2002 Atlantic hurricane season

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2002 Atlantic hurricane season
2002 Atlantic hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedJuly 14, 2002
Last system dissipatedOctober 16, 2002
Strongest storm
Name Isidore [nb 1]
  Maximum winds125 mph (205 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
  Lowest pressure934 mbar (hPa; 27.58 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions14
Total storms12
Hurricanes4
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
2
Total fatalities50 total
Total damage$2.47 billion (2002 USD)
Related articles
Atlantic hurricane seasons
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

The 2002 Atlantic hurricane season was a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season. It officially started on June 1, 2002 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally limit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones develop in the Atlantic Ocean. The season produced fourteen tropical cyclones, of which twelve developed into named storms; four became hurricanes, and two attained major hurricane status. While the season's first cyclone did not develop until July 14, activity quickly picked up; the 2002 season tied with 2010 in which a record number of tropical storms, eight, developed in the month of September. It ended early however, with no tropical storms forming after October 6—a rare occurrence caused partly by El Niño conditions. The most intense hurricane of the season was Hurricane Isidore with a minimum central pressure of 934 mbar, although Hurricane Lili attained higher winds and peaked at Category 4 whereas Isidore only reached Category 3. The season's low activity is reflected in the low cumulative accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) rating of 67. [1] ACE is, broadly speaking, a measure of the power of the hurricane multiplied by the length of time it existed, so low number reflects the small number of strong storms and preponderance of tropical storms.

Atlantic hurricane season tropical cyclone season

The Atlantic hurricane season is the period in a year when hurricanes usually form in the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic are called hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions. In addition, there have been several storms over the years that have not been fully tropical and are categorized as subtropical depressions and subtropical storms. Even though subtropical storms and subtropical depressions are not technically as strong as tropical cyclones, the damages can still be devastating.

Tropical cyclone Rapidly rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; while in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones are named by various warning centers to provide ease of communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings. The names are intended to reduce confusion in the event of concurrent storms in the same basin. Generally once storms produce sustained wind speeds of more than 33 knots, names are assigned in order from predetermined lists depending on which basin they originate. However, standards vary from basin to basin: some tropical depressions are named in the Western Pacific, while tropical cyclones must have a significant amount of gale-force winds occurring around the centre before they are named in the Southern Hemisphere.

Contents

The season was less destructive than normal, causing an estimated $2.47 billion (2002 USD) in property damage and 23 fatalities. Most destruction was due to Isidore, which caused about $1.28 billion (2002 USD) in damage and killed seven people in the Yucatán Peninsula and later the United States, and Hurricane Lili, which caused $1.16 billion (2002 USD) in damage and 15 deaths as it crossed the Caribbean Sea and eventually made landfall in Louisiana.

Yucatán Peninsula peninsula in North America

The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. It is approximately 181,000 km2 (70,000 sq mi) in area, and is almost entirely composed of limestone.

Hurricane Lili Category 4 Atlantic hurricane in 2002

Hurricane Lili was the second costliest, deadliest, and strongest hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season, being surpassed by Hurricane Isidore, which affected the same areas around a week before Lili. Lili was the twelfth named storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm developed from a tropical disturbance in the open Atlantic on September 21. It continued westward, affecting the Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm, then entered the Caribbean. As it moved west, the storm dissipated while being affected by wind shear south of Cuba, and regenerated when the vertical wind shear weakened. It turned to the northwest and strengthened up to category 2 strength on October 1. Lili made two landfalls in western Cuba later that day, and then entered the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane rapidly strengthened on October 2, reaching Category 4 strength that afternoon. It weakened rapidly thereafter, and hit Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane on October 3. It moved inland and dissipated on October 6.

Louisiana State of the United States of America

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.

Seasonal forecasts

Predictions of tropical activity in the 2002 season
SourceDateNamed
storms
HurricanesMajor
hurricanes
CSU Average (1950–2000) [2] 9.65.92.3
NOAA Average (1950–2005) [3] 11.06.22.7
Record high activity 28 15 8
Record low activity 4 2 0
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
CSUDecember 7, 2001 [2] 1384
CSUApril 5, 2002 [4] 1273
NOAAMay 20, 2002 [5] 9–136–82–3
CSUAugust 7, 2002 [6] 941
NOAAAugust 8, 2002 [7] 7–104–61–3
CSUSeptember 3, 2002 [8] 831
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Actual activity1242

