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Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary October 1997
[Summaries and Track Data] [Prepared by Gary Padgett]


                              OCTOBER, 1997

     This is the first of what I hope will be many such monthly summaries
  chronicling tropical cyclone activity around the globe.  These should
  be considered as a very preliminary, "quick look" overview of the
  tropical cyclones that occur in each month.   The cyclone tracks (that
  will be 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.

     A very, very special thanks is due to Dr. Chris Landsea of NOAA's
  Hurricane Research Division for asking me to write these summaries;
  for all his excellent and very helpful suggestions; and for offering
  to archive the summaries on AOML/HRD's computer system.  A very
  special thanks is due also to Dr. Jack Beven of TPC/TAFB for all the
  information and suggestions he passed along to me and for providing
  me with some details of two interesting subtropical, hybrid-type
  storm systems in the far eastern Atlantic during October.   Two other
  persons who have been most helpful in providing me with information 
  on South Pacific cyclones are Mark Kersemakers at the Fiji Tropical
  Cyclone Warning Centre and Steve Ready of the Meteorological Service
  of New Zealand.  A special thanks to these gentlemen also.

     Chris and I made the decision not to send the track files via
  e-mail.  They can be retrieved in the following manner:

       (a) FTP to: []
       (b) Login as: anonymous
       (c) For a password use your e-mail address
       (d) The files will be named with an obvious nomenclature--using
           October as an example:   oct97.tracks

     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.

  Prepared by: Gary Padgett
  E-mail:  [email protected]
  Phone:  334-222-5327

                          OCTOBER HIGHLIGHTS

  --> Three intense supertyphoons roam Western Pacific waters
  --> Mexico experiences deadliest hurricane in more than 20 years
  --> South Pacific season gets off to an active, early start


                           ACTIVITY BY BASINS

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

  Activity for October: 2 tropical storms 
                        2 possible subtropical storms

                Tropical Storm Fabian (TC #7)   7-8 October

       Tropical Storm Fabian was a short-lived, insignificant storm which
    developed in a hostile environment of upper southwesterly shear.  The
    storm developed from a tropical wave which left the African coast on
    22 Sep.  The wave traveled westward with little change, reaching the
    Lesser Antilles on 29 Sep.  A weak broad area of low pressure turned
    northward, passing over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  At this
    point the LOW turned northeastward, moving with the upper-level flow,
    thereby reducing the relative shear.

       Depression advisories on Tropical Depression Seven were initiated
    at 1500 UTC on 7 Oct when centered about 500 nm east-southeast of
    Bermuda, but the system had been recognized as a tropical depression
    or borderline tropical storm for a couple of days.    Fabian was 
    operationally classified as a tropical storm at 1500 UTC on 8 Oct, 
    with the center about 750 nm east-southeast of Bermuda.  This was 
    based on a 40-kt wind report from ship ZCBB7 at 1200 UTC.  Shortly 
    thereafter Fabian was declared extratropical.

       In a post-storm analysis of all available data, it was determined
    that at the time of the ship report the system was already becoming
    extratropical, and that the 40-kt wind was likely associated with a
    developing cold front.   The "best track" for Fabian classifies the
    system as a tropical depression at 1800 UTC on 4 Oct,  and as a
    minimal tropical storm at 1800 UTC on 5 Oct.

       The preliminary storm report on Tropical Storm Fabian,  which 
    includes the analyzed "best track", can be found on the Tropical 
    Prediction Center's website at>.
    Some of the information presented above was obtained from this

               Tropical Storm Grace (TC #8)   16-17 October

       Tropical Storm Grace developed from an extratropical gale that
    had initially formed along a frontal zone that extended from the
    Caribbean northeastward into the central Atlantic. Winds had reached
    gale force around the LOW by 0000 UTC on 15 Oct,  and about a day
    later enough deep convection had formed near the center for the 
    system to be classified as a tropical cyclone.     Grace was
    operationally classified as a tropical storm at 1500 UTC on 16 Oct,
    with the center about 550 nm east-northeast of San Juan, Puerto 
    Rico.  Grace moved rather rapidly east-northeastward and lost most
    of its tropical characteristics by 1500 UTC on 17 Oct.   The last
    advisory, issued at this time, declared Grace to be an extratropical
    LOW about 1200 nm east-northeast of Puerto Rico.

