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.

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.

27 September 2002

Isidore still a rain maker, Kyle still a small hurricane, Lili regains TS status.

Isidore continues to dump copious amounts of rain over his path, now
with the heaviest over OH and PA, but will spread into NY and New
England during the day. Flooding, gusty winds, and isolated tornadoes
can be expected today in KY, VA, WV, PA, NJ, CT, and southern NY.

Hurricane Kyle continues to spin out in the central Atlantic southeast
of Bermuda. He has lost the mature appearance (eye, defined spiral
bands, etc) and is now a rather ragged hurricane.  At 15Z, Kyle was at
26.9N 60.7W and drifting WSW at 4kts.  Maximum sustained winds are still
75kts and the central pressue is 980mb.  The long-term forecast is
curious.  The ridge that has been over him -and responsible for the lack
of steering flow- may end up eventually nudging him along its periphery
and toward the U.S. east coast.  Even if this is the case, it's MANY
days off, because over the next few days, he's expected to stall with
little change in intensity (fluctuations here and there, but no real

At 15Z yesterday, NHC had ceased writing advisories on Lili, as she had
apparently degenerated into an open wave.  However, aircraft flights
into the system had shown that by 03Z today, a low-level circulation had
reformed and she was upgraded to TD Lili.  Then at 15Z today, she was
upgraded to TS Lili and shows signs of continued organization.  She has
a very cold CDO and the microwave imagery is showing an established
circulation as well.  As of 15Z, she was located at 16.3N 74.8W and
tracking WNW at 6kts.  Intensity is 35kts and 1005mb.  A Tropical Storm
Warning is in effect for Jamaica.  The forecast is for gradual
strengthening, reaching minimal hurricane by Monday morning just south
of central Cuba.  Given the forecast track and history of storms this
season, I would tend to delay that by a bit, to perhaps Tuesday
morning.  She is expected to enter the Gulf, and if the long-range
models are at all correct, she should continue the WNW track toward the
TX coast.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave that exited the African coast yesterday is
now at about 9N 25W (south of the Cape Verde Islands) and shows some
hint of organization, but this area is not very climatologically favored
for development this late in the season.  However, shear is low and SSTs
are warm, so if the convection can organize, it could become a TD in the
next couple days.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

26 September 2002

Isidore makes landfall, Kyle makes hurricane, Lili downgraded to TD.

Isidore made landfall today at about 2am CDT on Port Fourchon, LA (about
75 miles south of New Orleans) as a 55kt Tropical Storm.  Since there
was no eyewall, the exact location doesn't matter too much; the storm is
huge and all surrounding states will feel roughly the same effects
(something I emphasized during a -unexpected- radio interview with
Denver's KOA News Radio yesterday morning, along with the inland
flooding potential).  At 15Z, TS Isidore was located at 30.7N 89.7W and
tracking NNE at 12kts.  This motion will accelerate with time as it
merges with a trough.  Intensity is 50kts and 985mb.  Further weakening
is expected as the storm is now over land and being sheared by that

The storm surge on the east side of the center was moderate, 3-6' above
tides in most areas, then about 10' above tides in the more shallow
bays.  Keep in mind that a good portion of southern LA is at or below
sea level in the first place. In addition to the storm surge, places
along the central Gulf coast will receive on the order of 2 feet of rain
from Isidore.  Also, there have already been several tornadoes
associated with the Tropical Storm, though I believe there have not yet
been any injuries or deaths.

Tornado Watches and Warnings cover parts of LA, MS, AL, FL, and GA and I
suspect the watches will be shifted north as the rainbands move further
inland.  There are Coastal Flood Watches and Warnings along those same
states; Tropical Storm Warnings for eastern LA, MS, AL, and the FL
panhandle; and Flood Watches for every state from the Gulf coast up to
New England, including LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, TN, KY, IN, OH, PA, and NY. 
People at highest risk for tropical cyclone-spawned tornadoes are those
living in eastern MS, southern TN, all of AL, western GA, and the
western FL panhandle.  This would be a good day for everyone in the
states mentioned in this section to keep a local radio station or TV
channel on just in case action is required, whether it's involving a
tornado or a flash flood.  http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/wwa/ is a
good source for monitoring the Watches and Warnings, but should not
replace local broadcasts from your NWS office.

Yesterday at 21Z, Kyle was upgraded to a hurricane, the third of the
season.  The satellite signature is fairly good; there's a small ragged
eye that microwave, visible, and infrared imagery all pick up, but the
convection is not very deep (cloud tops aren't very cold).  The drift to
the SW over warmer SSTs has made all the difference, but he exists in a
small patch of the Atlantic where the vertical shear is favorable for
the development of a small storm.  At 15Z today, he was at 27.8N 58.7W
(770km SE of Bermuda) and heading WSW at 8kts.  Maximum sustained winds
are 75kts and the MSLP is 980mb.  Only slight strengthening is possible
in the short term before an advancing trough introduces higher shear. 
Of course, as you're probably envisioning, he's already completed one
loop, and now he's heading SW, but a trough is coming, so he'll turn
back NE ahead of it.  By the time he's done, it will be an interesting
track to look at!

Lili was downgraded to a TD today at 15Z and the last advisory has been
issued, unless regeneration occurs (which could very well happen).  An
aircraft in the storm was unable to find a defined low-level center, and
the convection has been somewhat disorganized.  Her position at 15Z was
15.2N 72.5W (roughly halfway between Colombia's Guajira Peninsula and
Haiti), winds were reported as 30kts with 1006mb central pressure. 
Redevelopment is forecast on Sunday morning just south of the western
tip of Cuba as she heads into the same area that Isidore did when he
became a hurricane... between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba, perhaps
entering the Gulf by Monday afternoon.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

25 September 2002

Isidore still huge but weak, Kyle nearly a hurricane, Lili losing to shear.

