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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary February 2002
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]

                   MONTHLY GLOBAL TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY
                      
                              FEBRUARY, 2002
                                

  (For general comments about the nature of these summaries, as well as
  information on how to download the tabular cyclone track files, see
  the Author's Note at the end of this summary.)

  *************************************************************************

                            FEBRUARY HIGHLIGHTS
                      
  --> Two rather intense tropical cyclones roam Southwest Indian Ocean
  --> Intense tropical cyclone strikes Western Australia

  *************************************************************************

                ***** Feature of the Month for February *****

             WESTERN HEMISPHERE TROPICAL CYCLONE NAMES for 2002

     Tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and
  Caribbean Sea are assigned names by the Tropical Prediction Center/
  National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.   A separate alphabetical
  set of alternating male/female names is used each year with the name
  of the first tropical storm beginning with the letter "A".  Names are
  repeated every six years.  The names of hurricanes which cause a lot
  of damage and/or fatalities are usually retired from the list with
  another name of the same alphabetical rank and gender replacing it.
  Following the 2001 season, the names Allison, Iris and Michelle were
  retired, being replaced in the list for 2007 with Andrea, Ingrid and
  Melissa.

     The highest number of tropical storms named in one season in the
  Atlantic was 19 during the very active 1995 season.  The most active
  Atlantic tropical cyclone season on record was 1933, in which 21 storms
  were charted, but of course that season pre-dates the formal naming of
  tropical cyclones.  The active 1969 season is credited with 17 tropical
  cyclones (plus one subtropical storm), but only 13 were actually named
  operationally.    Several of the systems began as hybrid/subtropical
  storms and forecasters at the time were still debating how to classify
  this type of storm system, and so they remained unnamed.   A few years
  later several tracks were added to the official Best Tracks database.
  Two of these unnamed storms were hurricanes, thus giving 1969 a total
  of 12 hurricanes--the current record for the Atlantic.

     The list of names for 2002 is the same one used during the active
  hurricane season of 1996 when thirteen tropical cyclones were named.
  Three names were retired following that season due to their destructive
  effects--Cesar, Fran and Hortense--and have been replaced in this
  year's list by Cristobal, Fay and Hanna.   This same set of names was
  also used in 1990, when 14 tropical storms were named.  Hurricane Nana
  in mid-October became the first storm in the Atlantic to begin with
  the letter "N" since formal naming of tropical cyclones began in 1950.

     TPC/NHC also has warning responsibility for the Eastern North
  Pacific Ocean from the west coast of Mexico out to longitude 140W.
  Six separate alphabetical sets of names are used for this basin in
  the same manner as in the Atlantic.  Initially the Eastern Pacific
  name sets contained only 21 names, omitting "Q" and "U" and ending
  with the letter "W", as in the Atlantic.  When the active 1985 season
  threatened to exhaust the list, the names Xina, York and Zelda were
  drafted to accommodate any additional storms which might develop.
  (Hurricane Xina was named in late October, 1985.)  The decision was
  made sometime in the latter 1980s to extend the list with these three
  names in odd-numbered years, and to add the names Xavier, Yolanda and
  Zeke in even-numbered years (to preserve the alternating gender
  scheme).  During the Northeast Pacific's year of record activity in
  1992, all 24 names were allotted to tropical cyclones forming east of
  140W, ending with Tropical Storm Zeke in late October.  Had more storms
  developed, they would have been named with the letters of the Greek
  alphabet (Alpha, Beta, etc), which is also the backup plan for the
  Atlantic basin in case more than 21 named storms develop in a single
  season.

     The list for this year is the same one used in the quiet year of
  1996, when only eight storms were named.    (Another early, unnamed
  tropical storm was added in post-season analysis, making a total of
  nine official tropical storms.)  However, during the very active and
  vigorous season of 1990, the same list was used and 20 storms were
  assigned names, ending with Trudy and Vance in late October.  Sixteen
  of those storms became hurricanes--the Northeast Pacific's record
  number for one season.     Incidentally, the name Adolph, the first
  tropical cyclone of 2001, has been retired and replaced in the list
  for 2007 with Alvin.

     The Central Pacific Hurricane Center, located in Honolulu, has
  tropical cyclone warning responsibility for that portion of the North
  Pacific Ocean lying between longitudes 140W and 180.  The majority of
  the tropical storms and hurricanes seen in that region are visitors
  from east of 140W, but on the average about one tropical storm forms
  in the Central Pacific each year, and when this happens, the storm is
  given a Hawaiian name.   The list consists of four sets of twelve
  names each, using only the letters of the Hawaiian alphabet.  All the
  names are used--the first storm to form in a given year is assigned
  the next available name on the list.  Two tropical storms were named
  by CPHC in 2000, Upana and Wene, but prior to that, the last previous
  Central Pacific storm had been Paka in December of 1997.

     Names for 2002 are (** indicates name has already been assigned):


            ATLANTIC                EASTERN PACIFIC        CENTRAL PACIFIC

    Arthur         Lili          Alma **        Marie           Alika
    Bertha         Marco         Boris **       Norbert         Ele
    Cristobal      Nana          Cristina       Odile           Huko
    Dolly          Omar          Douglas        Polo            Ioke
    Edouard        Paloma        Elida          Rachel          Kika
    Fay            Rene          Fausto         Simon           Lana
    Gustav         Sally         Genevieve      Trudy           Maka
    Hanna          Teddy         Hernan         Vance           Neki
    Isidore        Vicky         Iselle         Winnie          Oleka
    Josephine      Wilfred       Julio          Xavier          Peni
    Kyle                         Kenna          Yolanda         Ulia
                                 Lowell         Zeke            Wali
                        
  *************************************************************************
  
                            ACTIVITY BY BASINS

  ATLANTIC (ATL) - North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones

  *************************************************************************

  NORTHEAST PACIFIC (NEP) - North Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 180

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones

  *************************************************************************

  NORTHWEST PACIFIC (NWP) - North Pacific Ocean West of Longitude 180

  Activity for February:  1 tropical depression **
                          1 tropical storm ++

  ** - treated as a tropical depression by JMA only
  ++ - became Super Typhoon Mitag in March--will be covered in the March
       summary


              Northwest Pacific Tropical Activity for February
              ------------------------------------------------

     Climatologically, February is the overall quietest month in the
  Northwest Pacific basin, and this year basically fit the pattern.
  One short-lived, weak system was classified as a tropical depression
  by JMA only.  This LOW formed very deep in the tropics well east of
  Mindanao on the 15th and moved slowly westward.  By the next day,
  JMA had dropped the system from their High Seas bulletins.   Late in
  the month another tropical depression formed at a very low latitude
  near the Caroline Islands and became Tropical Storm Mitag on the last
  day of the month.   Mitag subsequently intensified and became the
  first March super typhoon on record.  This typhoon will be covered
  in the March summary.