Noted hurricane expert William M. Gray and his associates at Colorado State University issue forecasts of hurricane activity each year, separately from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Gray's team determined the average number of storms per season between 1950 and 2000 to be 9.6 tropical storms, 5.9 hurricanes, and 2.3 major hurricanes (storms exceeding Category 3). A normal season, as defined by NOAA, has 9 to 12 named storms, of which 5 to 7 reach hurricane strength and 1 to 3 become major hurricanes. [2] [3]

William M. Gray American meteorologist

William "Bill" Mason Gray was emeritus professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University (CSU), and the head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at CSU's Department of Atmospheric Sciences. He was widely regarded as a pioneer in the science of tropical cyclone forecasting and one of the world's leading experts on tropical storms. After retiring as a faculty member at CSU in 2005, Gray remained actively involved in both climate change and tropical cyclone research until his death.

Colorado State University public research university in Fort Collins

Colorado State University is a public research university in Fort Collins, Colorado. The university is the state's land grant university and the flagship university of the Colorado State University System.

Tropical cyclone seasonal forecasting is the process of predicting the number of tropical cyclones in one of the world's seven tropical cyclone basins during a particular tropical cyclone season. In the north Atlantic Ocean, one of the most widely publicized annual predictions comes from the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University. These reports are written by Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray.

Pre-season forecasts

On December 7, 2001, Gray's team issued its first extended-range forecast for the 2002 season, predicting above-average activity (13 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and about 2 of Category 3 or higher). It listed an 86 percent chance of at least one major hurricane striking the U.S. mainland. This included a 58 percent chance of at least one major hurricane strike on the East Coast, including the Florida peninsula, and a 43 percent chance of at least one such strike on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward. The potential for major hurricane activity in the Caribbean was forecast to be above average. [2]

East Coast of the United States Coastline in the United States

The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, the Atlantic Coast, and the Atlantic Seaboard, is the coastline along which the Eastern United States meets the North Atlantic Ocean. The coastal states that have shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Gulf Coast of the United States Coastline in the United States

The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States where they meet the Gulf of Mexico. The coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and these are known as the Gulf States.

Florida Panhandle northwest region of florida

The Florida Panhandle, an informal, unofficial term for the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida, is a strip of land roughly 200 miles (320 km) long and 50 to 100 miles wide, lying between Alabama on the north and the west, Georgia on the north, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Its eastern boundary is arbitrarily defined. The terms West Florida and Northwest Florida are today generally synonymous with the Panhandle, although historically West Florida was the name of a British colony (1763–1783), later a Spanish colony (1783–1821), both of which included modern-day Florida west of the Apalachicola River as well as portions of what are now Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

On April 5 a new forecast was issued, calling for 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes. The decrease in the forecast was attributed to the further intensification of El Niño conditions. The estimated potential for at least one major hurricane to affect the U.S. was decreased to 75 percent; the East Coast potential decreased slightly to 57 percent, and from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas, the probability remained the same. [4]

Brownsville, Texas City in Texas, United States

Brownsville is a city in Cameron County in the U.S. state of Texas. It located on the western Gulf Coast in South Texas, approximately 276.8 miles (445.5 km) south of San Antonio, adjacent to the border with Matamoros, Mexico. The city covers 81.528 square miles (211.157 km2) and has a population of 183,299 as of 2017. It is the 131st-largest city in the United States and 16th-largest in Texas. It is part of the Brownsville–Matamoros conurbation, with a population of 1,136,995 people. The city is known for its year-round subtropical climate, deep-water seaport and Hispanic culture.

Mid-season forecasts

On August 7, 2002, Gray's team lowered its season estimate to 9 named storms, with 4 becoming hurricanes and 1 becoming a major hurricane, noting that conditions had become less favorable for storms than they had been earlier in the year. The sea-level pressure and trade wind strength in the tropical Atlantic were reported to be above normal, while sea surface temperature anomalies were on a decreasing trend. [6]

Sea surface temperature Water temperature close to the oceans surface

Sea surface temperature (SST) is the water temperature close to the ocean's surface. The exact meaning of surface varies according to the measurement method used, but it is between 1 millimetre (0.04 in) and 20 metres (70 ft) below the sea surface. Air masses in the Earth's atmosphere are highly modified by sea surface temperatures within a short distance of the shore. Localized areas of heavy snow can form in bands downwind of warm water bodies within an otherwise cold air mass. Warm sea surface temperatures are known to be a cause of tropical cyclogenesis over the Earth's oceans. Tropical cyclones can also cause a cool wake, due to turbulent mixing of the upper 30 metres (100 ft) of the ocean. SST changes diurnally, like the air above it, but to a lesser degree. There is less SST variation on breezy days than on calm days. In addition, ocean currents such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), can effect SST's on multi-decadal time scales, a major impact results from the global thermohaline circulation, which affects average SST significantly throughout most of the world's oceans.