Very little has changed with Isidore since he exited the Yucatan
Peninsula.  Without question, the most notable feature of the storm is
its size.  It has lost all central convection, but the low and mid-level
swirl (including an area of tropical-storm-force winds 800km in
diameter) is now perhaps 2000km across in the E-W direction and 3000km
across in the N-S direction.  The outflow, assisted by a mid-latitude
trough to the north and the ITCZ to the south extends from just west of
Costa Rica and up to central NY.  See
for an impressive basin-wide VIS shot.  At 15Z TS Isidore was located at
26.0N 90.2W (430km south of New Orleans) and tracking N at 11kts. 
Intensity is 50kts and 990mb, indicating that the Low is filling
(pressure is rising).  However, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect
from approximately Galveston, TX to Apalachicola, FL and a Hurricane
Watch is in effect for all of the LA and MS coasts.  

Landall is expected to be during the early morning hours on Thursday in
eastern LA.  The forecast is for gradual strengthening before landfall
(perhaps not to a hurricane though), then to track over the southeast
U.S. and up to the northeast, passing over TN, PA, and ME as landmarks
along the way.  This journey will be part of his merging with a
mid-latitude trough... forcing him to become extratropical.  By the time
the remnants are over Pennsylvania, New York, and New England on Friday,
there could potentially be a very big rain event, not to mention wind. 
The convective patterns and wind structure already indicate that Isidore
may be losing tropical characteristics... however, this does certainty
not mean he is no longer a threat.

TS Lili has been having problems dealing with vertical shear (only 10kts
SW-erly, but the convection is displaced from the low-level center
nevertheless).  The storm is poorly organized and even aircraft flying
through the system had difficulty finding the center.  But conditions
are expected to improve (depending on track), allowing her to once again
approach hurricane strength during the weekend.  The 15Z position was
14.1N 69.3W and movement was WNW at 10kts.  She is a weak TS with 40kt
sustained winds and a 1008mb MSLP.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect
for most of the southern coast of Hispaniola and I suspect that
southeast Cuba will also soon issue a watch.  The official forecast is
an outlyer in terms of track... NHC is going north of most of the model
tracks, which agree on taking her between Jamaica and Cuba and
eventually into the Gulf.  That version of the track forecast would be
less favorable for her development, but as I said, the models are in
pretty good agreement on that, so we'll see.

TS Kyle is just now moving over 28C+ SSTs, and the convective pattern
indicates that he's taking advantage of the increased fuel source. 
Since this morning, an eyewall has formed; for the first time,
convection has wrapped all the way around the center.  As of 15Z, Kyle
was located at 29.2N 54.8W and heading WSW at 7kts.  Intensity is 60kts
and 990mb, very much on course to maintain the eye and reach hurricane
status later today... the third of the season.  The forecast is for
continued strengthening in the low shear and warming SST environment,
then weakening as a trough approaches and shears him apart (tough world
out there!).

The tropical wave I'd been mentioning the past couple days in the
central Atlantic has dissipated.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

24 September 2002

Isidore back over the Gulf, Kyle heading for warmer waters, Lili getting better organized.

Isidore spent all of Monday over the northern Yucatan Peninsula, and did
indeed complete a small cyclonic loop there, exiting the coast just
miles west of where he entered.  The inner core convection is virtually
gone and the warm core aloft has collapsed, but there are still active
spiral bands.  The low-level circulation is immense, spanning over 2000
km (1400 miles) now... somewhat reminiscent of Floyd '99.  At 15Z today,
he was located at 22.1N 90.0W and tracking NNW at 7kts.  The intensity
is rather weak at 50kts and 987mb, but that will change now that he's
over the warm Gulf waters.  The forecast calls for strengthening up to a
moderate CAT1 hurricane, and landfall in central LA Thursday morning (a
bit east of my 9/20 forecast of Lake Charles, LA).  If the storm
intensifies more rapidly than expected, the situation would become much
more serious (recall Opal '95 at this same time of year).  A Tropical
Storm Warning is in effect for the northern and western Yucatan
Peninsula, the southern coast along the Bay of Campeche, and parts of
the U.S. coast from extreme western FL panhandle westward to near
Galveston, TX.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the MS and LA coasts.

At 15Z, TS Kyle was located at 30.3N 51.1W and moving SW at 7kts.  This
motion will take him over warmer SSTs, allowing for intensification. 
Winds are 45kts with a MSLP of 1000mb.  The convective patterns have
improved lately, vertical shear is moderate (not negligible, but not too
strong), and as mentioned, SSTs will be warming, perhaps to the 28-28.5C
mark.  Based on this reasoning, Kyle is expected to become a hurricane
by tomorrow night.  It might be close race to see if Isidore, Kyle, or
Lili makes it to hurricane status first!

TS Lili has maintained a cold CDO the past 24 hours and is getting
better organized.  At 15Z, she was at 13.2N 65.6W and tracking W at
14kts.  She is nearly at hurricane strength with 60kt winds and 1004mb
MSLP.  The storm is expected to turn more NW-erly in the near future,
taking it over Haiti and extreme eastern Cuba.  A Tropical Storm Watch
is in effect for the western half of the southern coast of the Dominican
Republic, and it's likely that Haiti will issue a Hurricane Watch for
its southern coast shortly.

Elsewhere, there's a small tropical wave at 18N 39W.  It has a 1015mb
Low associated with it but shear is quite high (30-40 kts), so it's not
an immediate concern.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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.

22 September 2002

Isidore nearly a CAT4 hurricane, Kyle turning tropical, TD13 forms and heading for Lesser Antilles.

