29 September 2002

Kyle heavily sheared, Lili encountering land, eastern Atlantic still interesting.

TS Kyle continued to weaken in a high shear environment on Saturday, but
is forecast to make a comeback.  The big story with him is the motion...
there has been very little his whole existence!  Recall that he formed
on 9/20, and is still around, and probably will be for another 5+ days,
still no threat to land in that time.  Although the low-level center has
been exposed for a while, centralized convection is making a comeback
this morning, indicating that perhaps the shear is lessening.  As of
15Z, he was at 27.7N 64.8W (520km S of Bermuda) and stationary.  Max
winds are 40kts and the MSLP is 1002mb.  The forecast is for gradual
strengthening and an eastward drift.

Lili has kept a reasonable appearance on satellite, but is passing over
waters surrounded by Jamaica, Hispaniola, and eastern Cuba, all very
mountainous, and that has inhibited her intensification (the center has
managed to weave between all of these islands, a remarkable feat in
itself).  However, all signs point to her being able to regain strength
once she clears the terrain.  At 15Z today, TS Lili was at 18.7N 77.6W
(between Cuba and western Jamaica) and heading W at 6kts.  Intensity is
45kts and 994mb.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Grand Cayman
and central Cuba and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Cayman
Brac, Little Cayman, Jamaica and eastern Cuba.  She is forecast to
become the 4th hurricane of the season on Tuesday morning.

The GFDL model has quite the ironic track forecast for her: landfall
near Lake Charles, LA on Thursday morning as a CAT3 hurricane.  This
would put New Orleans just to the east of the center which would be
catastrophic, not to mention that they just had a TS landfall last
Thursday morning at the same place.  We'll see how the next couple of
days pan out, but by Tuesday, evacuations need to begin, so hopefully
the models will continue to converge on a solution (so far they do). 
AVN, the most reliable track forecaster this season, goes for landfall
on New Orleans on Thursday morning.

The tropical wave that was near the Cape Verde Islands on Friday is now
1300 miles WSW of those islands (about 12N 35W) and moving W at 12kts. 
It has a 1012mb Low, Vertical shear is fairly high, the vorticity center
is elongated, but the SSTs are warm and as it heads west, it may take
advantage of improving conditions.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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