On August 8, 2002, NOAA revised its season estimate to 7–10 named storms, with 4–6 becoming hurricanes and 1–3 becoming major hurricanes. The reduction was attributed to less favorable environmental conditions and building El Niño conditions. [7]

Systems

Hurricane LiliHurricane Kyle (2002)Hurricane IsidoreTropical Storm Hanna (2002)Hurricane Gustav (2002)Tropical Storm Fay (2002)Tropical Storm Edouard (2002)Tropical Storm Cristobal (2002)Tropical Storm Bertha (2002)Tropical Storm Arthur (2002)Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale2002 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Arthur Jul 15 2002 1545Z.jpg   Arthur 2002 track.png
DurationJuly 14 – July 16
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

Arthur formed out of a tropical depression off the coast of North Carolina on July 14 from a decaying frontal zone. It then moved out to sea, strengthening slightly into a tropical storm on July 15. Arthur gradually strengthened and peaked as a 60 mph (97 km/h) tropical storm on the following day. However, cooler waters and upper level shear caused it to weaken. By July 17, Arthur had become extratropical, and moved north over Newfoundland. It proceeded to weaken below gale strength. [9] The precursor system produced up to 4.49 in (114 mm) of rainfall in Weston, Florida. [10] Later, one person drowned in the Conne River in Newfoundland due to Arthur. [11]

Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Trop Storm Bertha 2002 Modis image.JPG   Bertha 2002 track.png
DurationAugust 4 – August 9
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1007  mbar  (hPa)

A surface trough of low pressure that would later spawn Tropical Storm Cristobal developed a tropical depression in the northern Gulf of Mexico on August 4. It quickly strengthened into a minimal tropical storm early on August 5, and made landfall near Boothville, Louisiana just two hours later. Bertha weakened to a tropical depression, but retained its circulation over Louisiana. A high pressure system built southward, unexpectedly forcing the depression to the southwest. It emerged back over the Gulf of Mexico on August 7, where proximity to land and dry air prevented further strengthening. Bertha moved westward, and made a second landfall near Kingsville, Texas on August 9, having made no significant gain in strength. [12]

Across the Gulf Coast of the United States, Bertha dropped light to moderate rainfall; most areas received less than 3 inches (76 mm). Precipitation from the storm peaked at 10.25 inches (260 mm) in Norwood, Louisiana. Minor flooding was reported, which caused light damage to a few businesses, 15 to 25 houses, and some roadways. Overall, damage was very minor, totaling to $200,000 (2002 USD) in damage. [13] In addition, one death was reported due to Bertha, a drowning due to heavy surf in Florida. [12]

Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Cristobal2002.jpg   Cristobal 2002 track.png
DurationAugust 5 – August 8
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  999  mbar  (hPa)

On August 5, Tropical Depression Three formed off the coast of South Carolina from a surface trough of low pressure – the same trough that spawned Tropical Storm Bertha in the Gulf of Mexico. Under a southerly flow, the depression drifted southward, where dry air and wind shear inhibited significant development. On August 7, it became Tropical Storm Cristobal, and reached a peak of 50 mph (80 km/h) on August 8. The storm meandered eastward and was absorbed by a front on August 9. [14]

The interaction between the extratropical remnant and a high pressure system produced strong rip currents along the coastline of Long Island. The storm also caused waves of three to four ft (1.2 m) in height. Three people drowned from the rip currents and waves in New York. [15]

Tropical Storm Dolly

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Dolly2002.jpg   Dolly 2002 track.png
DurationAugust 29 – September 4
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave exited the African coast on August 27, [16] and with low favorable conditions the system organized into Tropical Depression Four on August 29 about 630 mi (1,020 km) southwest of Cape Verde. [17] Six hours later, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Dolly after developing sufficient outflow and curved banding features. [18] The storm continued to intensify as more convection developed, [19] and Dolly reached peaked winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) on August 30. [16] After peaking in intensity, the storm suddenly lost organization, [20] and the winds decreased to minimal tropical storm force. [21] After a brief re-intensification trend, Dolly again weakened due to wind shear. On September 4 Dolly weakened to a tropical depression, and later that day was absorbed by the trough; it never affected land. [16]