Isidore has been maintaining constant intensity recently, but did
undergo rapid intensification yesterday afternoon (18mb drop between 09Z
and 21Z) as anticipated.  The track since entering the Gulf has been
following the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula VERY closely,
which is undoubtedly limiting him from becoming even stronger.  At 18Z
today, Isidore was at 21.7N 88.9W and heading WSW at 7kts.  Winds have
reached 110kts (gusting to 135kts) and the MSLP is 934mb.  The eye has
grown a bit since yesterday, from 18km to 37km.  A Hurricane Warning is
in effect for all of the western and northern Yucatan Peninsula.  He is
forecast to resume intensification once he pulls away from the Yucatan
coast, and with only 5kts needed to reach CAT4, that landmark should be
achieved later today.  The offical track forecast is a continued
westward drift, followed by a turn to the north, but the models are
still unable to agree on a track... anything from continuing westward
into central Mexico to as far east as the Lake Charles, LA area.  Chaos
reigns yet again.

STS Kyle continues to get better organized and is very close to being a
purely tropical system.  At 15Z today, he was located at 33.0N 49.9W
(1400km east of Bermuda) and stationary.  Max winds are 40kts and MSLP
is 1006mb.  The steering current is still very weak but he should drift
toward warmer SSTs and gradually intensify, perhaps reaching hurricane
strength by Wednesday.  There is no threat to land in the foreseeable

At 21Z yesterday, the more westward tropical wave I mentioned in the
9/21 update was upgraded to TD13 based on satellite estimates.  It has
been getting better organized and should become the 12th named storm
(Lili) in the next day or so.  As we've seen several times this season,
the low-level center is mis-aligned with the convection, so one of three
things will happen: 1) convection will blow up over the center, 2) the
center will reform under the existing convection, or 3) the system will
degenerate back to a tropical wave.  My hunch is option (1) and the
Depression will strengthen as it heads west through fairly low shear and
amply warm SSTs (next name is Lili, FYI).  Interestingly, if they can
all cooperate, by late Wednesday there could be three hurricanes in the
Atlantic: Isidore, Kyle, Lili.  As of 15Z today, TD13 was located at
12.0N 52.0W (about 850km east of southern Lesser Antilles) and tracking
W at 20kts.  Intensity is 30kts and 1007mb.  Microwave imagery shows
some band-ish features, but it is not well organized.  The track
forecast is to pass through the central Lesser Antilles on Monday night
and Hispaniola Wednesday night.

The more eastward tropical wave I mentioned in yesterday's update has
made very little progress except in location.  It has a 1011mb Low
associated with it and is moving west at 12kts.  It's presently at about
12N 33W.  Assuming TD13 becomes TS Lili, the next number/name on deck is

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

21 September 2002

Isidore becomes first major hurricane, Kyle forms in central Atlantic, east Atlantic becomes active.

Hurricane Isidore was upgraded to a CAT3 storm today at 15Z, making him
the first major hurricane of the season.  He made landfall on western
Cuba yesterday (with devastating rains exceeding 2' at places), and is
now entering the southeastern Gulf.  Shear is almost zero, and the SSTs
are actually an interesting story (as relayed by the Air Force C-130
crew): Although he's moving slowly and the Gulf waters are much
shallower than the Caribbean, cold upwelling is not a concern because of
the loop current... an ocean current that runs between Cuba and Yucatan,
through the Gulf, then exits between Florida and Cuba. Very warm (30C)
SSTs are constantly being replenished so this may be a setup for rapid
intensification today.

The satellite imagery now reveals a mature storm, not only at microwave
frequencies, but also at VIS and IR.  The eye will fully develop today
and the intimidation factor goes up with that, knowing that he will make
landfall somewhere along the Gulf coast.

At 15Z, Hurricane Isidore was located at 21.9N 86.1W and tracking W at
6kts.  The maximum sustained winds have reached 100kts and the MSLP is
down to 955mb, as observed by aircraft recon.  A Tropical Storm Warning
is still in effect for extreme western Cuba and the Isle of Youth, and a
Hurricane Warning is in effect for northern and eastern Yucatan
Peninsula.  The forecast is for a continued westward heading through
Tuesday, with winds of 125kts (strong CAT4).  It's still VERY difficult
to say what's in store for him after Tuesday; the trough off the US West
coast now could be a big player in either leaving him behind again to
linger in the Gulf or to pick him up and steer the storm more
northward.  It's simply too early to tell.

At 21Z yesterday, the broad circulation I mentioned ESE of Bermuda was
upgraded to Subtropical Depression 12, then at 09Z today, it was
upgraded again to Subtropical Storm Kyle, the 11th named storm of the
season.  It should be switch over Tropical Storm today, as it's
continually taking on more and more tropical characteristics (mature
warm core, banding, anticyclone aloft, CDO, etc).  At 15Z today, STS
Kyle was located at 31.3N 51.6W and heading N at 6kts.  Current intesity
based on satellite estimates is 40kts and 1007mb.  Given the relatively
light shear and moderate SSTs in his environment, further
intensification is likely, and the offical NHC forecast brings him to
hurricane status by Tuesday morning.  Also, he's in very weak steering
flow, so the current position may well be close to the position on

There's a very healthy tropical wave at 12N 44W (about 1750km east of
the Windward Islands) and tracking W at 12kts.  It has a 1010mb Low
associated with it, has been getting better organized, and conditions
are favorable for further development.  It could become TD13 in the near
future (and the next name on deck is Lili).

Yet another interesting wave near the Cape Verde Islands is at 10N 24W
and tracking W at 13kts.  It also has a 1010mb Low with it, but
convection is not as vigorous as with the first wave, so if anything
would be slower to develop (if it does at all).

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

20 September 2002

Isidore now a CAT2 hurricane.

