Hurricanes & Tropical Storms - October 2003


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 Basin

Four named tropical systems, including one major hurricane occurred in October, compared to a long-term average of approximately one tropical storm and one hurricane for the month. Major Hurricane Kate formed in September and completed its lifecycle during October becoming 'major' during the early part of the month, and tropical storms Larry, Mindy and Nicholas also formed during October 2003.
Click Here for a satellite image of Hurricane Kate
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Hurricane Kate strengthened at the beginning of October after forming in the central Atlantic on September 25th. Maximum windspeeds of 125 mph were reached on October 4th while the hurricane was located about 640 miles east of Bermuda. Kate began to weaken over the next several days as it moved north and west and lost its tropical characteristics several hundred miles east-northeast of Newfoundland on October 8th. Still a powerful extratropical storm, Kate continued across the north Atlantic until it merged with a low pressure system close to Norway a couple of days later.
Tropical Storm Larry developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on the 1st and trekked slowly southward into the Bay of Campeche, making landfall just east of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico on the 5th with maximum sustained winds near 85 km/hr (45 knots or 50 mph). Larry brought heavy rain to areas of Tabasco and Veracruz states, and prompted the temporary closure of two oil export ports of Dos Bocas and Pajaritos (Reuters). Click Here for a satellite image of Tropical Storm Larry on
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Pacific Basin

In October 2003, three tropical storms formed in the eastern Pacific, all of which reached hurricane strength. Hurricanes Olaf and Nora came ashore in Mexico, while short-lived Hurricane Patricia did not make landfall.
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Olaf and Tropical Depression Nora on October 7, 2003larger image Hurricane Olaf formed as a tropical depression on the 3rd in the eastern Pacific Ocean south of Acapulco, Mexico. Olaf peaked with maximum sustained winds near 120 km/hr (65 knots or 75 mph) before weakening prior to landfall. Olaf crossed into Mexico near Manzanillo as a 95 km/hr (50 knots or 60 mph) tropical storm on the 7th.
Hurricane Nora developed as a tropical depression in the eastern Pacific Ocean on the 1st. Nora reached maximum intensity over open waters on the 4th with maximum sustained winds near 165 km/hr (90 knots or 100 mph). Nora weakened to a depression before moving inland early on the 9th near Mazatlan, Mexico. Click Here for a visible satellite image of Tropical Depression Nora on October 8, 2003
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Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Hurricanes & Tropical Storms for October 2003, published online November 2003, retrieved on October 22, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tropical-cyclones/2003/10.