TROPICAL CYCLONE REPORTS
Tropical Storm Barbara
Tropical Storm Cosme
Tropical Storm Erick
Tropical Depression Six-E
Tropical Storm Henriette
Tropical Storm Ivo
Tropical Storm Lorena
Tropical Depression Fourteen-E
Tropical Storm Manuel
Tropical Cyclone Report
21 - 25 September 2001
Richard J. Pasch
National Hurricane Center
18 December 2001
Kiko was a short-lived tropical cyclone that briefly maintained
a. Synoptic History
A tropical wave that led to the formation of Atlantic Hurricane
Felix over the eastern Atlantic on 7 September also seems to have
produced Kiko. This wave moved westward at low latitudes, crossing
northern South America on 13-14 September and Central America on
the 15th and 16th. By 17 September,
cloudiness and showers increased near the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The
area of disturbed weather moved westward for the next few days,
without much increase in organization. On 21 September, the
system's cloud pattern became more consolidated, and curved bands
of showers were evident. It is estimated that Tropical Depression
Twelve had formed by 1800 UTC that day, at which time it was
centered about 550 n mi southwest of the southern tip of Baja
California. Figure 1 is a map showing the "best track" of the
After forming, the system, which was located in an environment
of easterly vertical shear, strengthened slowly. By 1200 UTC 22
September the organization of the cloud pattern improved to the
extent that tropical storm strength was estimated to have been
reached. Kiko turned from a northwestward to a west-northwestward
heading that day. Although some easterly shear continued to affect
the system, very deep convection persisted near the center, and
based on Dvorak intensity estimates, Kiko strengthened into a
hurricane around 1200 UTC 23 September. A little later on the 23rd,
deep convection decreased in coverage and intensity and Kiko
weakened back to a tropical storm. The system continued to lose
intensity on the 24th, at least in part due to the
entrainment of more stable air at low levels. Kiko weakened to a
tropical depression on the 25th, by which time
southwesterly shear also became prevalent. Later on the
25th, the cyclone degenerated into a westward-moving
swirl of low clouds with little or no deep convection. Kiko's
remnant low persisted and continued moving generally westward for
several more days with intermittent, minor occurrences of deep
convection within the circulation. It was finally absorbed into a
frontal system to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands on 1
b. Meteorological Statistics
The best track positions and intensities for Kiko are listed in
Table 1, and curves of the best track wind speed and minimum
central pressure are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3,
with the observations on which these curves are based, namely
satellite-based Dvorak technique intensity estimates from the
Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), the Satellite
Analysis Branch (SAB) and the U. S. Air Force Weather Agency
c. Casualty and Damage Statistics
No reports of casualties or damages caused by Kiko have been
d. Forecast and Warning Critique
Excluding the tropical depression stage, the average official
track errors (with the number of cases in parentheses) for Kiko
were 32 (10), 55 (8), 49(6), and 29(4) for the 12, 24, 36, and 48 h
forecasts, respectively (there were no tropical storm or
stronger-stage forecasts to verify at 72 h). These errors are lower
than the average official track errors for the most recent ten-year
period (37, 68, 99, and 128 n mi, respectively), in fact,
considerably lower at 36 and 48 h for this small sample.
Average official intensity errors were 9, 13, 14, and 11 kt for
the 12, 24, 36, and 48 h respectively. For comparison, the average
official intensity errors over the 10-yr period 1991-2000 are 7,
12, 16, and 19 kt, respectively. Overall, the NHC intensity
forecasts for Kiko had a positive bias.
No watches or warnings were required for this tropical
Table 1: Best track for Hurricane Kiko, 21 - 25 September 2001.
|Lat. (°N)||Lon. (°W)
|21 / 1800||15.6||116.1||1007||30||tropical depression
|22 / 0000||15.9||117.2||1005||30||"
|22 / 0600||16.3||118.3||1004||30||"
|22 / 1200||17.0||119.2||1003||35||tropical storm
|22 / 1800||17.7||120.2||1002||40||"
|23 / 0000||18.0||121.2||1000||45||"
|23 / 0600||18.1||122.2||994||55||"
|23 / 1200||18.2||123.3||990||65||hurricane
|23 / 1800||18.3||124.4||992||60||tropical storm
|24 / 0000||18.6||125.1||994||55||"
|24 / 0600||19.0||125.6||994||55||"
|24 / 1200||19.1||126.2||997||50||"
|24 / 1800||19.2||126.7||997||50||"
|25 / 0000||19.2||127.2||1001||40||"
|25 / 0600||19.2||127.9||1003||35||"
|25 / 1200||19.2||128.6||1004||30||tropical depression
|25 / 1800||19.2||129.3||1006||25||"
|26 / 0000||dissipated
|23 / 1200||18.2||123.3||990||65||minimum pressure
Best track for Hurricane Kiko, 21-25 September 2001.
Best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for
Hurricane Kiko, 21-25 September 2001, and the observations on which the best
track curve is based.
Best track minimum central pressure curve for Hurricane Kiko, 21-25
September 2001, and the observations on which the best track curve is based.