  *************************************************************************

  NORTH INDIAN OCEAN (NIO) - Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea

  Activity for February:  No tropical cyclones

  *************************************************************************

  SOUTHWEST INDIAN OCEAN (SWI) - South Indian Ocean West of Longitude 90E

  Activity for February:  1 tropical disturbance
                          2 intense tropical cyclones


                        Sources of Information
                        ----------------------

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Southwest Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are the warnings issued by
  the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre on La Reunion Island, part of
  Meteo France (MFR), and the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre
  for the basin.    However, tropical cyclones in this region are named 
  by the sub-regional warning centres on Mauritius and Madagascar with
  longitude 55E being the demarcation line between their respective
  areas of warning responsibility.  The La Reunion centre only advises
  these agencies regarding the intensity of tropical systems.  References
  to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period unless otherwise
  stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from MFR's coordinates by usually
  40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the source of the
  1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included in the
  tracks file.    Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.


          Southwest Indian Ocean Tropical Activity for February
          -----------------------------------------------------

     Two more intense tropical cyclones followed on the heels of last
  month's Tropical Cyclone Dina in the Southwest Indian Ocean basin.
  Fortunately, neither storm seriously affected any populated areas.
  Francesca formed near the boundary with the Australian Region (90E)
  and remained in the eastern portion of the basin, moving slowly and
  somewhat erratically for a few days before pursuing a southward track
  into higher latitudes.  Guillaume formed near mid-month just off the
  northeastern coast of Madagascar and followed an unusual "reverse
  curvature" track, moving eastward, then curving southward and slightly
  south-southwestward before getting caught up in mid-latitude flow and
  moving off to the southeast.  Guillaume was slightly more intense than
  Francesca and posed a threat to Mauritius, but fortunately remained
  about 100 nm east of the island.  The storm did approach to within
  about 25 nm of tiny St. Brandon Island.

     The La Reunion TCWC issued two tropical disturbance bulletins on
  a weak system in the Mozambique Channel (Tropical Disturbance 09)
  on 5-6 February.  This LOW formed in mid-channel east-southeast of
  Beira, Mozambique, and drifted southeastward.  Peak winds were
  estimated at 25 kts with some localized areas possibly experiencing
  30-kt winds.



                        TROPICAL CYCLONE FRANCESCA
                             (MFR 08 / TC-12S)
                         30 January - 12 February
              ----------------------------------------------


  A. Storm Origins
  ----------------

     Francesca's origins actually lay east of longitude 90E in the
  Australian region of warning responsibility.    The daily Tropical
  Weather Outlook issued by Perth around 0500 UTC on 28 January mentioned
  a tropical LOW located approximately 310 nm east-northeast of Cocos
  Island, moving south-southwestward.  This LOW was assessed to have a
  moderate potential for development after 48-72 hours.  The next day the
  LOW had moved to a position about 160 nm northeast of Cocos Island and
  was moving west-southwestward.  Environmental conditions were improving
  and the LOW was given a high potential for tropical cyclone development
  after 48-72 hours.  Also on the 29th, JTWC mentioned the system in their
  daily STWO.   A QuikScat pass at 28/1120 UTC had indicated a possible
  LLCC, and a 200-mb analysis indicated weak vertical shear and moderate
  divergence aloft.

     MFR issued the first bulletin on the system at 30/1800 UTC, although
  the center was still in Perth's AOR (about 250 nm west of Cocos Island).
  Satellite animation revealed a developing LLCC with bands of persistent
  convection feeding into the center.     The LOW lay north of the sub-
  tropical ridge in a region of moderate vertical shear.   At 1800 UTC
  on 31 January, MFR upgraded the disturbance to tropical depression
  status with 30-kt winds, located approximately 425 nm west of Cocos
  Island.  Satellite animation depicted an elongated trough with the LLCC
  situated on the western periphery.  In the STWO issued at 31/1800 UTC,
  JTWC upgraded the development potential for the system to fair.

     A TCFA was issued at 0200 UTC on 1 February.  The depression by this
  time was located about 960 nm east-southeast of Diego Garcia.  A Quik-
  Scat pass at 31/1145 UTC had supported the existence of a well-defined
  LLCC, and satellite imagery indicated increasing organization of deep
  convection near the center.   JTWC issued their first warning on TC-12S
  at 01/1800 UTC, placing the center about 840 nm east-southeast of Diego
  Garcia.  The 1-min avg MSW was estimated at 30 kts, based on CI esti-
  mates of 25 and 30 kts.  The system was moving west-southwestward at
  9 kts, and a westerly track was forecast to continue under the steering
  influence of a low to mid-level ridge to the south.   JTWC upped the
  1-min avg MSW to 35 kts at 0600 UTC on 2 February, and at 1200 UTC
  Mauritius upgraded the depression to Tropical Storm Francesca, located
  approximately 700 nm southeast of Diego Garcia with an initial inten-
  sity of 40 kts (10-min avg).


  B. Track and Intensity History
  ------------------------------

     Francesca steadily intensified after being upgraded to tropical storm
  status as it continued westward.  Convective organization increased, and
  by 0600 UTC on 3 February animated satellite imagery indicated that an
  eye might be forming, hence, both MFR and JTWC increased their respective
  MSW estimates to 60 kts.  Francesca's track made an apparent jog to the
  southwest around this time, but the westward motion was subsequently
  resumed.   MFR upgraded Francesca to tropical cyclone (i.e., hurricane)
  status with 70-kt winds at 04/0000 UTC when the center was located about
  550 nm southeast of Diego Garcia.  (JTWC had upped their 1-min avg MSW
  estimate to 70 kts at 03/1800 UTC.)   Steady intensification continued,
  and only 18 hours after attaining cyclone status, Francesca reached its
  peak intensity of 100 kts with an estimated central pressure of 925 mb
  when located approximately 575 nm southeast of Diego Garcia.  A TRMM
  pass at 04/1623 UTC depicted a well-defined eye with convective banding
  extending well south of the system.

     At its peak Francesca was an average-sized cyclone.  Gales extended
  outward over 100 nm in all quadrants from the 40-nm diameter eye, and
  50-kt winds reached outward from 50-60 nm.  (JTWC's peak intensity esti-
  mate of 115 kts 1-min avg MSW correlates perfectly with MFR's 10-min
  avg MSW peak of 100 kts.)   Around the time Francesca was reaching its
  peak intensity, its westward motion slowed and the cyclone's track
  became southeasterly.  The storm had been steered westward by a low to
  mid-level ridge to its south, but this ridge had weakened as a mid-
  latitude trough approached from the southwest.  This trough, in conjunc-
  tion with a strengthening mid-level ridge to the northeast, provided a
  southeasterly steering pattern for the cyclone.  Francesca had actually
  reached the westernmost point of its track at 04/0600 UTC and was moving
  southeastward at 5 kts by the time it reached its peak intensity at
  1800 UTC.

     Francesca maintained its 100-kt peak for 18 hours, then began to
  weaken rather quickly.  MFR had lowered their MSW estimate to 80 kts by
  1800 UTC on the 5th when the storm was centered roughly 700 nm southeast
  of Diego Garcia.   JTWC reduced their 1-min avg MSW value to 100 kts at
  the same time, and the remarks noted that the eye had become filled with
  clouds.  The weakening trend continued with MFR reducing Francesca to
  a minimal 65-kt cyclone by 0600 on 6 February.  (JTWC's 1-min avg MSW
  estimate dropped to 85 kts.)  Around this time a SSM/I pass revealed a
  partial eyewall with convective bands south of the LLCC.   Francesca
  remained at minimal tropical cyclone intensity for about 24 hours, then
  underwent a modest re-intensification.