At the time of yesterday's update, Isidore was a strong TS with a
strengthening trend.  At 21Z yesterday, he reached CAT1 hurricane
status, then at 09Z this morning, reached CAT2 status and low-lying
western Cuba (and perhaps the occassional eyewall cycle as the storm
re-organizes itself) is the only obstacle to further intensification. 
The central pressure fell 24mb in the past 24 hours, and 13mb in the
past 12 hours, so the storm is not yet qualified as a rapid intensifier
(some classic definitions can be found at
http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/~chu/chap6img/tab605.jpg and a recent
definition is +31kts/day).  It will be a very well-observed storm, in
terms of aircraft flights into it, around it, and sensors dropped into
the ocean ahead of and under it to record the depth of the warm water
(latest data I know about: 29.5-30.0C running 50-70m deep, which is an
amazing amount of energy available to this storm... it's a 230'-deep
bathtub of 86F water!).

At 15Z, Hurricane Isidore was located at 21.7N 83.9W (just a few miles
south of the western Cuban coast) and tracking WNW at 7kts.  Maximum
sustained winds have reached 90kts and the MSLP has plummeted to 966mb. 
Despite this low pressure, an eye has still not formed, which from my
experience is very unusual.  However, the inner precipitation structure
-as revealed by microwave imagery- does contain the mature features one
would expect from a 966mb hurricane.  A Hurricane Watch and Tropical
Storm Warning are in effect for most of the northern Yucatan Peninsula,
and a Hurricane Warning is still in effect for all of western Cuba and
the Isle of Youth.  You can download and print a high-quality map from
http://www.mcwar.org/gallery/tropics/MESO_atl_blank.ps if you wish to
keep up with the track of this storm.

The intensity forecast is relatively simple for a change... it's in a
very favorable environment; both the ocean and the atmosphere will allow
it to continue to strengthen, seemingly well into the major hurricane
domain (CAT3, 4, 5).  However, just to keep the operational tropical
meteorologists on their toes, the track is far from trivial to
forecast.  It's hard to find even two models that agree on a scenario,
let alone a concensus.  The official NHC forecast takes Isidore past
western Cuba and into the southeastern Gulf, slows him down and turns
him slightly westward.  This seems quite reasonable, and after that, I
suspect some sort of a more northward turn, in advance of the next
trough.  At any rate, the US is not threatened by landfall through the
end of the weekend, but should be taking that time to prepare for one.

Elsewhere, there's a broad circulation with a 1010mb Low and scattered
deep convection at about 29N 52W (roughly 14 degrees ESE of Bermuda). 
Vertical shear is fairly low, the SST there is about 27.5C, but the
vorticity center is still somewhat elongated and disorganized.  Should
this develop, the next number/name on deck is 12/Kyle.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

19 September 2002

Isidore quickly organizing, Josephine becomes extratropical.

Tropical Storm Isidore is on the brink of being the second hurricane of
the season.  After a slow start during the weekend and the first half of
this week, the center is finally under the coldest part of the CDO, and
recent microwave imagery shows very clearly that an eye has formed in
the precipitation.  It will be just a matter of hours until that is
reflected in the VIS and IR imagery.

As of 15Z today, Isidore is located at 20.0N 81.2W and moving WNW at
7kts.  maximum sustained winds are 60kts and MSLP is 990mb (which
coincides nicely with the classic pressure for eye development in the
Atlantic).  Aircraft recon will investigate the storm later today, and
given the trend in organization and the microwave imagery showing an
eye/eyewall, they should find 65-70kt winds, making it a hurricane at
that time.  The outflow is expanding in all directions, showing that the
anticyclone aloft is maturing and assisting the "exhaust" process.

A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for the Cayman Islands, a
Hurricane Watch is in effect for some of central Cuba, and a Hurricane
Warning is in effect for the western half of Cuba.  It is possible that
a Tropical Storm Warning will be issued for the Florida Keys this
afternoon if the storm's wind field keeps expanding.

The forecast is very difficult, and I'd say that the track forecast is
more challenging than the intensity this time.  Cuba will be the only
hinderance to intensification, and western Cuba is fairly flat, but land
nonetheless.  All other signs point to a major hurricane in a few
days... low shear, very deep, warm ocean to travel over, and time.  The
models are in good agreement about taking it over the western tip of
Cuba, but beyond that, the concensus is to stall it in the southeast
Gulf (with several outliers).  Depending very strongly on what the
trough does that's draped over the central US now, Isidore could end up
hitting anywhere from Mexico to Florida, so everyone along the Gulf
coast needs to be be watchful and prepared.  So far, the track is
reminiscent of Helene '00 (and she hit the western end of the Florida
peninsula), just FYI.

TS Josephine was absorbed by the mid-latitude trough this morning and
advisories have ceased as of 15Z (11am EDT).  The last advisory placed
Josephine at 42.5N 42.5W and tracking NE at 27kts, basically with the
front.  Intensity was 50kts and 1004mb (definite baroclinic

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

18 September 2002

TD10 upgraded to Isidore, TD11 forms and is upgraded to Josephine.

At 06Z today, TD10 was upgraded to TS Isidore based on aircraft recon
into the storm.  The convection with Isidore has been amazing, even as
an open tropical wave a couple days ago, but the CDO has been
persistently cold during the revived TD state and now the TS state. 
Although the low-level center is still somewhat disorganized, the middle
and upper levels are certainly well-developed, and I suspect that if the
low-level center shifts under the center of the CDO, the storm could
rapidly become strong.  

Sadly, the TMI, AMSU, and SSM/I microwave sensors on various satellites
all missed the center of the system as of the latest passes, each
catching it on the edge of a swath.  This CDO-dominated stage of
development in a Tropical Storm is best observed with microwave imagery,
because it can "see" through the CDO and into precipitating regions
below... able to pick up spiral bands or even an eyewall long before VIS
or IR can.

