30 September 2002

Kyle still hanging on, Lili now a hurricane... and a serious threat to the U.S. coast.

TS Kyle is still far from the U.S. mainland and presents no threat. 
Although this morning's satellite imagery indicates that he is
reorganizing slightly, the shear is still causing the convection to be
well-separated from the deepest convection.  At 15Z today, Kyle was
located at 29.8N 64.8W (345km south of Bermuda) and stationary.  Only
slight strengthening to 45kts is forecast as he curves back to the
east.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Bermuda.  Kyle will be
remembered at the end of the season for contributing to so many Named
Storm Days with so little movement... 9.25 NSD so far with another 3-4+
to add on and has only covered 15 degrees longitude and very little
latitude in that time (for reference, Isidore contributed 8.5 NSD).

At 15Z today, Lili was upgraded to a hurricane, the fourth of the
season.  Since yesterday, the satellite presentation has continually
improved, with a cold CDO and classic bands.  Her center has managed to
avoid passing over land, successfully weaving between Jamaica, Haiti,
and Cuba (look at a map, that's no easy task!).  So although the outer
bands had been disturbed by the 7,000'+ mountains on those islands, the
inner core was always over the warm Caribbean.  As of 15Z, Hurricane
Lili was at 19.8N 80.0W (over Cayman Brac) and tracking WNW at 9kts. 
Intensity has reached 65kts and 986mb.  Now that real organization is
taking place and land is becoming less of a player, we should begin
seeing more rapid intensification (although true "rapid" intensification
is not forecast).  

The NHC forecast calls for her to be 105kts on Thursday morning at 8am,
just 90 miles south of the western LA coast.  Today's 06Z run of GFDL
shows landfall on the TX/LA border on Thursday morning at 7am.  The 00Z
AVN shows landfall very near Lake Charles, LA at the same time.  The 00Z
NOGAPS run is bit slower and goes for landfall on the LA/TX border on
Friday morning at about 1am.  Keep in mind that times are still
approximate, but the location is being narrowed down to western LA or
extreme eastern TX as soon as early Thursday morning.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for eastern Cuba and Jamaica; a
Hurricane Warning is in effect for western and central Cuba, the Isle of
Youth, and the Cayman Islands.  I would not be surprised if a Hurricane
Watch would be issued for the eastern TX and all of LA coasts today to
expedite evacuations.  As pointed out earlier, Lili is forecast by
virtually every model to make landfall on the LA coast as a major
hurricane on Thursday morning (exactly one week after Isidore made
landfall at the same location), so prudent emergency management would
call for optional evacuations beginning today and mandatory evacuations
beginning Tuesday.

The tropical wave in the central Atlantic mentioned in the past two
updates has become less organized and should be beaten by shear in the
near future.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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