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Preliminary Report
Hurricane Enrique
12-16 July 1997

Lixion A. Avila
National Hurricane Center
15 August 1997

Tropical Storm Andres
Tropical Storm Blanca
Tropical Depression 3-E
Tropical Storm Carlos
Tropical Depression 5-E
Hurricane Dolores
Hurricane Enrique
Hurricane Felicia
Hurricane Guillermo
Tropical Storm Hilda
Tropical Storm Ignacio
Hurricane Jimena
Tropical Storm Kevin
Hurricane Linda
Tropical Storm Marty
Hurricane Nora
Tropical Storm Olaf
Hurricane Pauline
Hurricane Rick

[1997 EPAC Hurricane Season]

a. Synoptic History

A tropical wave crossed Dakar, Senegal on 26 June, accompanied by a few clusters of deep convection and a well defined low-level circulation as indicated by soundings from that site. As soon as the wave moved over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, it lost most of the convection and remained as a westward-moving weak synoptic feature for about two weeks. The wave crossed Central America during the 6th and 7th of July. On the 8th, a broad low-level circulation began to form south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. It took three more days for the thunderstorms and the circulation to consolidate. It became a tropical depression near 0600 UTC 12 July, about 850 n mi south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

Once the convection clustered near the center, the depression intensified rapidly and became a hurricane by 1200 UTC 13 July. Enrique moved between west-northwest and northwest around the periphery of a high pressure system. During that period, Enrique experienced some fluctuations in intensity. The eye became an intermittent feature and these fluctuations were represented by the increasing and decreasing of both objective and subjective Dvorak T-numbers. It is estimated that the peak intensity of 100 knots and a minimum pressure of 960 mb occurred at 1800 UTC 14 July. Thereafter, the outflow became asymmetric and a weakening process began. It is estimated that Enrique was dissipating by 1800 UTC 16 July, when it became a swirl of low clouds moving over cool waters.

Enrique's track is shown in Fig. 1 (23K GIF). Table 1 is a listing, at six-hourly 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 are shown in Figs. 2 (23K GIF) and 3 (20K GIF) and are based on satellite intensity estimates from the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) and the Air Force Global Weather Center (AFGWC).

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There are no reports of casualties or damage associated with Enrique.

d. Forecast and Warning Critique

The average official forecast error (11 forecasts) at 24 hours was 69 n mi and reached 183 n mi at 72 hours (3 forecasts). These numbers are very close to the long-term mean average errors of 71 and 194 n mi, respectively.

Table 1. Best track, Hurricane Enrique, 12- 16 July, 1997.
Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N)Lon. (°W)
12/06008.6111.7100925 tropical depression
18009.4114.6100540 tropical storm
14/000013.1121.4 97090"
180019.3129.499460 tropical storm
120021.5133.5100830 tropical depression
14/180015.5124.5960100 minimum pressure

Brian Maher
Jack Beven

Last updated December 26, 1998