Tropical Cyclone Report

Hurricane Michelle

29 October - 5 November 2001

Jack Beven
National Hurricane Center
23 January 2002

Michelle was a late-season Category 4 hurricane. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Cuba since 1952, and it left a trail of death and destruction from Central America to the Bahamas.

a. Synoptic history

The origin of Michelle was a tropical wave that moved westward across the coast of Africa on 16 October. The wave showed few signs of development while it crossed the Atlantic to the Lesser Antilles by 23 October. Associated shower activity increased on 26 October when the wave reached the western Caribbean, and a broad low pressure area formed near the coast of Nicaragua the next day. A gradual increase in organization followed, and an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found that the system had become a tropical depression near 1800 UTC 29 October over the coast of Nicaragua, between Puerto Cabezas and Bluefields (Table 1 and Figure 1).

The depression meandered over eastern Nicaragua for the next 36 hours. A slow north-northeastward motion that began early on the 31st brought the center back over the Caribbean waters later that day near Cabo Gracias a Dios on the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. The system became Tropical Storm Michelle near 0000 UTC 1 November about 50 n mi north of Cabo Gracias. Michelle moved slowly north-northwestward on the 1st and steadily strengthened. It became a hurricane on the 2nd while it drifted slowly northward. Rapid intensification then occurred, with maximum sustained winds increasing from 70 kt at 1200 UTC on the 2nd to 115 kt at 1200 UTC on the 3rd. The central pressure fell from 988 mb at 0605 UTC on the 2nd to 937 mb at 1115 UTC on the 3rd -- a decrease of 51 mb in about 29 hours. Satellite imagery near the latter time shows a classically-organized hurricane with a well-defined eye embedded in a central dense overcast surrounded by outer banding (Figure 2).

Michelle turned slowly north-northeastward after 1200 UTC the 3rd while some fluctuations in intensity occurred. It reached a peak intensity of 120 kt from 0600-1800 UTC on the 4th while accelerating northeastward. This motion brought the center of Michelle to the southwestern offshore islands of Cuba near 1800 UTC that day as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, and to the Cuban mainland near the Bay of Pigs about 5 hours later.

The eye of Michelle was disrupted by the passage over Cuba and increasing mid- to upper- level southwesterly flow. This led to the cyclone gradually losing tropical characteristics on 5 November while it accelerated northeastward through the Bahamas. The center moved off the coast of Cuba near 0600 UTC, passed over Andros Island near 1200 UTC, and over Eleuthera Island near 1800 UTC. Michelle became a vigorous extratropical cyclone around 0000 UTC on the 6th, and the center could be followed for another 18 hours before being absorbed into a strong frontal system.

b. Meteorological statistics

Table 1 shows the "best track" positions and intensities for Michelle, with the track plotted in Figure 1. Figure 3 and Figure 4 depict the curves of minimum central sea-level pressure and maximum sustained one-minute average "surface" (10 m above ground level) winds, respectively, as functions of time. These figures also contain the data on which the curves are based: aircraft reconnaissance and dropsonde data from the Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunters, satellite-based Dvorak technique intensity estimates from the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) of the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS), and the Air Force Weather Agency, and estimates from surface synoptic data.

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters made 40 center "fixes" on Michelle, while the NOAA aircraft made 11 fixes during the time the center was near Cuba. The maximum observed flight-level winds at 700 mb were 135 kt at 0258 UTC 4 November about 18 n mi south-southwest of the center. An eyewall dropsonde near 0408 UTC on the 4th reported 160 kt winds at the 841 mb pressure level. The maximum surface wind reported by land stations was 108 kt with a gust to 113 kt at Cayo Largo, Cuba at an unknown time on the 4th. A 113 kt gust was also measured at Jaguey Grande, Cuba on the 4th. Abaco Island in the Bahamas reported 63 kt sustained winds at 1500 UTC on the 5th, while Nassau reported a gust to 89 kt. Unofficial observations relayed by amateur radio from other parts of the Bahamas indicated sustained winds of 70-80 kt. Sustained winds of tropical-storm force were reported from portions of the Florida Keys and southeastern Florida. Bermuda also reported gusts to tropical storm-force winds, but these may have been more related to the frontal system that absorbed Michelle than to the storm itself. Additional selected surface observations are included in Table 2.

