Hurricanes & Tropical Storms - August 2002


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures
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The map to the left shows sea-surface temperatures for the Atlantic averaged over the week of August 18th-August 24th. Much of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean waters now have above average sea surface temperatures for this time of year though as of the end of August, no hurricane had formed in the Atlantic (compared to an average of 2 by September 1st). Three tropical storms formed (Bertha, Cristobal and Dolly) bringing the seasonal total to four. On average, around 5 named storms will have formed in the Atlantic Basin by the end of August.

August 4th saw the development of Tropical Storm Bertha (shown in the satellite image to the right). Bertha began as a tropical depression in the northern Gulf of Mexico just east of the mouth of the Mississippi and tracked northwestward across Louisiana before turning to the southwest. Bertha then reemerged over Gulf waters where it was able to regain some strength before coming ashore in Texas on the 9th and rapidly dissipating.
Tropical Storm Cristobal developed on the 7th resulting from a tropical depression which formed on the 5th about 175 miles of the coast of South Carolina. It then moved slowly to the south and east and then as a tropical storm it moved off the East and eventually to the northeast. Cristobal never threatened land and its maximum windspeed was 50 mph on the 8th.
Tropical Storm Dolly formed in the far eastern Atlantic and though maximum windspeeds of 60-65 mph were reached on August 30th, as of September 1st, windspeed was only around 40 mph and Dolly was poorly organized and still 750 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.
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Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Hurricanes & Tropical Storms for August 2002, published online September 2002, retrieved on July 29, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tropical-cyclones/2002/8.