Tropical Storm Edouard

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Edouard 2002.jpg   Edouard 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 1 – September 6
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  1002  mbar  (hPa)

Edouard formed out of an area of disturbed weather north of the Bahamas on September 2. It drifted northward, then executed a clockwise loop off the coast of Florida. Despite dry air and moderate upper level shear, Edouard strengthened to a peak of 65 mph (105 km/h) winds, but the unfavorable conditions caught up with it. The storm weakened as it turned west-southwestward, and made landfall near Ormond Beach, Florida on September 5 as a minimal tropical storm. Edouard crossed Florida, and emerged over the Gulf of Mexico as a minimal depression. Outflow from the stronger Tropical Storm Fay caused Tropical Depression Edouard to weaken further, and Edouard was eventually absorbed by Fay. [22]

Tropical Storm Edouard dropped moderate rainfall across Florida, peaking at 7.64 inches (194 mm) in DeSoto County. [23] Though it was a tropical storm at landfall, winds were light across the path of the storm over land. Several roads were flooded from moderate precipitation. No casualties were reported, and damage was minimal. [22]

Tropical Storm Fay

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Fay 2002-09-06 1915Z.jpg   Fay 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 5 – September 8
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  998  mbar  (hPa)

In early September, a low pressure center developed along a trough of low pressure, and on September 5, the system had gained sufficient organization to be a tropical depression, to the southeast of Galveston. The depression drifted south-southwest while strengthening into Tropical Storm Fay, reaching its peak strength of 60 mph (95 km/h) on the morning of September 6. The system then abruptly turned to the west-northwest, and remained steady in strength and course until landfall the next day, near Matagorda. It quickly degenerated into a remnant low, which itself moved slowly southwestward over Texas. The low eventually dissipated on September 11 over northeastern Mexico. [24]

The storm brought heavy rainfall in Mexico and Texas. The storm also caused six tornadoes, up to 20 in (510 mm) of rain, and extended periods of tropical storm force winds. [24] The storm caused moderate flooding in some areas due to high rainfall amounts, which left about 400 homes with some form of damage. In total, 400 houses sustained damage from flooding. [25] 1,575 houses were damaged from the flooding or tornadic damage, 23 severely, amounting to $4.5 million (2002 USD) in damage. No deaths are attributed to Fay. [26]

Tropical Depression Seven

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD 7 2002-09-07.jpg   7-L 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 7 – September 8
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1013  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave exited Africa on September 1, and after initial development became disorganized. It moved west-northwestward for a week, reorganizing enough by September 7 to be declared Tropical Depression Seven about 1155 mi (1855 km) east-southeast of Bermuda. [27] At the time, the depression had persistent convection around a small circulation, and it moved steadily westward due to a ridge to its north. [28] Shortly after forming, strong wind shear diminished the convection and left the center partially exposed. [29] By September 8, there was no remaining thunderstorm activity, [30] and the depression degenerated into a remnant low-pressure area. [31] The storm dissipated shortly after as strong wind shear continued to cause the storm to deteriorate while located 980 mi (1580 mi) southeast of Bermuda. The depression never affected land. [27]

Hurricane Gustav

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
HR Gustav 2002.jpg   Gustav 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 8 – September 12
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  960  mbar  (hPa)

An area of unsettled weather developed between the Bahamas and Bermuda on September 6, and over the next few days convection increased in intensity and coverage. On September 8, the system gained sufficient organization to be declared a subtropical depression off the Southeast United States coast; later that day, the system was named Subtropical Storm Gustav. After attaining tropical characteristics on September 10, Gustav passed slightly to the east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a tropical storm before moving northeastward and making two landfalls in Atlantic Canada as a Category 1 hurricane on September 12. [32] [33]

The storm was responsible for one death and $100,000 (2002 USD) in damage, mostly in North Carolina. The interaction between Gustav and a non-tropical system produced strong winds that caused an additional $240,000 (2002 USD) in damage in New England, but this damage was not directly attributed to the hurricane. In Atlantic Canada, the hurricane and its remnants brought heavy rain, tropical storm and hurricane-force winds, as well as storm surges for several days. [32] Localized flooding was reported in areas of Prince Edward Island, and 4,000 people in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island were left without power. [34]

Tropical Storm Hanna

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Hanna 2002-09-13.jpg   Hanna 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 12 – September 15
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1001  mbar  (hPa)

