23 September 2002

Isidore, Kyle, and Lili all Tropical Storms now.

At 21Z yesterday, Hurricane Isidore made landfall on the northwest
Yucatan peninsula as a very strong CAT3 storm.  From what I've heard so
far, the devastation caused by this major hurricane has been severe (2+
deaths, widespread loss of power and communication, and washed-out
roads).  Since landfall, intensity has dwindled rapidly (due to lack of
fuel source and enhanced friction) and is now a Tropical Storm.  As of
15Z today, TS Isidore was located at 20.1N 89.5W and tracking E at
2kts... this is over the central Yucatan Peninsula.  Winds have
decreased to 55kts and the central pressure has increased to 960mb.  He
is beginning what appears to be a tiny cyclonic loop over the peninsula,
and should be heading back over the same areas he hit yesterday before
heading out into the Gulf where he can re-intensify prior to another

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for all of the northern and
western Yucatan Penisula, as well as the southern coast along the Bay of
Campeche.  The forecast is for re-intensification once he hits the Gulf
waters, perhaps making it back to CAT3+ status, and for a northward turn
toward eastern TX or Louisiana.  From what I'm seeing, somewhere between
Lake Charles and New Orleans, LA should be on highest alert for Friday
afternoon, but that's several days out and very unofficial.  Isidore is
a HUGE storm; the circulation is at least 1500km across (nearly 1000
miles), so the watches and warnings will cover many miles of coastline
as he approaches.

TS Kyle has managed to maintain intensity despite meandering over the
same location for a while and being in moderate vertical shear.  He is a
small storm, but convection has been firing up sporadically, enough to
maintain the vortex and surface Low.  At 15Z today, he was at 32.1N
49.6W (1400km east of Bermuda) and heading WSW at 5kts.  The motion is
expected to be SW over the next few days, brining him into warmer SSTs
which should allow for gradual intensification, perhaps reaching
hurricane intensity by mid-late week.

TD13 was recently upgraded to TS Lili, the 12th named storm of the
season, at 1530Z today based on an aircraft flight into the storm.  She
has looked consistently better on satellite over the past couple days,
so it's no surprise that the plane found what it did.  At 1530Z, TS Lili
was located at 12.4N 59.7W and tracking W at 17kts.  Maximum winds are
45kts and the MSLP is 1004mb.  She is expected to continue heading W or
WNW and reach hurricane intensity by Wednesday morning.  However, my two
cents is that it may not take that long... the shear is nearly zero
there, the ocean is very warm through a deep layer along the forecast
track, and there's been vigorous convection in the storm for quite a
while now (allowing the warm core aloft to become mature and to
concentrate more vorticity).  

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the northern Windward Islands
from Guadeloupe to Martinique and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect
for the southern Windward Islands from St. Lucia to Grenada.  Lili
should pose a threat to Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and perhaps
Jamaica by the Thursday-Friday timeframe.  Then, if the storm survives
those mountainous encounters in the Greater Antilles, the southeast U.S.
may need to be very watchful.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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