       Grace retained some non-tropical features throughout its 
    lifetime -- the circulation never became completely separated from
    the frontal trough in which Grace developed, and a band of convection
    seemed to connect the storm with another extratropical cyclone to its
    northeast.   Grace's maximum intensity of 40 kts occurred about the
    time the first tropical storm advisory was issued.

       The preliminary storm report on Tropical Storm Grace, which 
    includes the analyzed "best track", can be found on the Tropical
    Prediction Center's website at>.
    Some of the information presented above was obtained from this 


       There were two weather systems in the far eastern Atlantic during
    October that were possibly classifiable as subtropical storms, based
    on satellite imagery.    A special thanks to Jack Beven for sending
    me some infomation on these storms for inclusion in this summary.

                Possible Subtropical Storm #1   2-7 October

       The first of the eastern Atlantic subtropical systems was seen
    near 36N, 12W on 2 Oct.    It drifted southwestward with 25-30 kt 
    winds to near 33N, 15W on 4 Oct, at which time it turned east-
    southeastward. The system turned east-northeastward and intensified
    on 5 Oct.  The east-northeastward motion continued into 6 Oct when
    the storm reached its maximum intensity of 55-65 kts.  An eye was
    briefly visible at this time.    The cyclone turned eastward and
    rapidly weakened later on 6 Oct.  The system passed near Gibraltar
    on 7 Oct and dissipated over the extreme western Mediterranean Sea
    later that day.

       The exact nature of this system remains uncertain due to lack of
    data near the center at maximum intensity.  (There were several ship
    reports of 30-40 kt winds in the large LOW the cyclone was embedded
    in, but none from the core.)  Despite the appearance of an eye, the
    upper-level environment was not one normally associated with a
    hurricane.  This system will be reviewed for possible inclusion in
    the best track database at a later time.

              Possible Subtropical Storm #2   25-27 October

       The second subtropical system first organized itself while passing
    over the Azores on 25 Oct.  The origin of this system appears to have 
    been an extratropical LOW that formed along the southeastern U.S. 
    coast on 19 Oct.  That LOW moved northeastward to near 43N, 42W on 
    22 Oct, then drifted eastward on 23 Oct.  The LOW moved southeastward 
    toward the Azores on 24 Oct,  and persistent central convection 
    appeared on 25 Oct.

       The cyclone moved east-northeastward throughout its life and made
    landfall on the Iberian Peninsula near the Spain-Portugal border on
    27 Oct.  It weakened to a low pressure area over land later that day.
    Maximum winds from satellite estimates were 35-40 kts.  There were
    several ship reports of 30-40 kt winds, and at least one land station
    reported 30-kt winds.  However, observations from the core are again

       Given its origin and the lack of data near the center, the exact
    nature of this system also remains uncertain.    It will also be
    reviewed for inclusion in the best track database at a future time.


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

  Activity for October:  3 tropical depressions
                         1 hurricane

              Tropical Depression Olaf (TC-17E)   5-12 October

       Tropical Storm Olaf had made landfall in late September along
    Mexico's Gulf of Tehuantepec coastline.  After weakening over
    land, the remnants of Olaf drifted slowly westward for several
    days.  By 5 Oct, while located about 500 nm southwest of Cabo
    San Lucas, the system had become sufficiently organized enough 
    that depression advisories were issued once again, beginning at
    2100 UTC. Over the next three days Olaf drifted slowly generally
    in an east-southeasterly direction.    During this period the
    maximum sustained winds were never estimated at more than 30 kts.
    By 2100 UTC on 8 Oct Olaf had become disorganized and the advisories
    were dropped.  The remnants at this time were located about 400 nm
    southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.

       During this time destructive Hurricane Pauline was raking the
    coastline of Mexico from the Gulf of Tehuantepec region to the
    Acapulco area and beyond.  By 10 Oct Pauline had dissipated inland
    between Acapulco and Manzanillo.  Early on 11 Oct a ship reported an  
    easterly wind of 25 kts and a pressure of 1004 mb, while later in the 
    day another ship reported winds of 30 kts.  Depression advisories
    were begun for the third time on the Olaf system at 1200 UTC.
       Olaf was at this time located about 175 nm south-southeast of
    Manzanillo.  During the next 24 hrs Olaf drifted northward toward
    the Mexican coast.  The center seemed to stall along the coast just
    to the southeast of Manzanillo.  Satellite fixes indicated that
    Olaf possibly approached tropical storm intensity once more during
    this time.  On 12 Oct visible pictures indicated that the center
    had moved inland and was dissipating.  