     MFR upped the intensity to 70 kts at 0600 UTC on the 7th and to 75 kts
  six hours later.    Animated infrared satellite imagery indicated that
  Francesca had started to interact with the mid-latitude westerlies with
  good outflow on the poleward side.  At 1800 UTC, JTWC increased their
  1-min avg MSW to 95 kts, based on CI estimates of 102 kts.  Francesca
  displayed a ragged eye 30-nm in diameter, and the storm had shown some
  intensification as it passed underneath the subtropical ridge axis.
  The cyclone apparently reached its secondary peak around 0600 UTC on
  8 February when it was centered approximately 975 nm southeast of Diego
  Garcia.  JTWC's 1-min avg MSW was still 95 kts, and MFR increased their
  10-min avg MSW estimate to 80 kts.  Dvorak numbers still ranged up to
  T5.5, but the cloud tops were beginning to warm some.  Francesca was
  moving south-southeastward at 7 kts, and the south-southeasterly track
  was forecast to continue due to the influence of the mid-level ridge to
  the northeast.

     At 08/1800 UTC, MFR was still estimating the intensity at 80 kts.
  JTWC, however, had reduced their 1-min avg MSW estimate and was reporting
  80 kts also, although CI estimates were still 90 and 102 kts.   Both
  warning centers were still reporting 80 kts at 09/0600 UTC.  Cloud tops
  were continuing to warm, and CIMSS shear products indicated moderate
  northwesterly shear with vertical shear increasing toward the south.
  At 1800 UTC on the 9th Francesca was centered approximately 900 nm south-
  west of Cocos Island.   A banding eye feature was still evident, and
  both JTWC and MFR had lowered their respective MSW estimates to 70 kts.
  MFR downgraded Francesca to a severe tropical storm with 60-kt winds at
  10/0000 UTC, and further to 55 kts at 0600 UTC.  JTWC still reported the
  intensity at 65 kts (1-min avg) at 0600 UTC, but noted that the banding
  eye was weakening and deep convection was eroding over the northern semi-
  circle.

     By 0600 UTC on 11 February, Francesca's winds were down to an esti-
  mated 40 kts (from both MFR and JTWC).  The storm was moving southward
  at 12 kts and consisted of a fully-exposed, elongated center with deep
  convection sheared about 90 nm south-southeast of the LLCC.  At 1800 UTC
  JTWC issued their final warning and MFR declared the system extratropical
  with the center located approximately 1000 nm southwest of Cocos Island.
  The extratropical gale continued moving generally southward and MFR
  issued their final bulletin on the system at 1200 UTC on 12 February.


  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers
  ---------------------------------------------

     As noted above JTWC's peak 1-min avg MSW compared perfectly with
  MFR's peak 10-min avg MSW of 100 kts.   Throughout most of Francesca's
  history, intensity estimates from the two warning centers were in very
  good agreement after adjusting to the same time averaging period.  The
  secondary peak intensities--95 kts (JTWC) vs 80 kts (MFR)--were not
  quite as close, but still reasonably so, although MFR's intensity esti-
  mates suggest that the secondary peak was reached about a day later
  than JTWC's values imply.


  D. Damage and Casualties
  ------------------------

     No reports of damage or casualties resulting from Tropical Cyclone
  Francesca have been received.



                        TROPICAL CYCLONE GUILLAUME
                             (MFR 10 / TC-15S)
                              14 - 22 February
              ----------------------------------------------


  A. Storm Origins
  ----------------

     The precursor of Guillaume was an area of convergence along the
  northeastern coast of Madagascar which was first noted on the 13th.
  Convection had persisted in the presence of upper-level divergence,
  and animated infrared imagery suggested the presence of a very weak
  LLCC.  MFR issued a tropical disturbance bulletin at 1200 UTC on the
  14th, and a STWO issued by JTWC at 1800 UTC noted that deep convection
  was cycling as the system moved eastward away from the coast.  The
  second bulletin from MFR, issued at 15/0600 UTC, relocated the center
  of the disturbance to a position about 200 nm west of Tromelin Island.
  Earlier, at 0100 UTC, JTWC had issued a TCFA, noting the increasing
  organization of the center in an environment of weak to moderate shear
  and fair outflow.

     At 1800 UTC, JTWC issued their first warning on TC-15S with an
  initial intensity of 30 kts (1-min avg), based on CI estimates of 25 and
  30 kts.  The system was moving northeastward under the steering influ-
  ence of a low to mid-level ridge over Madagascar.  The forecast called
  for the disturbance to turn more to the east after 36 hours as it came
  under the influence of a near-equatorial ridge.   Six hours later, at
  16/0000 UTC, MFR upgraded the system to tropical depression status with
  the center located approximately 175 nm west-northwest of Tromelin
  Island.

     JTWC increased the 1-min avg MSW estimate to 35 kts at 0600 UTC.  A
  banding feature seen earlier in the northern semicircle had extended to
  the southeastern side of the center and satellite intensity estimates
  were beginning to reach 35 kts.   At 1200 UTC the weather service of
  Madagascar upgraded the depression to Tropical Storm Guillaume.  By
  1800 UTC Guillaume's center was located about 100 nm north of Tromelin
  Island or about 400 nm north of Reunion Island, moving toward the east-
  northeast at 8 kts.  JTWC upped their 1-min avg MSW to 50 kts based on
  CI estimates of 45 kts and recent microwave imagery suggesting eyewall
  development.  Animated satellite imagery also indicated the development
  of a banding eye.  MFR's intensity was still reported as 35 kts at
  1800 UTC, but was bumped up to 55 kts six hours later.  Guillaume was
  forecast to track eastward under the steering influence of the near-
  equatorial ridge, then turn southeastward as a peripheral ridge devel-
  oped.   The storm was tracking under an upper-level ridge axis with
  good outflow on both poleward and equatorward sides.


  B. Track and Intensity History
  ------------------------------

     Guillaume continued to intensify rapidly.  At 0600 UTC on 17 February
  MFR upgraded the storm to tropical cyclone (i.e., hurricane) status with
  70-kt winds when located about 150 nm northeast of Tromelin Island.
  The intensity was further increased to 80 kts six hours later.  (JTWC's
  1-min avg MSW estimate was 90 kts during this period, based on CI esti-
  mates of 77 and 102 kts.)  The cyclone was moving eastward at 10 kts,
  and displayed a 9-nm diameter eye and well-developed banding features
  on the eastern side.  Guillaume was centered about 100 nm northwest of
  St. Brandon Island at 1800 UTC and the forecast turn toward the south-
  east was beginning--the cyclone was then moving east-southeastward at
  10 kts.   Around 0600 UTC on 18 February Guillaume's eye passed only
  about 25 nm southwest of St. Brandon Island while moving southeastward
  at 8 kts.  The eye was surrounded by a 55-nm ring of deep convection.

