15 July 2003

Claudette making landfall as a hurricane...

Throughout Monday afternoon and evening, the vertical wind shear over
Claudette weakened as forecast and as a result, she was able to better
organize and intensify.  At 05Z today she was upgraded to a hurricane,
and the Houston NEXRAD clearly showed an eye and eyewall in the storm,
which aircraft recon confirmed.  This makes her the first July hurricane
since Bill '97.  Another interesting statistic that Phil Klotzbach (CSU)
pointed out to me is that Claudette is one of the longest-lived named
storms in July ever.  This afternoon at 21Z, she will be tied for 2nd
place with Dorothy '66, and if she lasts until Wednesday at 15Z she will
tie Bonnie '96 for 1st place.  The last US hurricane landfall was Lili

At 15Z today, Hurricane Claudette was located at 28.5N 96.1W and
tracking WNW at 9kts.  Instenisty is 70kts and 981mb, with a 30 nautical
mile wide eye.  This will put landfall near Port O'Connor, TX at about
noon local time.  A Hurricane Warning is in effect for much of the TX
coast, and some optional evacuations have already taken place.  The
storm surge is about 8' above normal tides, and places along her path
can expect about 8" of rain.  Coastal and inland flooding will be the
primary threat.  She will weaken rapidly once the eyewall makes
landfall, as that cuts off the fuel source for the hurricane's engine.

You can monitor the eyewall making landfall at

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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