                   Hurricane Pauline (TC-18E)   6-10 October

       Advisories were initiated on Tropical Depression 18-E at 0300 UTC
    on 6 Oct, when the system was centered about 250 nm south of Salina
    Cruz, Mexico.  The depression drifted east-southeastward for about
    12 hrs, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Pauline at 0900 UTC.  
    After 1500 UTC on the same day, Pauline abruptly turned to the north
    and intensified, reaching hurricane strength by 1800 UTC.  Pauline
    intensified very rapidly, reaching an initial peak intensity of 115
    kts by 0900 UTC on 7 Oct.     The hurricane was moving almost due
    northward at this time,  but began to move on a more north-
    northwesterly track late on 7 Oct, and then on a northwesterly track
    early on the 8th.

       The maximum sustained winds dropped slightly to 100 kts during
    this time, but increased again to 115 kts as the storm began to 
    approach the Mexican coast in the western Gulf of Tehuantepec 
    region late on 8 Oct.  Minimum central pressure at this time was
    estimated to be 948 mb.   The center reached the coastline around
    2100 UTC on 8 Oct about 100 nm west-southwest of Salina Cruz with
    maximum sustained winds estimated near 105 kts.  Pauline turned more
    to a west-northwesterly heading and moved up the southern Mexican
    coast with the eye remaining just inland from the shoreline. The
    center of Pauline passed just to the north of Acapulco around 
    0900 UTC on the 9th.  Acapulco reported a maximum sustained wind 
    of 40 kts with a peak gust of 51 kts.   Based on this observation 
    it is believed that Pauline's maximum winds were around 70 kts at 
    this time.

       After passing Acapulco Pauline began to weaken steadily.  The
    storm was downgraded to a tropical storm at 0300 UTC on 10 Oct
    while located about 75 nm east-southeast of Manzanillo, and to a 
    depression six hours later. The low-level circulation had completely
    dissipated over the mountains of south-central Mexico by late on
    the 10th.

       Hurricane Pauline was probably Mexico's greatest natural disaster
    since the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, and was the deadliest tropical
    cyclone to affect the country since Hurricane Liza in Sep, 1976, in
    which over 400 lives were lost near La Paz.    The hurricane lashed
    the coastline from near Salina Cruz to well northwest of Acapulco.
    The greatest death and destruction seems to have occurred in the
    Acapulco area.    Torrential rains of up to 16 inches caused deadly
    flash floods and mudslides on the densely inhabited hillsides 
    surrounding the resort city.  Some early press reports indicated 
    that over 400 persons perished, but official figures from the  
    Mexican government put the death toll at around 230, with hundreds
    of thousands left homeless.

    NOTE:  The preliminary storm reports for Olaf and Pauline (as well
    as all the 1997 Eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones) have just
    been added to the Tropical Prediction Center's website. The URL for
    the homepage is:> .   A link to the 1997
    Eastern Pacific storm reports can be found on the left side of the

                  Tropical Depression 03-C   6-7 October

       The third tropical depression of the year to form in the Central
    Pacific began about 600 nm east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii on 6 Oct.
    The first depression advisory was issued at 1500 UTC.  The depression
    remained weak, with maximum sustained winds never estimated stronger
    than 25 kts.  The system moved at a fairly good clip on a westerly 
    to west-northwesterly track, but was unable to strengthen due to 
    strong westerly shear aloft.  The last advisory was issued at 2100 
    UTC on 7 Oct with the center dissipating about 200 nm south of the 
    Big Island.

                  Tropical Depression 04-C   31 October-->

       Another tropical depression formed in the Central Pacific early
    on 31 Oct.  At 0900 UTC the depression was centered about 250 nm
    south-southeast of Johnston Atoll with 30-kt winds.  The depression
    moved in a general west-southwesterly direction for most of the day,
    and by 2100 UTC was located about 325 nm south-southwest of Johnston
    Atoll.     Although initially forecast to reach tropical storm 
    intensity, by 2100 UTC the system was weakening, with maximum 
    sustained winds having dropped to 25 kts.