The 15Z advisory positions TS Isidore at 17.9N 78.7W (just 50km away
from Jamaica) and moving NW at 6kts.  Maximum sustained winds are still
fairly weak at 40kts, and the MSLP is 1003mb.  Given the present
appearance of the storm, one might expect it to gain intensity a bit
more quickly than it has been.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Grand Cayman, a Tropical Storm
Warning is in effect for Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Jamaica, and a
Hurricane Watch is in effect for western Cuba and the Isle of Youth. 
Isidore is forecast to reach hurricane strength by the time he reaches
Cuba early Friday morning.  Once crossing Cuba and entering the Gulf of
Mexico, more rapid intensification is likely, as the shear is already
moderately low and expected to lessen, and the SSTs there are very

As a long-range possibility, one model (GFDL) has the storm hitting the
Gulfport, MS area on Sunday evening as a strong CAT2 hurricane.  NOGAPS
hints more at a curve toward Brownsville, TX, while UKMET and MM5
virtually stall it in the central Gulf and intensify it substantially. 
A Canadian model has it hitting the Florida panhandle on Saturday
night.  Unfortunately, the latest AVN run is not in at the time of
writing, and they've done well with tracks this season.  So, the point
is, Cuba should certainly be prepared for rough weather, but the entire
Gulf coast should be watching this very closely because the future track
is so uncertain.

The small vortex I mentioned in yesterday's update was upgraded to TD11
at 21Z yesterday based on satellite estimates.  At 09Z today, a
fortuitous (for us, not them) ship observation very near the center of
TD11 found 37kt sustained winds, and in combination with satellite
estimates, was enough to warrant upgrading it to TS Josephine, the 10th
named storm of the season.  It is very small, weak, and no threat to
land.  As of 15Z today, she was located at 36.0N 51.4W and tracking NNE
at 10kts.  Intensity is 35kts and 1009mb, and it should maintain current
intensity or weaken as a trough advances on it and it becomes

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

17 September 2002

TD10 regenerates in central Caribbean Sea, could have a big future.

At 15Z today, advisories resumed on what was TD10 during the weekend. 
It had degenerated into an open wave on 9/15 at 21Z (as determined by
visible satellite imagery and aircraft recon).  Those same tools
assisted in the recent upgrade.  Deep convection has been remarkably
persistent with this system, and there are now hints of what appear to
be spiral bands trying to form.  It is in 15kts of deep (850mb-200mb) SW
shear, and the convection being displaced to the east of the center is
one visible sign of that.  The SST there is slightly warmer than 29C,
which no doubt has been the cause for the copious convection (a lot of
heat energy being supplied to it). 

The 15Z advisory places TD10 at 15.9N 77.2W (about 200km south of
Jamaica) and tracking W at 8kts.  Intensity is 30kts and 1009mb.  The
shear is marginal for development now, but it is expected to lessen, and
combined with the warm SSTs, the storm should be able to intensify in
the near future.  Interaction with the mountains islands in the Greater
Antilles may keep intensity down for the next couple days, but the
forecast track is one that could give the storm plenty of time to get
its act together.  NHC's forcast is for gradual strengthening, just shy
of being a hurricane by Friday morning, but admitedly, a lot can change
in a short time.  If named, it will become Isidore.

Nearly all models keep the center south of the Greater Antilles (which
include Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico) and take the system
between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba by Friday morning... in perfect
position to enter the Gulf.  GFDL is perhaps the quickest landfall model
of the bunch, bringing the storm into the Tampa area on Saturday
afternoon as an 80kt hurricane.  If the storm is allowed to enter the
Gulf, it would spend 2-3 days there (basically the weekend) and perhaps
strengthen quite a bit.  Remember the key to hurricanes in the Gulf...
they almost have to make landfall somewhere.

Elsewhere, there is a vortex with moderate convection at 33N 53W. 
Although formed from an upper-level Low, a surface circulation has
developed and is taking on tropical characteristics.  If further
development occurs, it could be upgraded to TD11.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

16 September 2002

Hanna made landfall, TD10 came and went, but is making a comeback.

Tropical Storm Hanna made landfall on the MS/AL border at 14Z on 9/14
with about 40kt winds and disorganized rain (not an eyewall or
well-formed spiral bands).  The only serious effect besides some minor
localized flooding was a wind damage report from Mobile County, AL where
"several trees were blown down".

TD10 formed at 21Z on 9/14 just a few miles off the eastern Venezuela
coast (very low latitude), tracked WNW along the coast and dissipated
back to an open wave on the 15th at 21Z.  However, it is still a key
feature in the Caribbean, presently located at about 17N 73W (just south
of Hispaniola) and moving WNW at 20kts.  Conditions are now marginal for
development, but will be improving, so re-development is possible, or
even likely.  It's still got a lot of centralized relative vorticity
(curvature of the wind field), moderate upper-level divergence (decent
outflow), and healthy convection.  As evident in the satellite imagery,
there is westerly shear, caused by an upper-level anticyclone to its

The computer models are largely in agreement on strengthening it, and
also that Cuba and then Florida will be the target areas.  Some keep it
fairly weak, while some have it reaching CAT3 status by landfall (for
those of you who check the models closely, the 06Z run of GFDL was
fascinating, ask for details if interested).  Should this reform and
reach TS strength, the next name on deck is Isidore.  Just FYI, the last
time we had Isidore was in late September 1996, and she reached CAT3
intensity in the central Atlantic.  The time before that was early-mid
September 1990, and she reached CAT2 intensity, also tracking northward
across the central Atlantic. 