     Guillaume's intensity had been plauteaued for a period of about 24
  hours, but another intensification spurt which began around the time the
  storm passed St. Brandon brought Guillaume to its peak intensity by
  1800 UTC on the 18th.  MFR upped the MSW to 100 kts at 1200 UTC and to
  the maximum for the storm of 105 kts at 1800 UTC.  Guillaume was then
  located approximately 100 nm south of St. Brandon, or about 165 nm north-
  east of Port Louis, Mauritius, and moving due southward at 7 kts.
  JTWC's peak 1-min avg MSW estimate was 120 kts, based on CI estimates of
  115 and 127 kts, and, as was the case with Francesca, agreed perfectly
  with MFR's 10-min avg MSW of 105 kts.   The minimum central pressure
  estimated by MFR was 920 mb.    Gales reached outward from the 12-nm
  diameter eye 130 nm in all quadrants except the southeastern, and 50-kt
  winds were estimated to reach out around 55 nm from the center in all
  quadrants.   (These gale and storm-force radii were taken from JTWC's
  warnings--MFR's radii were slightly less.)

     By 0600 UTC on 19 February, Tropical Cyclone Guillaume was located
  about 100 nm east-northeast of Port Louis and moving south-southwestward
  at 5 kts.  A strengthening subtropical ridge to the east resulted in a
  south-southwestward motion for a period of about 24 hours.  This brought
  the center of the intense cyclone uncomfortably close to Mauritius--at
  19/1200 UTC the center was only about 80 nm east of Port Louis.  However,
  by 1800 UTC Guillaume was moving southward once more about 110 nm east-
  southeast of Port Louis.  The eye diameter grew from 15 nm at 1800 UTC
  to 24 nm at 0600 UTC on the 20th.  At the latter hour the cyclone was
  centered approximately 200 nm east of Reunion Island, moving southward
  with the MSW still estimated at 100 kts (120 kts 1-min avg from JTWC).
  Not only was Guillaume an intense cyclone, it maintained its intensity
  for an extended period.  The maximum 10-min avg MSW (per MFR's warnings)
  was at 100 kts or greater for a 54-hour period--from 18/1200 UTC through
  20/1800 UTC.

     By 1800 UTC on 20 February, Guillaume was beginning to weaken as the
  mid-latitude westerlies encroached on the upper-levels.  MFR lowered the
  MSW to 90 kts, and further to 85 kts at 21/0000 UTC.  The storm by then
  was moving southeastward under the steering influence of a mid-level
  ridge and an approaching mid-latitude trough, and this motion was fore-
  cast to continue.  By 0600 UTC on the 21st peak winds were down to 70 kts
  and Guillaume was weakening rapidly as it began to transition into an
  extratropical system.  MFR downgraded the cyclone to a 55-kt tropical
  storm at 21/1800 UTC when it was located approximately 500 nm southeast
  of Reunion Island.  Guillaume continued to weaken as it moved southeast-
  ward and encountered increasing vertical shear.    MFR issued their final
  warning at 1200 UTC on 22 February, downgrading Guillaume to a 30-kt
  depression, and JTWC issued their final warning on the system six hours
  later.


  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers
  ---------------------------------------------

     As noted above the respective peak MSW estimates from MFR and JTWC
  were in perfect agreement--105 kts (10-min avg) and 120 kts (1-min avg).
  During the entire life of Guillaume the intensity estimates from the two
  centers were within 10 kts of each other after conversion to the same
  time averaging period.


  D. Meteorological Observations
  ------------------------------

     I have a few meteorological observations received from Patrick Hoareau
  that I will include here.  (A special thanks to Patrick for sending them
  to me.)  At 17/1800 UTC the center of Guillaume was about 100 nm north-
  west of St. Brandon Island.  At that hour the island was reporting north-
  northeast winds of 23 kts with a SLP of 1006 mb.  Six hours later the
  storm was centered about 50 nm west-northwest of the island with the
  weather station reporting north-northeast winds of 37 kts and a SLP of
  1000 mb.  The eye later passed about 25 nm southwest of the island around
  18/0600 UTC, but I do not have any observations from that hour.   One
  e-mail from Patrick indicated that the highest gust observed on the
  island up to the time of the message was 82 kts, but I do not know if
  that was the highest recorded during the storm's passage near the island.

     Guillaume's eye passed slightly less than 100 nm east of Mauritius on
  19 February.  An e-mail received from Patrick on that date states that
  the highest gusts recorded on Mauritius as of 1500 UTC were 47 kts at
  Grand Bassin and 52 kts at Trou aux Cerfs.  But again, I do not know if
  those represent the highest gusts recorded on Mauritius during Tropical
  Cyclone Guillaume's approach.

     During its formative stages the pre-Guillaume LOW lingered for several
  days near the east coast of Madagascar and caused some extremely heavy
  rainfall.    In a period of eight days, Toamasina (18.1S, 49.4E) was
  drenched with 707 mm, whereas the monthly average for that location is
  376 mm.  Some flooding damage was reported in and near the capital of
  Antananarivo and along the east coast.


  E. Damage and Casualties
  ------------------------

     Other than the flooding damage alluded to in the above paragraph, I
  have not received any information on damage or casualties resulting from
  Tropical Cyclone Guillaume.

  *************************************************************************

  NORTHWEST AUSTRALIA/SOUTHEAST INDIAN OCEAN (AUW) - From 90E to 135E

  Activity for February:  1 tropical LOW
                          1 severe tropical cyclone (hurricane)


                        Sources of Information
                        ----------------------

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean tropical cyclones are 
  the warnings and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning
  Centres at Perth, Western Australia, and Darwin, Northern Territory. 
  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging period
  unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Australian centres' coor-
  dinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the
  source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included
  in the tracks file.   Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

     A description of the Australian Cyclone Severity Scale can be found
  on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's official website:

     http://www.bom.gov.au/info/cyclone/>
     Click on the link 'Cyclone Severity Categories'

  or on Chris Landsea's FAQ on HRD's website:

     http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqD.html#D2>

  or on Michael Bath's Australian Severe Weather site:

     http://australiasevereweather.com/cyclones/history.htm>


                Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean
                     Tropical Activity for February
                ------------------------------------------

     The major event of the month in waters off northwestern Australia
  was Severe Tropical Cyclone Chris, which made landfall in Western
  Australia between Wallal and Pardoo as a Category 5 cyclone on the
  Australian Cyclone Severity Scale.  Fortunately, the area where Chris
  moved inland is very sparsely populated.  Two monsoon LOWs brought heavy
  rains which led to significant flooding in parts of Western Australia
  and the Northern Territory.  An active monsoon trough lay over the
  Northern Territory from the 10th to the 24th.    A LOW had formed by
  9 February inland about 220 km southwest of Darwin.  Over the next few
  days this system drifted eastward, reaching a point near the southwestern
  shoreline of the Gulf of Carpentaria by the 13th.  Darwin issued Tropical
  Cyclone Advices on this system on the 12th and 13th in anticipation that
  tropical cyclone development might occur when and if the center moved
  out over the Gulf.  However, this did not materialize.

