02 October 2002

Kyle making a comeback, Lili a major hurricane and heading for LA.

Kyle, who during the weekend was severely sheared, is now making a
comeback.  Convection is returning to the center of circulation and
banding features are starting to form (again).  Recall that advisories
began on Kyle on 9/20!  As of 15Z today, he was at 28.9N 67.3W and
heading ENE at 4 kts.  Intensity is 50kts and 997mb.  He is expected to
strengthen to nearly a hurricane again on Thursday, then weaken as
northeasterly shear picks up.  As one might expect for this storm known
for his longevity and permanence, the forecast track is to remain nearly
stationary for the next three days or so.

Yesterday afternoon, as expected, Hurricane Watches were issued for the
LA and eastern TX coasts.  The storm rather rapidly got much better
organized; starting at about 21Z the inner core symmetrized and a small
defined eye formed just a couple hours later.  Since then, the hurricane
has strengthened continuously (pressure has fallen 13mb in the past 12
hours, and 18mb in the past 24 hours).  According to another early
morning chat with Hucky Purpera at the LA Office of Emergency
Preparedness, mandatory evacuations were ordered for Iberia Parish
yesterday afternoon, and for Cameron and Terrabonne Parishes this
morning.  Vermilion and Calcasieu Parishes should be issuing evacuation
orders this morning as well. Lafayette Parish is very closely watching
the situation but no evacuations have been ordered as of this writing. 
Their goal is to have everyone out of the warned areas by sundown
tonight.  FEMA and Red Cross personel are already in place, along with
several university teams who will be collecting data in the eye and
eyewall (hopefully).

Presently, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for extreme eastern TX
and then from the Mississippi Delta to the AL/FL border.  A Hurricane
Warning is in effect for nearly all of the LA coast.  Residents along or
near the path can expect 10-20" of rain, sustained winds of 125mph,
gusts to 155mph, 15-18' storm surge, and tornadoes mostly to the east of
the center.  Considering that we're talking about coastal LA, the
biggest threat will be the storm surge, a swell of water caused by the
very low central pressure (the ocean actually bulges up under the center
of the storm) and the bulldozing of the water by the storm's relentless
winds.  This is above and beyond the normal daily tides.

At 15Z today, Lili was located at 24.8N 88.9W and tracking NW at 13kts. 
The intensity has increased to 105kts and 953mb, making her a Category 3
hurricane and the second major hurricane of the season.  Her eye is very
tiny at only 27km in diameter.  The forecast is for only slight
strengthening before landfall near Pecan Island, LA (about 62 miles
southeast of Lake Charles, or 85 miles east of the TX/LA border) midday
Thursday.  The exact landfall position is uncertain though, and with an
eyewall this intense and small, it DOES matter exactly where she hits...
unlike with Isidore who didn't have an eyewall to speak of when he made
U.S. landfall on eastern LA last Thursday.  Residents in these parts may
recall Hurricane Audrey (1957) who made landfall as a CAT4 storm,
killing nearly 400 people... stories of that event should be enough to
scare people to evacuate!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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