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

  Activity for October:  2 tropical depressions
                         1 tropical storm
                         3 supertyphoons

  NOTE:  All the tracking and intensity information contained below on
         Western North Pacific tropical cyclones is based solely on
         operational warnings issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning
         Center, Guam.

                 Tropical Storm Hank (TC-25W)   3-4 October

       Tropical Storm Hank was a short-lived South China Sea cyclone in
    early October.  The first warning, classifying Hank as a tropical
    storm, was issued at 0000 UTC on 3 Oct, when the storm was centered
    about 475 nm south-southwest of Hong Kong.  Hank reached its peak
    intensity of 40 kts by 0600 UTC and began to slowly weaken 
    thereafter. The system drifted rather erratically westward at first,
    then began to move generally in a northwesterly direction roughly
    parallel to the Vietnamese coast.  Hank was downgraded to a tropical
    depression at 1800 UTC on 3 Oct, and was dissipating off the coast
    of Vietnam by 1200 UTC on 4 Oct.  No reports of any damage or 
    casualties due to Tropical Storm Hank have been received by the 

                   Tropical Depression 26-W   4-7 October

       Tropical Depression 26-W formed around 0000 UTC on 4 Oct about
    450 nm west-northwest of Guam.  The depression drifted erratically
    at first, then began to move in a general west-northwesterly
    direction for the next couple of days.  Maximum intensity occurred
    early on 6 Oct when winds were estimated at 30 kts.  Thereafter
    the depression began to weaken, with the last warning at 0000 UTC
    on 7 Oct placing the dissipating system roughly midway between Guam
    and the northern tip of Luzon.

                 Supertyphoon Ivan (TC-27W)   13-24 October

       Supertyphoon Ivan was one of three intense supertyphoons that were
    spawned in the Western Pacific during October.  The system was first
    classified as a depression on 13 Oct at 0600 UTC when located a
    little more than 200 nm north-northeast of Truk.  The depression was
    upgraded to Tropical Storm Ivan at 1800 UTC about 250 nm northwest
    of Truk.  Ivan moved generally on a west-northwesterly track for a
    couple of days, passing about 50 nm south of Guam at around 1500 UTC
    on the 14th as a strong tropical storm.    Ivan reached typhoon 
    strength early on 15 Oct when located about 200 nm west of Guam, and 
    began to move in a more westerly direction.
       The typhoon passed about 425 nm to the north of Palau around
    1200 UTC on the 16th.  Peak intensity, with maximum sustained winds
    estimated at 160 kts, was attained at 1800 UTC on 17 Oct with the
    storm centered in the Philippine Sea about 425 nm east of Manila.
    By early on the 18th Ivan had turned to a west-northwesterly course,
    which became more northwesterly as the storm approached northeastern
    Luzon.  On 20 Oct Typhoon Ivan sliced across the northeastern tip
    of Luzon with maximum sustained winds estimated at around 120 kts.
    Information obtained by the author on Earthweek's website 
    ( indicates that 2 lives were lost in the
    Philippines, while several thousand farm animals were killed and
    several thousand acres of crops were destroyed.

       After passing Luzon Ivan turned due north, then east, and finally
    began to accelerate in a northeasterly direction.  Maximum winds were
    slowly decreasing during this period, with Ivan being downgraded to a
    tropical storm at 1200 UTC on 21 Oct when centered about 150 nm 
    northeast of the northeastern tip of Luzon.   The weakening tropical
    storm passed about 250 nm southeast of Okinawa early on 24 Oct, and
    had transformed into an extratropical cyclone by 1200 UTC on the same
    date, centered about 325 nm west-northwest of Iwo Jima.

                 Supertyphoon Joan (TC-28W)   13-24 October

       Joan was the second October supertyphoon, and was remarkable for
    maintaining supertyphoon intensity (maximum sustained winds of 130
    kts or greater) for almost 5 days.  The first warning on Tropical
    Depression 28-W was issued at 0600 UTC on 13 Oct, placing the center
    about 150 nm north of Kwajalein.  Tropical Storm Joan was named a
    day later about 175 nm east-northeast of Eniwetok Atoll.  For about
    a week Joan followed a general west-northwesterly track which took it
    from its point of origin in the Marshall Islands, through the central
    Marianas, to its point of recurvature about 500 nm west of the 
    northernmost Marianas.    The storm reached typhoon intensity at
    1800 UTC on 15 Oct when passing about 400 nm north of Pohnpei. 
    Supertyphoon intensity was reached when located about 300 nm 
    east-northeast of Guam at 0600 UTC on the 17th.  Peak intensity of
    160 kts occurred six hours later.