     This tropical LOW, in conjunction with the lingering monsoon trough,
  produced flooding in several river systems in the Northern Territory,
  including the Katherine-Daly, Waterhouse-Roper, and Victoria River
  systems.  The Wickham River tributary reached its highest-ever recorded
  level of 15.35 m on the 12th, leading to moderate flooding on the 
  Victoria River which reached a peak of 19.65 m on the 24th.  The Water-
  house River reached a major flood peak of 9.04 m at Beswick on the 14th
  where about 300 persons were moved to higher ground.  Further downstream,
  flood waters at the Mataranka Resort and Djilkminggan community forced
  the evacuation of 200 people.   Katherine was threatened but did not
  flood when the Katherine River rose to a peak of 17.03 m on the 14th.
  Further downstream, the Daly River peaked at 13.75 m at the Police
  Station gauge on the 23rd, causing some flooding at a nearby community.
  At the end of February the river was still above 13 m and receding
  slowly.

     In Western Australia a monsoon LOW that originated over the Northern
  Territory caused widespread heavy rain and flooding as it moved slowly
  over the Kimberley and east Pilbara regions from the 20th to the 28th.
  (See the discussion in the section of this summary covering the Northeast
  Australia/Coral Sea region for the early history of this LOW.)  Daily
  falls exceeding 100 mm accumulated to cause one of the highest levels
  ever recorded on the Fitzroy River.  Many towns and communities were
  isolated by floodwaters, including Kununurra, and several Aboriginal
  communities required evacuation.  Significant stock losses also occurred.
  Some notable daily rainfall totals include:

  20th   Kununurra          111 mm
  21st   El Questro         153 mm
  22nd   Mt. Hart           150 mm
  23rd   Roebuck            142 mm
  27th   Bonney Downs       229 mm



                        SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE CHRIS
                                   (TC-13S)
                                2 - 6 February
              -------------------------------------------------


  A. Storm Origins
  ----------------

     Darwin's gradient level (900 m) analysis charts for 0000 UTC on
  1 February revealed a very weak circulation well offshore in the Timor
  Sea.  This seems to be the first indication of the disturbance which
  developed into Severe Tropical Cyclone Chris.  (Thanks to Mark Kerse-
  makers for providing me with this tidbit of information.)  A STWO issued
  by JTWC at 02/0230 UTC noted that an area of convection had developed
  in the Timor Sea approximately 400 nm northwest of Port Hedland.  Shear
  was moderate, but upper-level divergence was good, and a recent Quik-
  Scat pass had suggested the formation of a weak LLCC.  Another STWO
  issued at 0600 UTC upgraded the development potential to fair.  Visible
  satellite imagery suggested the presence of a LLCC near deep convection,
  and the disturbance lay beneath a region of diffluence associated with
  an extension of the subtropical ridge.   Around the same time (0500 UTC)
  Perth's daily Tropical Weather Outlook for Northwest Australia called
  attention to a tropical LOW located about 310 nm north-northwest of
  Broome.  Perth assessed the system to have a moderate to high potential
  for tropical cyclone development in 48-72 hours.

     The Perth TCWC initiated gale warnings on the LOW at 1400 UTC for a
  band of gales well to the north of the center.  Convective organization
  continued to increase and the LOW was upgraded to Tropical Cyclone Chris
  at 0300 UTC on 3 February.  The newly-christened cyclone was located
  about 165 nm north-northwest of Broome, moving southward at 5 kts.  JTWC
  issued their first warning on the storm at 03/0600 UTC with an estimated 
  1-min avg MSW of 45 kts.


  B. Track and Intensity History
  ------------------------------

     Chris steadily intensified on 3 February.  At 1000 UTC Perth upped the
  winds to 55 kts and relocated the center to a position about 145 nm
  north-northwest of Broome.   Six hours later the intensity was increased
  to 60 kts.    Chris at this time was moving southwestward at 4 kts and
  exhibited improved banding features.  Vertical shear was light as the
  cyclone was near the upper-level ridge axis.  Perth upgraded Chris to
  severe tropical cyclone (i.e., hurricane) status at 0400 UTC on the 4th.
  The storm's center was located approximately 95 nm northwest of Broome,
  or 175 nm north of Wallal, and moving southward at 5 kts.  (JTWC also
  upgraded Chris to 65 kts at 0600 UTC, based on the appearance of a small,
  ragged eye.)  By 1000 UTC the center of Chris was about 120 nm north of
  Wallal and the southerly motion had increased to 8 kts.  Chris continued
  to intensify with the MSW being increased to 80 kts.

     Perth's 10-min avg MSW remained at 80 kts in the 1600 UTC warning, but
  at 1800 UTC JTWC upped their 1-min avg MSW estimate to 100 kts.  Infrared
  satellite imagery and the Broome radar depicted a 17-nm diameter eye.  A
  200-mb analysis and water vapor imagery indicated continued good outflow
  under a mid-level ridge.   Chris' track jogged slightly to the west-
  southwest on the 4th, but by 2200 UTC the southerly motion had resumed
  due to a peripheral ridge to the east.   Perth upped the intensity to
  90 kts at 2200 UTC and to 100 kts at 0500 UTC on 5 February.   The eye
  was then located about 140 nm northeast of Port Hedland, moving south at
  5 kts.  (JTWC's 1-min avg MSW was increased to 115 kts at 0600 UTC, based
  on CI estimates of 115 kts.)

     Severe Tropical Cyclone Chris reached its peak intensity of 110 kts,
  with an estimated central pressure of 915 mb, at 1700 UTC as it neared
  the coastline of Western Australia, making it a Category 5 cyclone on
  the Australian Cyclone Severity Scale.   The intense cyclone's center
  was only about 27 nm west-northwest of Wallal and 100 nm east-northeast
  of Port Hedland.  As it neared the coast, Chris took a jog to the south-
  west which carried the center inland a little west of Wallal--between
  Wallal and Pardoo.  JTWC's peak 1-min avg MSW estimate of 125 kts was
  based on CI estimates of 127 kts, and was in perfect agreement with
  Perth's maximum intensity of 110 kts (10-min avg).    At Chris' peak
  intensity gales extended outward around 100 nm or more, particularly
  in the northern semicircle, and the radius of 50-kt winds was around
  50-60 nm over water.

     By 2300 UTC the storm was beginning to weaken with winds down to
  100 kts.  The center was then approximately 90 km west-southwest of
  Wallal and 135 km east of Port Hedland.  Chris continued to move south-
  southwestward farther inland and began to rapidly weaken.  At 0400 UTC
  it was centered about 135 km east-southeast of Port Hedland, and at
  1600 UTC was located 120 km north-northwest of Newman, moving south-
  southwestward at 9 kts.   JTWC's final warning on Chris was issued at
  1800 UTC, and the 1-min avg MSW was estimated at 55 kts, based on CI
  estimates of 65 kts, but it seems doubtful if sustained winds were
  that high for a system which had been inland for 24 hours.  Perth issued
  the final advice on Chris at 1900 UTC, indicating that Chris had degen-
  erated into a tropical LOW over the central Pilbara region, between Tom
  Price and Marble Bar.   (NOTE:  The 10-min avg MSW values I included
  in the track for Chris after landfall were based on peak estimated gusts
  taken from Tropical Cyclone Advices issued by Perth.  These were reduced 
  to a 10-min avg MSW value by the standard over water reduction factor 
  of 1.41.  However, the magnitude of the reduction factor increases with 
  the roughness of the underlying surface, so the actual sustained winds 
  were likely somewhat less than those reported in the cyclone tracks 
  file.)