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

13 September 2002

Gustav becomes extratropical, Hanna forms, central and eastern Atlantic still interesting.

Following the forecast remarkably well, Gustav continued on his rapid
northeasterly course on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, making
landfall on extreme eastern Nova Scotia then southwest Newfoundland as a
weak CAT 1 hurricane early Thursday morning.  He transitioned to
extratropical and was absorbed into the mid-latitude trough just hours
after the landfalls.

TD9 formed late Wednesday night from that large area of disturbed
weather in the central Gulf that I had been mentioning for a few days. 
Despite poor convective patterns, pressures had dropped persistently,
reaching 1001mb by the time it was classified as a TD (very low for that
point in its lifetime!).  At 09Z today, aircraft recon, buoys, and
nearby ships reported that the sustained winds were strong enough to
upgrade it to TS Hanna, the 8th named storm of the season.  The 12Z
advisory places Hanna at 27.0N 88.6W and tracking NW at 7kts (after
having been meandering for a while).  Intensity is observed to be 40kts
and 1002mb.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the eastern half of
the Florida peninsula, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from
the central FL panhandle over to near New Orleans, LA... see
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ftp/graphics/AT09/AL0902W.GIF for details.  

Currently, the convection is all southeast of the low-level center (due
to 10-15kt NW vertical shear), which has been exposed during much of
Hanna's existence.  The forecast is for further strengthening, and for
accelerated motion.  As the intensity picks up to 50kts, the track
should bend more northerly, and the NHC forecast is for landfall near
the FL/AL border (although many computer models predict landfall a bit
further west, like Gulfport) Saturday around noon local time. 

The tropical wave that I positioned at 19N 31W in the 9/11 update is now
at about 14N 52W (at least that's where the convection is occuring now,
the wave itself is much larger and harder to pin down) and becoming
better organized as it clears the high-shear zone.  It's tracking W at
20kts and has the potential to become TD10 during the weekend.

Lastly, there's a tropical wave just exiting the African coast with
fairly high, concentrated vorticity that is only in moderate shear. 
Though it lacks deep convection now, it will be closely watched the next
few days.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

11 September 2002

Gustav becomes first hurricane of the season.

After coming within 20 miles of Cape Hatteras on Tuesday at 21Z as a
strong 984mb Tropical Storm, he has since begun to rapidly move away
from the coast.  And, as anticipated, the baroclinic assist he's getting
has allowed him to intensify to a hurricane, the first of the season. 
At 15Z, he was located at 38.6N 69.7W and tracking NE at 20kts.  Maximum
sustained winds are 65kts and the MSLP is 975mb.  The forecast is for
continued acceleration to the NE, slamming into Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland on Thursday, with little change in strength, until 2-3 days
out when he turns extratropical and is absorbed by the trough.  As if to
mimic the October 1991 "Perfect Storm" scenario on a weaker scale, the
IT CROSSES NOVA SCOTIA AND NEWFOUNDLAND".  By the way, the last time we
had to wait until Sept 11 for a hurricane was 1941, so yes, the season
is behind schedule.

The area of disturbed weather in the Gulf that I mentioned yesterday is
becoming better organized.  It has a broad area of vorticity and a Low
associated with it.  This is biggest area of concern in the Atlantic now
for the US, as anything that develops in the Gulf is guaranteed to make
landfall somewhere.

The tropical wave that has been marching across the Atlantic since last
week is now at 18N 52W and tracking W at 10kts.  Conditions remain
unfavorable for development.

A tropical wave at 19N 31W now has a 1011mb Low with it, along with a
nice low-level circulation and some moderate convection.  

Besides the obvious significance of this day, I recalled that this same
day last year had Hurricane Erin sitting not far off the northeast US
coast.  Today, at the same time and nearly same place, Hurricane Gustav
is there.  See the attached image for a comparison.  Although the
visible appearance differs slightly, the central pressures of the two
storms are nearly identical.  Just a strange coincidence I thought I'd
bring to your attention.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

10 September 2002

Gustav goes tropical, and scrapes the NC coast.

Monday evening into Tuesday morning was quite the treat to anyone
carefully watching Gustav's convective patterns (as I'm sure most of you
were...).  He made the transition from subtropical to tropical, and even
without data on low-level wind distribution or vertical temperature
distribution, one could see the storm contract, pulling the deep
convection over the center, and forming feeder bands.  Combined WITH
knowledge from aircraft and AMSU, we know that the surface winds were
getting stronger toward the center of circulation and that a warm core
aloft was becoming established.  In short, he's now Tropical Storm
Gustav (as of 12Z today).

The intensity has been increasing, now up to 50kts and 986mb.  The winds
seem weak for a pressure that low, but it's intensifying and the two
fields are most likely not in equilibrium.  Now on to the track... he is
moving north, which means the westward advance toward mainland NC has
ceased.  However, Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for most of the
NC and VA coasts.  The center of the strom should pass over or very near
Cape Hatteras, NC.  He's about at his closest approach now (3pm
Eastern), and after this, will rapidly accelerate out ot sea in advance
of a trough.

The 18Z advisory places TS Gustav at 34.8N 75.8W and tracking N at
9kts.  As mentioned earlier, the intensity is 50kts and 986mb.  With the
aid of baroclinic enhancement, Gustav should reach hurricane strength
late tonight or by midday Wednesday.  

The tropical wave in the central Atlantic has become much less defined
now, and is in high shear, so it will not be an area of concern for a

NHC is monitoring the west central Gulf of Mexico for possible
development of a Low.  Some models hint at something there as well. 
Right now, it's a large area of disturbed weather with slightly lowered
pressures.  Given the somewhat favorable conditions though, it's not
unreasonable to expect development from it over the next few days.

