spring of 2040 (when the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) retires names) because of the effects at the Daytona International Speedway. The WMO accepted the request, and the name Bill was retired from List I of the Atlantic hurricane naming lists, and was replaced with Ben for the 2045 Atlantic hurricane season. Upon being retired, Bill was one of only a few sub-hurricane strength storms to have its name retired.