The minimum pressure observed by reconnaissance aircraft was 933 mb at 1921 UTC and 2101 UTC 3 November. The latter observation was accompanied by the lowest observed 700 mb height of 2491 m and is thus chosen as the time of the overall minimum pressure in Michelle. The minimum pressure observed by land stations was 949.7 mb at Cayo Largo on the 4th. Nassau reported a 983.7 mb pressure at 1500 UTC on the 5th as the center passed to the south. Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua reported a 1004.1 mb pressure at 2100 UTC 30 October as Michelle meandered over eastern Nicaragua.

A notable aspect of Michelle was that the aircraft-reported winds and pressures appeared to be somewhat out of phase. Aircraft-reported winds at the time of the minimum pressure were roughly 10 kt lower than the previous mission six hours earlier during rapid intensification. The winds and pressure then both rose simultaneously over the next 9-12 hours as Michelle reached peak intensity. This relationship could be partly due to sampling issues, as no aircraft were in the storm during the last 6 h of the rapid intensification when Michelle showed its best organization in satellite imagery.

Aircraft 700 mb wind data after Michelle became extratropical on 6th indicated winds as high as 106 kt. This would normally support surface winds of 90-95 kt using reduction factors developed for eyewall conditions (Figure 4). However, no significant convection was associated with the storm at that time. Thus, the best track intensity is set to a more conservative 75 kt using reduction factors for non-convective situations.

Several ships encountered Michelle, with selected observations of tropical-storm force or greater winds given in Table 3. While most of the encounters were well away from the center, two ships met the core of Michelle. The first was the Scan Partner, which reported Beaufort force 8/9 winds (34-47 kt) and a 988 mb pressure at 0730 UTC 2 November. The ship was near the center of Michelle just before the cyclone reached hurricane strength. The second was from a ship with the call sign ELWU7 (name unknown) which reported 60 kt winds and a 995.0 mb pressure at 1200 UTC 5 November. Additionally, a drifting buoy near Cat Island in the Bahamas reported a 986.7 mb pressure at 1900 UTC on the 5th.

The highest reported storm surge is 9-10 ft (3 m) at Cayo Largo which reportedly inundated the entire island. Above normal tides and battering waves 4-5 m high affected other portions of the coasts of western and central Cuba, causing extensive coastal flooding. In the Bahamas, storm surges of 5-8 ft were reported from New Providence Island, while storm surges of unknown magnitude affected Andros, Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exuma, and Abaco. Storm surges of 1-3 ft occurred along portions of the southeastern Florida coast and in the Florida Keys. These surges were part of a prolonged period of strong onshore winds and high tides that produced significant beach erosion along portions of the Florida east coast. Above normal tides and large battering waves also affected the southern and western shores of the Cayman Islands.

The initial slow movement of Michelle and the pre-Michelle disturbance caused widespread heavy rains over portions of Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, northern Costa Rica, and Jamaica. Ten-day storm totals on Jamaica were as high as 37.44 inches at Comfort Castle, and there are numerous other totals of over 15 inches (Table 2a). Additional heavy rains occurred over portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. Nassau reported 12.64 inches, while Punta del Este on the Island of Youth reported 11.83 inches. Outer rain bands also affected Florida, where rainfall totals were generally 1-3 inches (Table 2).

Two tornadoes were reported in south Florida. An F1 tornado occurred near Belle Glade, while a waterspout moved onshore at Key Biscayne to become an F0 tornado.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

Press reports indicate the death toll from Michelle stands at 17: 6 in Honduras, 5 in Cuba, 4 in Nicaragua, and 2 in Jamaica. The deaths in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Jamaica were due to severe flooding caused by heavy rains. Four of the deaths in Cuba occurred when a building collapsed during the passage of Michelle, while the fifth was a coastal drowning under unknown circumstances. An additional twenty-six people were reported missing in Central America -- 14 in Honduras and 12 in Nicaragua.

Michelle was the strongest hurricane to hit Cuba since Hurricane Fox in October 1952. Preliminary reports from the government of Cuba indicate widespread damage over the central and western parts of the island, with the provinces of Matanzas, Villa Clara, and Cienfuegos the hardest hit. Ten thousand homes were reported destroyed with another 100,000 others damaged. Additional damage occurred to as yet uncounted businesses and other structures. Severe damage was also reported to the sugar cane crop near the path of the storm. No monetary estimates of the damage are available at this time.

The heavy rains in Honduras and Nicaragua caused widespread flooding with more than 100,000 people forced from their homes. The hardest hit area was the province of Gracias a Dios in the northeastern part of Honduras, where press reports indicate as many as 100 villages were cut off at one time. The northeastern part of Nicaragua was also hit by severe floods in and near Puerto Cabezas. Flooding was also reported in portions of northern Costa Rica, which casued the evacuation of several thousand people. No monetary estimate of damages is available at this time.