  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers
  ---------------------------------------------

     As noted above JTWC's peak estimated 1-min avg MSW of 125 kts was
  right on target with Perth's 110-kt 10-min avg MSW.  However, during
  Chris' early intensification stages, JTWC's intensities ran a little
  lower than those from Perth, a situation which seems to happen rather
  frequently.


  D. Meteorological Observations
  ------------------------------

     The area where the center of Tropical Cyclone Chris made landfall is
  very sparsely populated and there were no surface observations made in
  that vicinity.  However, a good deal of excitement was generated when
  Capt. Kurt Brueske, USAF, decoded some AFWA-supplied data of observations
  from Marble Bar, Western Australia, which lies approximately 100 km
  inland from the coast.    The observation reported sustained winds of 
  155 kts!   However, it didn't seem too likely that such extreme winds 
  would have occurred that far inland, even at an elevation of 183 metres.
  Later, Kurt offered an explanation for the reading:  AFWA suspected that
  the 06/0400 UTC Marble Bar report was encoded incorrectly--a '0' desig-
  nator code for wind speed units in m/sec was used whereas a '4' code for
  knots should have been used.  As a result an 80-kt wind was incorrectly
  converted to 155 kts.

     Jeff Kepert noted that there are two stations at Marble Bar--an AWS 
  and the post office.  The AWS has an anemometer, while the post office
  (which reported the 80 kts) estimates the wind.  Jeff also offered the
  opinion that most cooperative observers would have had very limited
  experience with such winds and that the uncertainty would be correspond-
  ingly large.  According to Barry Hanstrum of BoM Perth, the maximum
  10-min mean wind recorded at Marble Bar was east-northeast 45 kts at
  06/0610 UTC with the lowest pressure of 981 mb recorded ten minutes
  later.  However, the peak gust of 64 kts was not recorded until 1510 UTC.


  E. Damage and Casualties
  ------------------------

     The report from Barry Hanstrum indicates that there was severe damage
  to the roadhouse at Pardoo and to the nearby Pardoo Station, but no loss
  of life or injuries.   Carl Smith sent along a report he'd heard on
  television which stated that thousands of cattle had perished in the
  storm.  (Thanks to Carl for passing along the report.)

     The Monthly Significant Weather Summaries of Australian weather on
  BoM's website contained a reference to some flooding well-inland caused
  by the rains of Chris.  Heavy rain inland at Bonney Downs (306 mm) caused
  the Nullagine River to burst its banks, inundating Nullagine, which is
  located 230 km southeast of Port Hedland.    The remote Aboriginal
  community of Jigalong also experienced flooding on the 7th.

  *************************************************************************

  NORTHEAST AUSTRALIA/CORAL SEA (AUE) - From 135E to 160E

  Activity for February:  1 tropical LOW
                          1 severe tropical cyclone (hurricane)


                        Sources of Information
                        ----------------------

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  Northeast Australia/Coral Sea tropical cyclones are the warnings
  and advices issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at
  Brisbane, Queensland, and Darwin, Northern Territory, and on very
  infrequent occasions, by the centre at Port Moresby, Papua New
  Guinea.  References to sustained winds imply a 10-minute averaging
  period unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Australian centres' coor-
  dinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings are also the
  source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind values included
  in the tracks file.   Additionally, information describing details of
  satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation features included in
  the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC warnings.

     Carl Smith, a cyclone enthusiast who lives on Queensland's Gold
  Coast, has a website which contains a great amount of information on
  tropical cyclones.  The URL is: http://www.ace-net.com.au/~carls/>.


                     Northeast Australia/Coral Sea
                     Tropical Activity for February
                     ------------------------------

     The only tropical cyclone to form between longitudes 135E and 160E
  during the month of February was Severe Tropical Cyclone Claudia, which
  developed rather rapidly well east of the Australian coast on the 11th
  and moved off to the southeast.  A tropical LOW formed in the southern
  Gulf of Carpentaria on the 16th east-northeast of Mornington Island.
  The LOW moved westward and inland into the Northern Territory the next
  day.  On subsequent days Tropical Weather Outlooks from Darwin referred
  to the weak LOW moving westward across the southern portion of the Terri-
  tory.  On the 21st Perth began mentioning a LOW inland in the Kimberley
  region about 640 km southwest of Darwin.    This system drifted slowly
  westward for a few days and brought heavy flooding rains to portions of
  Western Australia.  (Information on this flooding is described in the
  Northwest Australia/Southeast Indian Ocean section of this summary.)
  It seems likely that this LOW was a continuation of the earlier LOW
  which had formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria on the 16th--Mark Kersemakers
  stated that this was at least a distinct possibility.



                      SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE CLAUDIA
                             (TC -14P / TD-08F)
                              11 - 15 February
            ---------------------------------------------------


  A. Storm Origins
  ----------------

     A STWO issued by JTWC at 0600 UTC on 9 February noted that an area of
  convection had developed approximately 550 nm east-southeast of Port
  Moresby, Papua New Guinea.  Animated visible satellite imagery depicted
  a developing LLCC with persistent but isolated deep convection.  Quik-
  Scat data indicated a broad area of moderate westerly winds equatorward
  of the disturbance.  CIMSS shear products indicated light to moderate
  vertical shear in the region with diffluent flow and decreasing shear
  toward the south.  Little change in the system was noted on the 10th,
  but early on the 11th the LOW began to develop rapidly.

     At 11/0400 UTC a Tropical Weather Outlook from the Brisbane TCWC
  remarked that a tropical LOW had developed about 535 nm east of Towns-
  ville, Queensland, and was estimated to have a high potential for devel-
  opment into a tropical cyclone.  JTWC issued a TCFA for the system at
  0430 UTC.  A QuikScat pass at 10/1958 UTC had depicted a well-defined
  LLCC with 25-30 kt winds, and a TRMM pass at 11/0020 UTC had revealed
  a developing convective band wrapping into the LLCC.   At 0600 UTC
  Brisbane upgraded the LOW to Tropical Cyclone Claudia with 40-kt winds.
  Claudia was then located about 575 nm east-southeast of Townsville,
  moving south-southeastward at 14 kts.  (JTWC also issued their first
  warning on Claudia at 0600 UTC, estimating the 1-min avg MSW at 35 kts.)
  Animated satellite imagery depicted a rapidly developing system with good
  outflow over all quadrants and light vertical shear.  The cyclone was
  being steered by the combined influence of a low to mid-level ridge to
  the east and a trough to the southwest.