In early September, a tropical wave merged with a trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico and spawned a low pressure system. Convection steadily deepened on September 11 east of the upper level low and the surface low; it was classified as Tropical Depression Nine the next day. The disorganized storm moved westward, then northward, where it strengthened into Tropical Storm Hanna later that day. After reaching a peak with winds of 55 mph (90 km/h), it made two landfalls on the Gulf Coast, eventually dissipating on September 15 over Georgia. [35]

Because most of the associated convective activity was east of the center of circulation, minimal damage was reported in Louisiana and Mississippi. [35] To the east on Dauphin Island, Alabama, the storm caused coastal flooding which closed roads and forced the evacuation of residents. Florida received high wind gusts, heavy rainfall, and strong surf that resulted in the deaths of three swimmers. [36] Throughout the state, 20,000 homes lost electricity. [37] The heavy rainfall progressed into Georgia, where significant flooding occurred. Crop damage was extensive, and over 300 structures were damaged by the flooding. The storm caused a total of about $20 million (2002 USD) in damage and three fatalities. [35]

Hurricane Isidore

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Isidore AMO2002265 lrg.jpg   Isidore 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 14 – September 27
Peak intensity125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  934  mbar  (hPa)

On September 9, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa, and by September 14 it was classified as a tropical depression. The next day the storm was located just south of Jamaica, and it developed into Tropical Storm Isidore. On September 19, it intensified into a hurricane, and Isidore made landfall in western Cuba as a Category 1 storm. Just before landfall near Puerto Telchac on September 22, Isidore reached its peak intensity, with wind speeds of 125 miles per hour (201 km/h), making it a strong Category 3 storm. After returning to the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, Isidore's final landfall was near Grand Isle, Louisiana on September 26, where the storm weakened to a depression. [38]

Isidore made landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula of southern Mexico as a Category 3 hurricane, leaving $950 million (2002 USD) in damage in the country. [39] Despite dropping over 30 inches (760 mm) of rainfall among other effects, [40] only two indirect deaths were reported there. [41] As a tropical storm, Isidore produced a maximum of 15.97 inches (406 mm) of rainfall in the United States at Metairie, Louisiana. [40] The rainfall was responsible for flooding that caused moderate crop damage, with a total of $330 million in damage (2002 USD). [42]

Tropical Storm Josephine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Josephine2002.jpg   Josephine 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 17 – September 19
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1009  mbar  (hPa)

A non-tropical low developed along a dissipating stationary front on September 16 in the central Atlantic and drifted north-northeastward. [43] The National Hurricane Center classified it as Tropical Depression Eleven on September 17 about 710 mi (1,150 km) east of Bermuda, and initially the depression did not have significant deep convection. [44] A wind report early on September 18 indicated the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Josephine. The storm continued generally northeastward, steered between a subtropical high to the northeast and a frontal system approaching from the west. [45] Josephine maintained a well-defined circulation, but its deep convection remained intermittent. [46] Early on September 19 the storm began being absorbed by the cold front, and as a tropical cyclone its winds never surpassed 40 mph (75 km/h). [47] Later that day Josephine transitioned into an extratropical cyclone and suddenly intensified to winds of 60 mph (95 km/h). The extratropical low was quickly absorbed by another larger extratropical system on the afternoon of September 19. [43] [48]

Hurricane Kyle

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Kyle 2002-09-26 1710Z.jpg   Kyle 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 20 – October 12
Peak intensity85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  980  mbar  (hPa)

A non-tropical low formed into Subtropical Depression Twelve, well east-southeast of Bermuda on September 20. It became Subtropical Storm Kyle the next day, and Tropical Storm Kyle on September 22. Kyle drifted slowly westward, slowly strengthening, and reached hurricane strength on September 25; it weakened back into a tropical storm on September 28. The cyclone's strength continued to fluctuate between tropical depression and tropical storm several times. Its movement was also extremely irregular, as it shifted sharply north and south along its generally westward path. On October 11, Kyle reached land and made its first landfall near McClellanville, South Carolina. While skirting the coastline of the Carolinas, it moved back over water, and made a second landfall near Long Beach, North Carolina later the same day. Kyle continued out to sea where it merged with a cold front on October 12, becoming the fourth longest-lived Atlantic hurricane. [49]