FYI, today is the climatological peak of activity for the Atlantic
hurricane season, yet we still have not had a hurricane.  Recall last
year the first hurricane formed on Sept 8 and then there were nine of
them from that date through the end of November!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

09 September 2002

STD8 becomes STS Gustav and threatens US East Coast.

Just six hours after being classified as STD8, it was upgraded to
Subtropical Storm Gustav based on aircraft recon flight into the storm. 
You ask:  "What's with all this 'SUBtropical' talk?"  All that means is
that the storm is not purely tropical in nature, but has characteristics
of both tropical and extratropical cyclones (largely dealing with
vertical temperature structure, horizontal wind distribution, convective
patterns, etc).  At 18Z today, Gustav was located at 32.1N 74.4W and
tracking WNW at 9 kts.  Intesnity is 40kts and 1003mb.  

The forecast is for continued gradual strengthening (perhaps to minimal
hurricane status) as it heads NW toward North Carolina's Outer Banks. 
It SHOULD veer away from actual landfall just miles shy of the coast as
a trough lifts it out to sea.  Closest appraoch is expected to be on
Tuesday evening by Cape Hatteras.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect
for the southern VA coast and extreme southern MD, and a Tropical Storm
Warning is in effect for nearly all of the NC coast.  These may need to
be upgraded to Hurricane Watches/Warnings if it intensifies quicker than

The wave that was near the Cape Verde Islands is now at about 13N 40W
and tracking W at 10kts.  It has a 1010mb Low and is over amply warm
SST's but is in fairly high shear, so development is hindered for the
time.  The models are reluctant to intensify this system, and since they
so wonderfully nailed the development and track of Gustav, perhaps we
should weigh that into our forecasts.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

08 September 2002

Fay and TD7 dissipate, STD8 forms southwest of Bermuda, Cape Verde wave still being watched.

The last advisory was written on Fay at 15Z yesterday as she dissipated
over central TX.

Tiny TD7 was short-lived and dissipated just 24 hours after forming.  It
moved WNW a bit and approached the immense circulation of the next storm
to be discussed.

Subtropical Depression 8 formed at 15Z today from the large area of
disturbed weather near the West Indes.  As of 15Z, the center is at
28.7N 70.4W (about 570km SW of Bermuda) and tracking N at 10kts. 
Intensity was estimated at 30kts and 1010mb, but an aircraft will
investigate the system later today... it is suspected that it's stronger
than initial estimates.  The forecast is for gradual strengthening and
for a curve to the NW, approaching the southern NC coast, but a
mid-latitude trough should come to the rescue by Tuesday morning and
whisk it out to sea.  If the trough should happen to bypass it, landfall
is almost certain because the next trough would be a few days away.

The tropical wave near 12N 33W now has a 1010mb Low embedded in it and
is still tracking W at 15kts.  The short-term environment is unfavorable
owing to high shear to its immediate north.  However, since the wave has
held together this long, there's reason to suspect that as soon as it
finds more favorable conditions, it will take advantage of them.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

07 September 2002

Fay makes landfall, TD7 forms in central Atlantic, two other areas are suspect.

TS Fay finally hit TX, after drifting and meandering off the coast for a
while.  It was thought that she might reach hurricane strength before
making landfall, but convection was pretty scarce at critical times. 
She hit near Palacios, TX this morning at 12Z as a 45kt storm, with the
most significant effect being the rain.  Some places along the coast
received over a foot of rain on Friday night.  This scenario is similar
to Allison last year, but much more benign... recall that Allison did
nearly $5 billion in damage and killed 41 people, yet was never more
than a weak Tropical Storm.  Fay is now a Depression, and the 15Z
advisory places her at 29.2N 97.3W and moving WNW at 6kts.  Maximum
winds are 30kts with a MSLP of 1002mb.  The forecast is obviously for
continued weakening.

At 15Z today, TD7 formed from the small vortex in the open Atlantic.  It
seemed that all it was lacking was convection, and once it acquired that
and kept it, it was able to strengthen a bit... both buoys and satellite
estimates provided evidence that it should be a TD.  At 21Z it was
located at 24.7N 48.6W and tracking WNW at 8kts.  Intesity is 30kts and
1015mb (VERY weak).  It's in 15kts of westerly shear and over 27.5°C
SST.  NHC's forecast out to three days is to maintain intensity.

The broad area of disturbed weather over the West Indes that I mentioned
yesterday is still very interesting, but in no rush to organize. It's in
a favorable area though, and will be watched.  It could become TD8 by
the end of the weekend.

Also, the tropical wave near the Cape Verde Islands is not looking as
robust as in days past, but should not be overlooked either.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

06 September 2002

Edouard dissipates, Fay is born, Cape Verde area shaping up.

At 15Z today, the final advisory was issued on TD Edouard.  The remnants
are  being absorbed into TS Fay.

At 21Z yesterday, aircraft recon found a closed circulation in the area
of disturbed weather in the northwest Gulf of Mexico and TD6 was born. 
Six hours later, it was upgraded to TS Fay, the 6th named storm of the
season, based on both aircraft observations and satellite estimates. 
The convective pattern has been improving consistently, with the deepest
convection near the ill-defined low-level circulation.  At 15Z today,
Fay was located at 27.9N 95.0W and drifting west at 2kts.  Maximum
sustained winds have reached 50kts with MSLP of 1001mb.  The bulk of the
convection is to the east and north of the center, but the center is not
easily found, so it could shift to match the convection.