The flash flooding and mudslides in Jamaica caused property damage there, although monetary estimates of the amount are not available at this time. The high surf and tides in the Cayman Islands caused about $28 million in damage in the Cayman Islands, primarily along the west coast of Grand Cayman. The two tornadoes in south Florida were responsible for about $20,000 in damage.

Additionally, a NOAA P-3 aircraft returned from a mission into Michelle with damage to the tail section, wings, and propellers.

d. Forecast and warning critique

Table 4 shows the average track forecast errors during the tropical storm and hurricane stages of Michelle for the official NHC track forecast and a selection of objective guidance models. The NHC average errors were 30 (18 forecasts), 52 (16 forecasts), 75 (14 forecasts), 96 (12 forecasts), and 126 n mi (8 forecasts) for 12, 24, 36, 48, and 72 h, respectively. These values are 30-40% below that of the 10-yr (1991-2000) average from 12-48 h and 40-50 % better than the 10-yr average at 72 h. The errors are also about 20-30% lower than those of Climatology-Persistence (CLIPER) at 12 and 24 h and 30-40 % lower at other times -- indicating considerable skill for this excellent set of forecasts. As good as the official forecasts were, forecasts from the Aviation run of the National Weather Service's Medium Range Forecast Model were even better. None of the average errors of either the model (AVNO) or the interpolated previous model run (AVNI) exceeded 58 n mi at any time - a phenomenal set of forecast errors.

Examination of the individual official forecast tracks reveals that the vast majority correctly forecast the general motion of Michelle -- a slow northward motion followed by a turn to the northeast. The largest source of error came from an overestimate of how far northward Michelle would move before turning northeastward. Some forecast models showed troubling biases during Michelle -- the GFDL showed a consistent northwestward bias, while several of the NOGAPS forecasts moved the storm over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. These problems contributed to relatively poor track forecasts errors for those models.

The official intensity forecast errors were 9, 11, 17, 22, and 20 kt at 12, 24, 36, 48, and 72 h respectively. These are near or somewhat above the 10-yr averages of 7.0, 10.8, 13.7, 16.3, and 19.6 kt for those time periods. The largest intensity forecast errors occurred due to the rapid intensification of Michelle from moderate tropical storm to Category 4 hurricane. While the possibility of rapid intensification was foreseen in the NHC forecasts and in experimental guidance in the SHIPS model, the amount was underforecast.

Table 5 shows the watches and warnings issued for Michelle. The intensity and relatively predictable motion of Michelle produced long lead times for watches and warnings in Cuba. Hurricane watches were issued 51 hours before the center reached the coastal islands of Cuba, while hurricane warnings were issued 31 hours before the center arrived. In the Bahamas, hurricane watches were issued 33 hours before the center reached Andros Island, while hurricane warnings were issued 21 hours before the center arrived. In the Florida Keys, a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch were issued about 42-48 hours before the arrival of the worst conditions, while a hurricane warning was issued 18-24 hours before the onset of the worst conditions. Tropical storm warnings were somewhat short-fused in the Cayman Islands, where they were issued about 6-12 hours before the closest approach of the center. This was due mainly to the somewhat earlier than expected northeastward turn. However, a tropical storm watch was issued for Grand Cayman Island about 42 hours before the closest approach of the center.


Much of the U.S. data in this report were provided by the local National Weather Service forecast offices in Key West and Miami, FL. C-MAN station data were provided by the National Data Buoy Center. The Meteorological Services of Cuba, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica provided the data for those countries.