Kyle brought light precipitation to Bermuda, but no significant damage was reported there. [50] Moderate rainfall accompanied its two landfalls in the United States, [51] causing localized flash flooding and road closures. Floodwaters forced the evacuation of a nursing home and several mobile homes in South Carolina. Kyle spawned at least four tornadoes, [49] the costliest of which struck Georgetown, South Carolina; it damaged 106 buildings and destroyed seven others, causing eight injuries. [52] Overall damage totaled about $5 million (2002 USD), and no direct deaths were reported. [49] However, the remnants of Kyle contributed to one indirect death in the British Isles. [53]

Hurricane Lili

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Lili 02 oct 2002 1645Z.jpg   Lili 2002 track.png
DurationSeptember 21 – October 4
Peak intensity145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  938  mbar  (hPa)

On September 16, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. It developed a low level cloud circulation midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles on September 20. The next day, the system had become sufficiently organized to classify the system as a tropical depression about 900 nautical miles (1,700 km) east of the Windward Islands. On September 30 Lili became a hurricane while passing over the Cayman Islands. The storm attained Category 4 status in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall on the Louisiana coast on October 2. The next day, it was absorbed by an extratropical low near the TennesseeArkansas border. [54]

In Louisiana, wind gusts reaching 120 mph (190 km/h), coupled with over 6 inches (150 mm) of rainfall and a storm surge of 12 feet (3.7 m), caused $1.1 billion (2002 USD) in damage. A total of 237,000 people lost power, and oil rigs offshore were shut down for up to a week. [55]

Tropical Depression Fourteen

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
TD 14 15 oct 2002.jpg   14-L 2002 track.png
DurationOctober 14 – October 16
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1002  mbar  (hPa)

A weak tropical wave moved through the Lesser Antilles on October 9. As the system reached the southwestern Caribbean Sea on October 12, convection increased, and a broad low pressure area formed later that day. Over the next two days, the low significantly organized, and became Tropical Depression Fourteen at 1200 UTC on October 14. The depression initially tracked west-northwestward, but then curved to the north-northeast. Due to vertical wind shear, the depression was unable to intensify, and remained below tropical storm status during its duration. By 1600 UTC on October 16, the depression made landfall near Cienfuegos, Cuba with winds of 30 mph (45 km/h). While crossing the island, the depression was absorbed by a cold front early on October 17. Minimal impact was reported, which was limited to locally heavy rains over portions of Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. [56]

Storm names

The following names were used on named storms that formed in the North Atlantic during the 2002 season. Names that were not used are marked in gray. The 2002 list was taken from the 1996 season with the substitution of Cristobal, Fay, and Hanna for Cesar, Fran, and Hortense respectively. The three new names were used for Atlantic storms for the first time. [57] The list was used again in the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season with the exception of Isidore and Lili, which were retired by the World Meteorological Organization on March 30, 2003; they were replaced with Ike and Laura, respectively. [57]

  • Omar (unused)
  • Paloma (unused)
  • Rene (unused)
  • Sally (unused)
  • Teddy (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)
  • Wilfred (unused)

Season effects

The following table lists all of the storms that formed in the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s) –denoted by bold location names – damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all of the damage figures are in 2002 USD.

Saffir–Simpson scale
TDTSC1C2C3C4C5
2002 North Atlantic tropical cyclone season statistics
Storm
name
Dates activeStorm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affectedDamage
(USD)
DeathsRefs
Arthur July 14 – July 16Tropical storm60 (95)997 Southeastern United States Minimal1 
Bertha August 4 – August 9Tropical storm40 (65)1007 Mississippi 0.21 
Cristobal August 5 – August 8Tropical storm50 (85)999 Bermuda, New York Minimal0 (3) 
DollyAugust 29 – September 4Tropical storm60 (95)997NoneNoneNone
Edouard September 1 – September 6Tropical storm65 (100)1002 Florida MinimalNone 
Fay September 5 – September 8Tropical storm60 (95)998 Texas, Northern Mexico 4.5None 
SevenSeptember 7 - September 8Tropical depression35 (55)1013NoneNoneNone 
Gustav September 8 - September 12Category 2 hurricane100 (155)960 North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New England 0.341 (3)
Hanna September 12 - September 15Tropical storm60 (95)1001 Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Southeastern U.S., Mid Atlantic 203
Isidore September 14 - September 27Category 3 hurricane125 (205)934 Venezuela, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Yucatán Peninsula, Louisiana, Mississippi 1,28019 (3)
JosephineSeptember 17 - September 19Tropical storm40 (65)1006NoneNoneNone
Kyle September 20 - October 12Category 1 hurricane85 (140)980 Bermuda, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, British Isles 50 (1)
Lili September 21 - October 4Category 4 hurricane145 (230)938 Windward Islands, Haiti, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Louisiana 1,16013 (2)
FourteenOctober 14 - October 16Tropical depression35 (55)1002 Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cuba MinimalNone
Season Aggregates
14 systemsJuly 14 – October 16 145 (230)9342,47038 (15) 

See also

Notes

  1. The "strength" of a tropical cyclone is measured by the minimum barometric pressure, not wind speed. Most meteorological organizations rate the intensity of a storm by this figure, so the lower the minimum pressure of the storm, the more intense or "stronger" it is considered to be. The strongest winds were actually from Lili, at 145 mph (230 km/h).