       Supertyphoon Joan, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 135-
    140 kts, passed through the Marianas Islands chain around midday on
    18 Oct (local time).  The eye of Joan apparently passed about 50 nm
    north of Saipan.  After passing the Marianas Joan continued on its
    west-northwesterly track until it recurved rather sharply to the
    east-northeast at around 1800 UTC on 20 Oct.  At this time Joan was
    still a supertyphoon with an intensity of 160 kts located roughly
    500 nm west of the northernmost Marianas.   A still-intense Typhoon
    Joan passed about 125 nm north of Iwo Jima around 0000 UTC on 22 Oct
    packing winds up to 115 kts.  There were reports of very heavy surf
    with waves up to 22 ft (7 meters) from the southern islands of 
    Japan. By 0000 UTC on 24 Oct, about 700 nm northwest of Wake Island,
    Joan was transforming into a deep and vigorous extratropical cyclone
    with winds estimated at 80 kts.

       No reports of damage or casualties as a result of Supertyphoon
    Joan have been received by the author.  If anyone does have any such
    information and would be kind enough to e-mail it to me, I will
    include it in a future summary.

                 Supertyphoon Keith (TC-29W)   27 October-->

       The third supertyphoon of October developed slowly in the Marshall
    Islands.  Tropical Depression 29-W had formed by 1800 UTC on 27 Oct
    about 125 nm south-southeast of Kwajalein.  Tropical Storm Keith was
    named six hours later, but the system intensified very slowly at
    first, not reaching typhoon strength until 30 Oct.  Keith also moved
    very slowly on a westerly to west-northwesterly course for the first 
    two days, moving out of the Marshall Islands and passing just to the
    north of the Federated States of Micronesia.  Typhoon Keith, with
    maximum sustained winds estimated at 90 kts, passed about 100 nm
    north of Pohnpei at 1800 UTC on the 30th.  At this point Keith had 
    begun to deepen rapidly; and as the month of October closed, the 
    storm had become a supertyphoon with 130-kt winds located about 
    600 nm east-southeast of Guam.

       November's summary will contain details on the subsequent history
    of Supertyphoon Keith, including its passage through the southern

             Tropical Depression 30-W (Linda)   31 October-->

       The system that was to become Typhoon Linda (not to be confused
    with the intense Eastern Pacific hurricane of the same name in Sep)
    was first classified as a depression at 1800 UTC on 31 Oct, unusually
    far south in the South China Sea, west of the northern tip of the 
    island of Borneo.

       November's summary will contain details of Linda's deadly trek
    across southern Vietnam, the Gulf of Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, 
    and its re-intensification in the North Indian Ocean basin.


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

  Activity for October:  No tropical cyclones


  SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN (SIO) - South Indian Ocean West of Longitude 90E

  Activity for October:  No tropical cyclones


  AUSTRALIAN REGION (AUS) - From Longitude 90E Eastward to Longitude 160E

  Activity for October:  No tropical cyclones


  SOUTHWEST PACIFIC (SWP) - South Pacific Ocean East of Longitude 160E

  Activity for October:  1 tropical depression **
                         1 tropical cyclone of gale intensity
                         1 tropical cyclone of storm intensity

       The Southwest Pacific Basin got off to one of its earliest starts
    on record.   Only a little more than four months elapsed between the
    demise of Tropical Cyclone Keli in June (ending the 1996/97 season)
    and the appearance of Tropical Cyclone Lusi, heralding the beginning
    of the 1997/98 season.     The last time such a narrow interval
    occurred between cyclone seasons was in 1972, which was also an El
    Nino year.

       Many thanks to Mark Kersemakers of the Fiji Tropical Cyclone
    Warning Centre at Nadi, and to Steve Ready of the New Zealand 
    Meteorological Service, Wellington, for supplying me with many 
    details on these South Pacific systems.  These gentlemen have been
    most kind in passing along information to me, as well as placing 
    me on e-mail lists which often contain snippets of information on
    the effects of tropical cyclones in this region.  Also, a special
    thanks to Jon Gill of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for 
    putting me in touch with Mark and Steve.