  B. Track and Intensity History
  ------------------------------

     JTWC upped Claudia's winds (1-min avg) to 65 kts at 1200 UTC based on
  a CI estimate of 65 kts and a clearly-defined eye in infrared and micro-
  wave imagery.  Brisbane's MSW estimate, however, remained at 40 kts, and
  the JTWC warning noted that CI estimates ranging from 35 to 65 kts had
  been received.  Claudia was a rapidly developing midget system moving
  south-southeastward at 13 kts.  At 1800 UTC Brisbane increased the MSW
  to 50 kts, and a 200-mb analysis indicated that the system was southwest
  of an upper-level ridge with good outflow into the mid-latitude wester-
  lies.   Brisbane upgraded Claudia to severe tropical cyclone status with
  65-kt winds at 0000 UTC on 12 February when the center was located about
  450 nm west of Noumea, New Caledonia.  The storm was moving southeastward
  at 10 kts.  (JTWC upped the 1-min avg MSW to the peak of 75 kts at 0600
  UTC with the storm centered approximately 380 nm west-southwest of
  Noumea.)  An upper-level trough immediately to the south of Claudia was
  creating some moderate vertical shear but was also enhancing outflow.

     At 1200 UTC Claudia was passing just through the corner of Fiji's AOR
  and Nadi issued their only warning on the storm, still maintaining the
  intensity at 65 kts.  The storm was located 295 nm southwest of Noumea
  and its southeasterly motion had accelerated to 21 kts.  By 1800 UTC
  Claudia had entered Wellington's AOR and that office downgraded the
  storm to 60 kts on their first warning.  The cyclone was then located
  about 250 nm southwest of Noumea, moving east-southeastward at 21 kts.
  Claudia continued to slowly weaken as shear increased and SSTs gradually
  cooled.   At 0600 UTC on 13 February both JTWC and Wellington estimated
  the intensity at 50 kts based on CI estimates of 45 and 55 kts.  The
  eyewall had eroded with the entrainment of dry air, leaving the remaining
  deep convection confined to the southeastern quadrant.  JTWC issued their
  final warning on Claudia at 1800 UTC, declaring the storm extratropical.
  At 2300 UTC Wellington also deemed Claudia to be extratropical, placing
  the center approximately 250 nm east-northeast of Norfolk Island.  The
  remnant LOW continued eastward, crossing the Dateline around 14/1700 UTC,
  and was last mentioned at 1100 UTC on the 15th far to the south of Tonga.


  C. Comparisons Between JTWC and Other Centers
  ---------------------------------------------

     Other than the disparity (noted above) when JTWC upgraded Claudia to
  hurricane intensity and Brisbane was still reporting 40 kts, the inten-
  sity estimates in JTWC's warnings compared rather well with those from
  the various Southern Hemisphere warning centres.   JTWC's peak 1-min avg
  MSW of 75 kts was in good agreement with Brisbane's maximum 10-min avg
  MSW of 65 kts.


  D. Meteorological Observations
  ------------------------------

     Tropical Cyclone Claudia passed about 110 nm from the Cato Island AWS
  around 11/1300 UTC.  At that hour the wind was 140/23 kts with a MSLP of
  1003.4 mb.  The lowest pressure reported by the station in association
  with Claudia was 1001.9 mb at both 11/1600 and 1900 UTC.  The strongest
  sustained wind of 30 kts from the south occurred at 11/2100 and 2300 UTC.
  By the time of the last observation the storm's center was about 155 nm
  distant from the island.

     The ship Tasman Crusader reported a mean wind of 290/44 kts at 11/0830
  UTC when it was located 33 nm north of Claudia.  Ship ELXD reported
  360/33 kts when 207 nm north-northwest of the storm at 11/1500 UTC, and
  ship 107053363 reported 270/33 kts at 11/1200 UTC when located 163 nm
  north-northwest of the storm's center.    (A special thanks to Jeff 
  Callaghan for sending me these observations.)

     Jeff also included in his e-mail a working Best Track for Claudia for
  the portion of its history west of longitude 160E.   The positions were
  very close to the operational coordinates, but the central pressure for
  12/0600 UTC had been lowered from 970 mb to 965 mb based on the tight
  eye.  This suggests that the peak winds might be increased a bit in the
  final Best Track.


  E. Damage and Casualties
  ------------------------

     No reports of damage or casualties resulting from Tropical Cyclone
  Claudia have been received.

  *************************************************************************

  SOUTH PACIFIC (SPA) - South Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 160E

  Activity for February:  3 tropical depressions **
                          1 tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity ++

  ** - one of these was treated as a minimal tropical storm by JTWC
  ++ - visitor from the Australian Region (Claudia)


                        Sources of Information
                        ----------------------

     The primary sources of tracking and intensity information for
  South Pacific tropical cyclones are the warnings and advisories
  issued by the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres at Nadi, Fiji (for
  waters north of latitude 25S), and Wellington, New Zealand (for
  waters south of latitude 25S).  References to sustained winds imply
  a 10-minute averaging period unless otherwise stated.

     In the companion tropical cyclone tracks file, I occasionally
  annotate positions from warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
  Center (JTWC) of the U. S. Air Force and Navy, located at Pearl
  Harbor, Hawaii, when they differ from the Southern Hemisphere
  centres' coordinates by usually 40-50 nm or more.  The JTWC warnings
  are also the source of the 1-minute average maximum sustained wind
  values included in the tracks file.    Additionally, information
  describing details of satellite imagery and atmospheric circulation
  features included in the narratives is often gleaned from the JTWC
  warnings.


               South Pacific Tropical Activity for February
               --------------------------------------------

     For the second month in a row, no tropical cyclones were named east
  of 160E in the South Pacific.  Severe Tropical Cyclone Claudia formed
  in Brisbane's AOR on the 11th and subsequently moved east of 160E,
  eliciting one warning from Nadi before moving south of 25S into
  Wellington's AOR.  (The full report on Claudia is included in the
  section of this summary covering the Northeast Australia/Coral Sea
  region.)  Three systems were classified by Nadi as tropical depressions
  during the month and one of these, TD-10F, was treated as a minimal
  tropical storm (designated TC-16P) by JTWC.  A short report is included
  below on Tropical Cyclone 16P/10F.

     Tropical Depression 09F formed on the 17th just east of the Date-
  line about 300 nm northeast of Fiji.  The system moved southward and
  southeastward (or else was relocated) over the next day or two, being
  located about 350 nm east-southeast of Fiji at 2100 UTC on 18 February.
  The strongest winds associated with this depression were located well
  to the north and later east of the center.  Nadi's Tropical Disturbance
  Summary at 18/2100 UTC noted that north to northwest winds of 35 to
  40 kts, gusting 50 to 60 kts, were located in a strong convergence zone
  well to the east of the depression.  Separate gale warnings were issued
  on the 18th and 19th for this area of gales.

     Tropical Depression 11F was a weak system which formed on the 26th
  about 375 nm north of Noumea, New Caledonia, and remained quasi-
  stationary in the area for a couple of days.    This depression was
  apparently quite weak--the Tropical Disturbance Summary from Nadi
  issued at 26/2100 UTC mentioned that a QuikScat pass had revealed winds
  of 10 to 15 kts around the system's center, but no further mention of
  surface winds was made in subsequent summaries.