Related Research Articles

2003 Atlantic hurricane season Summary of the relevant tropical storms

The 2003 Atlantic hurricane season was a very active Atlantic hurricane season with tropical activity before and after the official bounds of the season—the first such occurrence since the 1964 season. The season produced 21 tropical cyclones, of which 16 developed into named storms; seven cyclones attained hurricane status, of which three reached major hurricane status. With sixteen storms, the season was tied for the sixth-most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. The strongest hurricane of the season was Hurricane Isabel, which reached Category 5 status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale northeast of the Lesser Antilles; Isabel later struck North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane, causing $5.5 billion in damage and a total of 51 deaths across the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

2000 Atlantic hurricane season hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2000 Atlantic hurricane season was the first Atlantic hurricane season without a tropical cyclone in the month of July since 1993. The hurricane season officially began on June 1, and ended on November 30. It was slightly above average due to a La Niña weather pattern although most of the storms were weak. The first cyclone, Tropical Depression One, developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on June 7 and dissipated after an uneventful duration. However, it would be almost two months before the first named storm, Alberto, formed near Cape Verde; Alberto also dissipated with no effects on land. Several other tropical cyclones—Tropical Depression Two, Tropical Depression Four, Chris, Ernesto, Nadine, and an unnamed subtropical storm—did not impact land. Five additional storms—Tropical Depression Nine, Florence, Isaac, Joyce, and Leslie—minimally affected land areas.

1971 Atlantic hurricane season hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1971 Atlantic hurricane season was fairly active with several notable storms. Hurricane Edith, the strongest of the season, was a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the highest category on the scale. It struck Nicaragua at peak intensity, killing dozens, and later hit southern Louisiana. Until 2003, Hurricane Ginger held the record for the longest known duration of a North Atlantic tropical cyclone, lasting 27.25 days from early September to early October; it is currently the second longest-lasting Atlantic hurricane. Ginger moved ashore in North Carolina, producing heavy rains and damaging winds. An unnamed storm in August attained hurricane status further north than any other Atlantic hurricane. Between 11 and 12 September five tropical cyclones were active at the same time, the record for the Atlantic basin.

1982 Atlantic hurricane season hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1982 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 1982, and lasted until November 30, 1982, and was a well below average season. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. Only six storms formed during this hurricane season: five named storms and an unnamed subtropical storm. The season only produced two hurricanes one of which reached major hurricane status. The season started early with Hurricane Alberto forming on the first day of the season. Alberto threatened the Southwestern Florida coast as a tropical storm, causing twenty-three fatalities in Cuba. The next storm, a subtropical storm, formed in June and affected the same area as Alberto, causing $10 million in damage.

1990 Atlantic hurricane season hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 1990 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season since 1969. It officially began on June 1, 1990, and lasted until November 30, 1990. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. One tropical depression did form before the season officially started, however.

Hurricane Isidore Category 3 Atlantic hurricane in 2002

Hurricane Isidore was the ninth named storm and the second hurricane in the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. Isidore was the fifth of eight named storms to occur in September. The tropical cyclone peaked as a Category 3 hurricane, causing damage as well as four fatalities in Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, and the United States. Isidore is noted for threatening to strike the northern Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane, but instead striking as a moderate tropical storm due to a track change that brought the storm over the Yucatán Peninsula for over a day, which significantly weakened the cyclone. Its primary impact was the heavy rainfall which fell across southeast Mexico and from the central United States Gulf coast into the Ohio Valley.

2006 Atlantic hurricane season Summary of the relevant tropical storms

The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season was the least active since 1997 as well as the first season since 2001 in which no hurricanes made landfall in the United States, and was the first since 1994 in which no tropical cyclones formed during October. Following the intense activity of 2005, forecasters predicted that the 2006 season would be only slightly less active. Instead activity was slowed by a rapidly forming moderate El Niño event, the presence of the Saharan Air Layer over the tropical Atlantic, and the steady presence of a robust secondary high-pressure area to the Azores high centered on Bermuda. There were no tropical cyclones after October 2.

