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Preliminary Report
Hurricane Barbara
7-18 July 1995

Lixion A. Avila
National Hurricane Center
28 October 1995

Tropical Depression One-E
Hurricane Adolph
Hurricane Barbara
Hurricane Cosme
Tropical Storm Dalila
Tropical Storm Erick
Hurricane Flossie
Tropical Storm Gil
Hurricane Henriette
Hurricane Ismael
Hurricane Juliette

[1995 East Pacific Hurricane Season]

a. Synoptic History

The development of Barbara appears to be related to a weak tropical wave which crossed Dakar, Africa as a large swirl of low clouds on 24 June. The wave moved westward over the Atlantic and then over South America with little representation on satellite images and rawindsonde data. The wave reached the eastern Pacific on 5 July. There, convection developed and gradually became organized. Satellite intensity estimates indicated that the westward-moving system became a tropical depression at 1800 UTC 7 July about 500 n mi south of Manzanillo, Mexico. The depression intensified and became Tropical Storm Barbara 12 hours later. The formation of an eye indicated strengthening and Barbara reached hurricane status at 0600 UTC 9 July. The rapid intensification process began and both objective and subjective Dvorak T-numbers suggested that the winds increased to 115 knots. The well defined eye disappeared from satellite images as fast as it formed and Barbara weakened. During that period, the hurricane was moving through a very favorable upper-level wind environment for intensification and over warm sea-surface temperatures. As forecast, Barbara then intensified again and re-developed a distinct eye. It was estimated that the hurricane reached its maximum winds of 120 knots and a minimum pressure of 940 mb at 0000 UTC 14 July (when T-numbers peaked at 7.0 on the Dvorak scale). Barbara remained a strong hurricane for several days while moving westward south of a well established high pressure ridge. It finally moved over cool waters and began to weaken. Barbara crossed 140°W as a tropical storm near 1800 UTC 16 July, and it was dissipating at 0000 UTC 18 July. A swirl of low clouds, remnants of the hurricane, moved westward for several more days.

Barbara's track is shown in Fig. 1 [58K GIF]. Table 1 is a listing, at six-hour intervals, of the best-track position, estimated minimum central pressure and maximum 1-minute surface wind speed.

b. Meteorological Statistics.

The best track pressure and wind curves as a function of time shown in Figures 2 and 3 [52K GIF] are based on satellite intensity estimates from the National Hurricane Center, the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) and the Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC). No ship observations of tropical storm force winds near Barbara were received at the National Hurricane Center.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There were no reports of casualties or damage associated with Barbara.

d. Forecast and Warning Critique

Excluding the tropical depression stage, the NHC average official track errors ranged from 11 n mi at 12 hours to 60 n mi at 72 hours. The 1988-94 averages for such periods are 34 and 166 n mi respectively. BAMD performed better than the official forecast and other models at 72 hours with an error of only 43 n mi. On the other hand, the AVN produced an error of 150 n mi for the same period.

Table 1. Preliminary best track, Hurricane Barbara, 7 - 18 July, 1995
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N)Lon. (°W)
7/180011.3103.2100930 Tropical Depression
8/000011.7104.8100830" "
060012.0106.2100535 Tropical Storm
120012.2107.2100435" "
180012.3108.2100045" "
9/000012.5109.199855" "
120012.9111.199070" "
180013.1112.098080" "
10/000013.3112.897090" "
060013.4113.5960105" "
120013.5114.2948115" "
180013.6114.8946115" "
11/000013.7115.3945115" "
060013.8115.9945115" "
120013.9116.5947100" "
180014.0117.1950100" "
12/000014.1117.8955100" "
060014.3118.6960100" "
120014.3119.4965100" "
180014.3120.3960100" "
13/000014.2121.3950110" "
060014.2122.3948115" "
120014.1123.3947115" "
180014.2124.5943120" "
14/000014.3125.8940120" "
060014.4127.1941120" "
120014.7128.5943115" "
180015.0130.0950110" "
15/000015.2131.4960100" "
060015.4132.997090" "
120015.6134.398075" "
180015.7135.698865" "
16/000015.7136.799555 Tropical Storm
060015.8137.7100045" "
120015.9138.6100540" "
180016.0139.5100540" "
17/000016.3140.5100930 Tropical Depression
060016.5141.5100930" "
120016.8142.4100930" "
180017.1143.4100930" "
14/000014.3125.8940120 Minimum Pressure

* Best track data west of 140°W were provided by Central Pacific Hurricane Center at Honolulu.

Brian Maher
Jack Beven

Last updated December 29, 1998