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.

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