2007 Atlantic hurricane season Summary of the relevant tropical storms

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season was an above average Atlantic hurricane season, but most of the storms were weak and short-lived. Despite the high activity of weak storms during 2007, it was the first season to feature more than one Category 5 landfalling hurricane, a feat that would not be matched until ten years later. It produced 17 tropical cyclones, 15 tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. It officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean, although as shown by Subtropical Storm Andrea and Tropical Storm Olga in early May and early December, respectively, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. The first system, Subtropical Storm Andrea, developed on May 9, while the last storm, Tropical Storm Olga, dissipated on December 13. The most intense hurricane, Dean, is tied for the eighth most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded as well as the third most intense Atlantic hurricane at landfall. The season was one of only six on record for the Atlantic with more than one Category 5 hurricane. It was the second on record in which an Atlantic hurricane, Felix, and an eastern Pacific hurricane, Henriette, made landfall on the same day. September had a record-tying eight storms, although the strengths and durations of most of the storms were low. Aside from hurricanes Dean and Felix, none of the storms in the season exceeded Category 1 intensity.

2008 Atlantic hurricane season hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was the most disastrous Atlantic hurricane season since 2005, causing over 1,000 deaths and nearly $50 billion in damages. It was an above-average season, featuring sixteen named storms, eight of which became hurricanes, and five which further became major hurricanes, the highest amount since the record-breaking 2005 season. It officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. However, the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur caused the season to start one day early. This season is the fifth most costly on record, behind only the 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2017 seasons, with over $49.5 billion in damage. It was the only year on record in which a major hurricane existed in every month from July through November in the North Atlantic.Bertha became the longest-lived July tropical cyclone on record for the basin, the first of several long-lived systems during 2008.

Tropical Storm Jose (2005) Atlantic tropical storm in 2005

Tropical Storm Jose was a short-lived tropical storm which made landfall in central Mexico during August 2005. Jose was the tenth named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and the fourth of six tropical cyclones to make landfall in Mexico in that year.

Tropical Storm Fay (2002) Atlantic tropical storm in 2002

Tropical Storm Fay was the sixth named storm of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season; it was a moderate tropical storm which caused flooding in parts of Texas and Mexico. In early September, a trough of low pressure moved south into the Gulf of Mexico, and became stationary. A low pressure center developed along this trough, and on September 5, a Hurricane Hunter airplane reported that the system had gained sufficient organization to be a tropical depression, 95 miles (153 km) southeast of Galveston. The depression drifted south-southwest while strengthening, reaching its peak strength of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) on the morning of September 6. The system then made an abrupt turn to the west-northwest, and remained steady in strength and course until landfall the next day, near Matagorda. The system weakened at a fast rate after landfall, but its circulation would not totally dissipate for three more days.

Tropical Storm Hanna (2002) Atlantic tropical storm in 2002

Tropical Storm Hanna was a moderately strong tropical storm that affected the Gulf Coast and Southeastern regions of the United States. The tenth tropical cyclone and eighth named storm of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season, Hanna formed through the complex interaction of a surface trough, a tropical wave, and an upper-level low pressure system, a disturbance in the upper atmosphere. Designated a tropical depression at 0000 UTC on September 12, the storm remained disorganized throughout its duration, though it attained tropical storm status and a peak intensity of 1,001 mbar (29.6 inHg), with winds of 60 miles per hour (100 km/h). Hanna crossed extreme southeastern Louisiana, and made a second landfall along the Alabama–Mississippi border.

Hurricane Kyle (2002) Category 1 Atlantic hurricane in 2002

Hurricane Kyle was the fifth-longest-lived Atlantic tropical or subtropical cyclone on record. The eleventh named storm and third hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season, Kyle developed as a subtropical cyclone on September 20 to the east-southeast of Bermuda. Looping westward, it transitioned into a tropical cyclone and became a hurricane on September 25. For the next two weeks, Kyle tracked generally westward, oscillating in strength several times because of fluctuations in environmental conditions. On October 11, the cyclone turned northeastward and made landfalls near Charleston, South Carolina, and Long Beach, North Carolina, at tropical storm status. After lasting as a cyclone for 22 days, Kyle dissipated on October 12 as it was absorbed by an approaching cold front.

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