    ** - this system was classified as a minimal tropical storm by the
         Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on Guam

               Tropical Cyclone Lusi (TC-02P)   8-12 October

       A tropical depression was first recognized by the Fiji TCWC at
    0000 UTC on 8 Oct with only 20 kt winds (10-min avg) and located
    about 750 nm northwest of Fiji.  The system moved little for a 
    couple of days, and then began to move generally to the south. 
    The depression had only moved about 30 nm from its point of origin
    when it was named Tropical Cyclone Lusi at 1200 UTC on the 9th. Over
    the next few days Lusi moved southward, passing between Fiji and
    Vanuatu.  At 0600 UTC on 11 Oct the center of Lusi passed about 
    225 nm west of Fiji.  At this time Lusi was near its peak intensity 
    of 50 kts (10-min avg).

       The storm turned a little more to the southeast and seemed to
    stall about 150 nm southwest of Fiji on the 11th.  Lusi began to
    weaken about this time due to the effects of cooler sea surface
    temperatures and increased vertical shear.  The system was downgraded
    to a depression at 0600 UTC on 12 Oct about 350 nm south of Fiji. 
    Lusi brought a few gales and some heavy rainfall to some of the 
    southwestern-most islands in the Fiji group;  otherwise there were
    no appreciable effects from this cyclone on any of the South Pacific

       A report of 30-kt winds from ship 3EST7 on 8 Oct was the basis for
    JTWC initiating advisories.    Adjusting from the 1-min maximum
    sustained wind utilized by JTWC to the 10-min average wind employed
    by Fiji, the maximum wind estimates from the two warning centers 
    agree very well, except the final warning at 0600 UTC on 12 Oct.
    Fiji downgraded Lusi at this time to a 30-kt depression, while JTWC
    labeled the system as an extratropical gale with 45-kt winds.  The
    miminum central pressure in Tropical Cyclone Lusi, as reported by
    the Fiji TCWC, was 985 mb on 10 and 11 Oct.

                 Tropical Depression 03-P   26-28 October

       This system was a short-lived tropical depression which formed to
    the west of Rotuma and about 375 nm northwest of Fiji.  The Fiji TCWC
    issued a bulletin at 0000 UTC on 26 Oct, warning of the possibility
    of gales developing within 200 miles of the center.   Subsequent
    warnings indicated that a few gales perhaps did occur southwest of
    the system.

       The system drifted generally southeastward over the next couple of
    days, dissipating well northwest of Fiji late on 27 Oct due to strong
    wind shear.

       Warnings issued by JTWC on Guam assigned 35-kt winds (1-min avg)
    to this system, and satellite intensity estimates by the Brisbane
    TCWC could have implied minimal tropical storm intensity using 1-min
    avg winds; however, satellite estimates from NPMOC (Pearl Harbor) and
    AFGWC implied only a tropical depression.

              Tropical Cyclone Martin (TC-04P)   31 October-->

       The Fiji TCWC at Nadi began monitoring a disturbance lying to the
    north of the Northern Cook Islands on 27 Oct.  Convection was quite
    unorganized and the system was being affected detrimentally by strong
    upper-level northeasterly winds.  A weak low-level circulation was
    apparent, drifting very slowly to the west or southwest.  Over the
    next three days the convection showed only slight improvement in
    organization, being very diurnal in nature and still affected by
    moderate to strong vertical shear.

       By early on 31 Oct the system began to show marked organization.
    The preliminary "best track" from Fiji shows the system classified
    as a depression with 20-kt winds (10-min avg) by 0000 UTC on that
    date.  During the afternoon and evening it was clear that the system
    was developing rapidly, and Tropical Cyclone Martin was named at 1500
    UTC on the 31st about 350 nm northwest of Samoa.  At this time Martin
    was located just north of Pukapuka, the westernmost island in the
    Northern Cooks.  At 1800 UTC Pukapuka reported a pressure of 997 mb
    and "estimated" winds of 60 kts. Due to the relatively high pressure,
    these winds are considered to have likely been gusts, and probably
    over-estimated.   The 1800 UTC warning from JTWC gave Martin an
    intensity of 55 kts (1-min avg) while Fiji reported it as 40 kts
    (10-min avg).
       The subsequent history of Tropical Cyclone Martin's destructive
    swath through the Cooks and French Polynesia will be covered in the
    summary for November.


Document: summ9710.htm
Updated: 18th March 2008

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