                            TROPICAL DEPRESSION
                             (TD-10F / TC-16P)
                              23 - 26 February
                  ---------------------------------------


     Since this system was briefly classified as a tropical storm by JTWC,
  I am giving it a little more coverage than I normally do for systems
  which are classified only as tropical depressions by the official WMO
  warning agency.  A tropical disturbance was located north-northwest of
  Fiji on 19 February.  The disturbance consisted of an eddy in a monsoon
  trough lying west of an upper-level anticyclone with very disorganized
  convection confined mainly to the eastern and northern flanks.  Little
  change in the system's organization was noted on the 21st and 22nd.
  At 0200 UTC on 23 February, JTWC issued a STWO which mentioned the
  disturbance, located then approximately 190 nm west-northwest of Suva.
  A weak LLCC was embedded in a broad trough, and animated visible imagery
  indicated that deep convection was developing near the center which had
  shown increasing organization during the previous few hours.  A 200-mb
  analysis indicated weak diffluent flow aloft with weak to moderate
  vertical shear.

     Fiji classified the system as Tropical Depression 10F in their daily
  Tropical Disturbance Summary issued at 23/2100 UTC.  JTWC issued a TCFA
  at 24/0130 UTC followed by the first warning on TC-16P at 1200 UTC.
  The system was then located about 245 nm southwest of Suva, moving south
  at 9 kts.  The initial JTWC warning intensity was 30 kts (1-min avg).
  The depression was still embedded in the monsoon trough in a weakly
  sheared environment.   By 25/0000 UTC the system was located roughly
  285 nm south-southwest of Suva and moving south-southeastward at 11 kts.
  JTWC upped the 1-min avg MSW to 35 kts based on CI estimates of 35 kts.
  The center was exposed with the deep convection sheared to the east.
  The intensity remained at 35 kts for the 1200 UTC warning, but weakening
  was forecast for the system.

     JTWC issued their final warning on the LOW at 26/0000 UTC, reducing
  the MSW to 30 kts.  The center was located 310 nm south of Suva and
  was moving east-southeastward at 3 kts.  The LLCC was fully-exposed with
  the little remaining deep convection sheared over 100 nm to the south-
  east.  The system was forecast to continue weakening in the presence of
  strong vertical shear and cooler SSTs.

     The Nadi TCWC issued gale warnings on the 24th-26th for a zone of
  gales displaced well to the east of the center.  At the WMO Region V
  meeting, held in Rarotonga in September, 2000, the former criterion that
  gales surround the center of a tropical depression before upgrading to
  tropical cyclone status was removed.  Since then, however, some of the
  TCWCs have been working around this change by issuing gale warnings
  separate from the normal tropical cyclone bulletins for zones of
  associated gales described by areas bounded by several latitude/longitude
  coordinate pairs.    At the recent WMO Region V meeting in Manila in
  May, the definitions of tropical depression and tropical cyclone were
  again modified to the effect that a depression can have gale-force winds
  if removed from the center, and that a tropical cyclone must have 34-kt
  winds near the center that are likely to continue.  However, the inter-
  pretation of what "near the center" means was not specified but rather
  left to the judgment of the individual TCWCs.

  *************************************************************************

                              EXTRA FEATURE

     In order to shorten the amount of typing in preparing the narrative
  material, I have been in the habit of freely using abbreviations and
  acronyms.   I have tried to define most of these with the first usage
  in a given summary, but I may have missed one now and then.  Most of
  these are probably understood by a majority of readers but perhaps a
  few aren't clear to some.  To remedy this I developed a Glossary of
  Abbreviations and Acronyms which I first included in the July, 1998
  summary.  I don't normally include the Glossary in most months in
  order to help keep them from being too long.  If anyone would like to
  receive a copy of the Glossary, please e-mail me and I'll be happy
  to send them a copy.

  *************************************************************************

  AUTHOR'S NOTE:  This summary should be considered a very preliminary 
  overview of the tropical cyclones that occur in each month. The cyclone
  tracks (provided separately) will generally be based upon operational
  warnings issued by the various tropical cyclone warning centers.  The
  information contained therein may differ somewhat from the tracking and
  intensity information obtained from a "best-track" file which is based
  on a detailed post-seasonal analysis of all available data. Information
  on where to find official "best-track" files from the various warning
  centers will be passed along from time to time.

    The track files are not being sent via e-mail.  They can be retrieved
  in the following manner:

       (a) FTP to:  hrd-type42.nhc.noaa.gov [140.90.176.206]
       (b) Login as: anonymous
       (c) For a password use your e-mail address
       (d) Go to "data" subdirectory (Type: cd data)
       (e) Set file type to ASCII (Type: ascii)
       (f) Transfer file (Type: get remote_file_name local_file_name )
           (The files will be named with an obvious nomenclature--using
           February as an example:   feb02.tracks)
       (g) To exit FTP, type: quit

    Both the summaries and the track files are standard text files
  created in DOS editor.  Download to disk and use a viewer such as
  Notepad or DOS editor to view the files.

     The first summary in this series covered the month of October,
  1997.   If anyone wishes to retrieve any of the previous summaries,
  they may be downloaded from the aforementioned FTP site at HRD.  The
  summary files are catalogued with the nomenclature:  feb02.sum, for
  example.

    Back issues can also be obtained from the following websites
  (courtesy of Michael Bath, Michael V. Padua, Tom Berg, Michael
  Pitt, and Rich Henning):

    http://australiasevereweather.com/cyclones/>
    http://www.typhoon2000.ph> OR http://66.40.4.61>
    http://www.hurricanealley.net/>
    http://www.qisfl.net/home/hurricanemike>
    http://www.met.fsu.edu/gsc/Docs/Grads/henning/cyclones/>

  NOTE:  The URL for Michael V. Padua's Typhoon 2000 website has
  changed.

     Another website where much information about tropical cyclones may
  be found is the website for the UK Meteorological Office.  Their site
  contains a lot of statistical information about tropical cyclones
  globally on a monthly basis.  The URL is:

    http://www.met-office.gov.uk/sec2/sec2cyclone/sec2cyclone.html>


                   TROPICAL CYCLONE REPORTS AVAILABLE

     JTWC now has available on its website the complete Annual Tropical 
  Cyclone Report (ATCR) for 2001 (2000-2001 season for the Southern 
  Hemisphere).  ATCRs for earlier years are available also.

     The URL is:  http://199.10.200.33/jtwc.html>

     Also, TPC/NHC has available on its webpage nice "technicolor"
  tracking charts for the 2001 Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific
  tropical cyclones; also, preliminary storm reports for all the 2001
  Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific cyclones are now available, as
  well as track charts and reports on storms from earlier years.

     The URL is:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov>


     A special thanks to Michael Bath of Wollongbar, New South Wales,
  Australia, for assisting me with proofreading the summaries.


  Prepared by: Gary Padgett
  E-mail:  garyp@alaweb.com
  Phone:  334-222-5327

  *************************************************************************
  *************************************************************************

Document: summ0202.htm
Updated: 27th December 2006

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