Conditions are favorable for further strengthening, and she'd be a fine
candidate for the season's first hurricane if she weren't so close to
land.  Even so, if "rapid" intensification occurs, she could reach
hurricane strength before landfall, which is expected to be early
Saturday morning near Palacios, TX.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in
effect for the western half of LA's coast  through much of TX's coast
and a Hurricane Watch is in effect for parts of the central TX coast...
see http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ftp/graphics/AT06/AL0602W.GIF for NHC's

There is a broad area of convection over the West Indes that many of the
models develop over the next 3 days or so.  If something should form
from this, the general track is northward toward the NC coast, then NE
as it's whisked away by a trough.

The nearly convectionless vortex near 22N 45W is still holding together,
but has shown no signs of development.  It has a 1015mb Low associated
with it, and is moving west at 10kts.

The large tropical wave exiting Africa that I mentioned yesterday is
still very impressive.  It's centered at about 9N 14W and has a 1010mb
Low, moving west at 10kts.  It's got a lot of relative vorticity (strong
low-level circulation) and an anticyclone aloft to assist the outflow. 
Vertical shear will remain low if it maintains its westerly course, but
there is a deep trough to its north, so any northward deviation in track
could result in it being sheared apart.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

05 September 2002

TD6 forms...

The area of convection in the northwest Gulf of Mexico has been upgraded
to TD6, based on an aircraft recon flight into it this afternoon.  The
Charles radar also shows a tight circulation in the precip pattern, with
banding features becoming apparent.

LAKE CHARLES RADAR (I suggest the loop option):

Proximity to land is the main reason for sending this out now instead of
waiting until Friday morning.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

Edouard makes landfall as a very weak Tropical Storm.

At about 8pm Wednesday night, Edouard finally made landfall on Daytona
Beach, FL as a 35kt TS.  There was barely any convection, so it was
basically a minor wind event.  Since then, he has continued to drift WSW
across the Florida peninsula, weaken to a TD, and has re-entered the
Gulf.  Given the current state of the storm and the very strong vertical
shear, chances for redevelopment are slim to none.  At 15Z today, TD
Edouard was located at 28.7N 83.0W and moving WSW at 7kts.

Elsewhere, there's a broad area of persistent convection in the
northwest Gulf, with an embedded 1009mb Low at 27N 96W.  Conditions are
favorable for this to develop, but its proximity to land might inhibit
that.  It does have an anticyclone aloft, and a fair amount of relative
vorticity, so it's more than the average blob of convection over warm

Also, a tiny vortex that I've been watching since Tuesday morning is
becoming more interesting now.  Located at about 20N 42W, it's got a
well-defined low-level circulation (1016mb Low), but lacks deep
convection.  Although the shear is currently fairly high (35kts), it
should lessen significantly by the weekend, allowing the system to
perhaps get better organized as it tracks west at 10kts.

Lastly, the tropical wave exiting Africa now is one of the more
impressive ones of the season.  All indicators I typically look at are
favorable for it to develop fairly far east.  The convection is centered
over about 12N 12W.

FYI, the next names on deck are Fay, Gustav, and Hanna, not that I'm
anticipating that all three of these items of interest will become named
storms.  The climatological peak of activity in the Atlantic is Sept 10,
so perhaps this flurry of action will help verify that.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

04 September 2002

Dolly out of the picture, Edouard creeping toward Florida.

As early as midday Tuesday, I noticed what appeared to be a front coming
off the storm, indicating that Dolly was losing her tropical
characteristics.  Well, NHC issued the 25th and final advisory on Dolly
this morning as she was absorbed by a front.  At 15Z the pressure was
estimated at 1009mb and a center could barely be discerned.

Edouard has remained a TS in the face of 25kt northwesterly shear.  The
convection has actually become more centralized, but not enough to cover
the center itself.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for much of
the northeastern Florida peninsula and some of extreme southern
Georgia.  He is expected to pass over the peninsula from Flagler Beach
on Thursday morning to Homosassa Springs on Friday morning (weakening to
a TD), then re-enter the Gulf (re-intensifying back to a TS).  At 18Z
today, TS Edouard was located at 29.8N 80.5W and meandering westward at
3kts.  Winds are still 35kts and the pressure is up to 1009mb.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

03 September 2002

Dolly still a Tropical Storm, Edouard forms and sits off of Florida coast.

Dolly never made it to hurricane strength, despite how likely it looked
on Friday morning.  It seems that she ingested a lot of dry air from the
Sahara, and combined with a slight dip in SSTs, intensification was
thwarted.  However, she has maintained TS status and has leveled off in
terms of intensity.  At 15Z today, she was located at 21.5N 53.0W
(approximately 1100km away from the northern Leeward Islands) and
tracking N at 12kts.  This means that she has begun recurving, and will
probably not make it any further west than 55W.  Maximum sustained winds
are at 45kts with 1000mb MSLP.

TD5 formed on Sunday evening just 115 miles east of Daytona Beach, FL. 
At 06Z on 9/2, it was upgraded to TS Edouard, based on virtually every
tool we have: aircraft recon, ground-based radar, surface observations,
and satellite imagery.  He formed in an environment of moderate westerly
shear and meager steering flow, and that has changed little since then. 
At 15Z today, Edouard was at 30.3N 78.6W and stationary.  Winds were
55kts and central pressure was 1003mb and this may be his peak
intensity.  The convection is diminishing and the westerly shear is
increasing, so although he's forecast to loop around and hit the Florida
peninsula on Thursday morning near Daytona Beach, the intensity should
not be alarming (despite the rather warm SSTs he's over).  If he behaves
as expected, he should be a moderate TD or a weak TS at that point. 
There is a Tropical Storm Watch in effect for parts of the northeastern
Florida peninsula.

The only other item to mention is a well-defined surface circulation at
about 18.5N 30.0W.  Although the low-level vortex (1013mb Low) shows up
very well on VIS imagery, there is little convection and the shear is
brutal.  Westerly shear is already 40kts and will be increasing to
50-60kts in the next day or so.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.