14 July 2003

Claudette once again near hurricane status...

Although vertical shear is still the primary reason Claudette is not a
hurricane, it is decreasing and she has historically been very quick to
respond to subtle changes in the environment (because of her small size
and modest intensity).  For the first time in a couple days, there are
convective features on the west semicircle of her circulation.  The
steering flow in the central Gulf is nearly non-existent right recently,
so her track has looked more like a child's drawing of a camel than that
of a gently curving line.  However, a more westward heading should
commence shortly.

At 18Z today, TS Claudette was located at 27.3N 92.8W and drifting NNW
at 5kts.  This will take her further north than previous track forecasts
predicted.  Intensity is 55kts and 989mb (traditionally, this pressure
is borderline hurricane).  Since the shear is expected to lessen even
more, the forecast is for her to become a hurricane later today or early
tomorrow just prior to landfall.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect
for extreme western LA coast and extreme eastern TX coast; a Hurricane
Watch is in effect from Brownsville to Baffin bay; and a Hurricane
Warning is in effect from Baffin Bay to San Luis Pass.  Landfall is
predicted near Port O'Connor sometime Tuesday evening.

Should she become a hurricane, it would be the first July hurricane
since Bill '97.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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