Table 1: Best track for Hurricane Michelle, 29 October - 5 November 2001.
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N)Lon. (°W)
29 / 180013.383.6100430tropical depression
30 / 000013.783.6100430"
30 / 060013.784.1100530"
30 / 120013.383.9100530"
30 / 180013.083.5100630"
31 / 000013.783.6100430"
31 / 060014.383.4100530"
31 / 120014.883.2100430"
31 / 180015.383.1100430"
01 / 000015.883.1100135tropical storm
01 / 060016.583.499945"
01 / 120016.883.699550"
01 / 180017.083.899350"
02 / 000017.383.999155"
02 / 060017.583.998860"
02 / 120017.884.097970hurricane
02 / 180018.084.096980"
03 / 000018.584.095790"
03 / 060018.884.3942105"
03 / 120018.984.3937115"
03 / 180019.384.1934110"
04 / 000019.783.7938115"
04 / 060020.183.3944120"
04 / 120020.882.5947120"
04 / 180021.581.8949120"
05 / 000022.380.9953105"
05 / 060023.179.797280"
05 / 120024.378.097480"
05 / 180025.476.498075"
06 / 000026.374.598075extratropical
06 / 060026.972.698075"
06 / 120027.369.798465"
06 / 180028.766.598955"
07 / 0000absorbed by frontal system
03 / 210019.483.9933110minimum pressure
04/ 180021.581.8949120Landfall at Cayo Largo, Cuba
04/ 230022.181.2950115Landfall at Bay of Pigs, Cuba
05/ 120024.378.097380Landfall at Andros Island, Bahamas
05/ 180025.476.498075Landfall at Eleuthera Island, Bahamas

Table 2: Hurricane Michelle selected surface observations, 29 October - 5 November 2001.
Maximum Surface Wind Speed
Gust (kts)
(storm total)
Abaco  05/1500 63     
Eleuthera  05/1500 59     
Freeport (MYGF)  05/1300 40 52    
Georgetown  05/1350 39 51    
Lee Stocking Island(NOAA CREWS)f05/1600 989.8 05/1600 45 54    
Marsh Harbor05/1800 995.6   72    
Nassau (MYNN)05/1500 983.7 05/1800 48 89   12.64 
New Providence     5-8   
Cayman Islands
Cayman Brac  04/????  35    
Grand Cayman04/0900 1001.3 04/1400 23 38   6.52 
Aguada de Pasajerosf (78335)05/0030 958.5 04/2300 65e 95    
Bainoa (78340)04/2045 996.1 04/2240 49e 76   3.28 
Batabano (78322)04/1900 995.3 04/2310 45e 54   2.53 
Bauta (78376)04/2030 999.1 04/2100 49e 60   1.59 
Camilo Cienfuegos05/0510 987.4 05/0515 46 63   4.13 
Casablanca (78325)04/2110 993.4 04/2115 60e 72   1.75 
Cayo Largo (MUCL)04/???? 949.7 04/???? 108 113  9-10  
Ciego de Avila (MUCA)  04/???? 27 43    
Cienfuegos (78344)05/0100 958.9 04/2300 65e 91    
Colon (78332)04/2300 980.9 04/1900 38e 79   3.39 
Cuba-Francia (78309)04/1656 991.7 04/1332 54e 71   4.09g 
Guines (78323)04/2030 993.4 05/0125 44e 64   0.93 
Guira de Melena (78320)04/2055 997.7 05/0050 32e 56   3.09 
Havana (MUHA)  05/0150 36 58    
Jaguey Grande (78331)05/0000 992.8 04/2100 84 113   9.22 
Jibaro (78341)05/0400 995.5 05/0415 37e 58   3.39 
Jovellanos (78330)05/0000 985.3 04/2300 37e 54   6.49 
La Fe (78321)04/1500 991.6 04/1900 54e 60   4.68g 
Melena del Sur (78375)04/2100 994.8 04/2253 43e 73   2.39 
Nueva Gerona (78221)04/1730 994.3 04/1630 50e 65    
Playa Giron (78333)04/2300 960.5 04/1900 62 105   5.10 
Punta del Este (78324)04/1700 981.4 04/1645 69e 86   11.83 
Sagua La Grande (78338)05/0410 977.0 05/0220 49e 81   2.24 
Sancti Spiritus (78349)05/0600 990.1 05/0430 49e 65   2.97 
Santiago Las Vegas (78373)04/2040 997.8 04/2055 49e 74   2.27 
Santo Domingo (78326)05/0300 962.8 05/0500 64e 85   2.41 
Tapaste (78374)04/2050 995.5 04/2100 38e 65   3.84 
Topes de Collantes (78342)  05/0505 54e 65   7.60 
Trinidad (78337)05/0400 991.3 05/0435 38e 64   4.78 
Union de Reyes (78327)05/0000 986.6 05/0030 46e 81   4.57 
Varadero (78328)  05/0000 46e 81   3.98 
Venezuela (78346)05/0650 993.0 04/1632 30 52   1.81 
Yabu (78343)05/0455 963.7 05/0300 60e 73   1.83 
Puerto Cabezas30/2100 1004.1       
United States -- Florida
Devils Garden       1.59 
Dry Tortugas SP       2.40 
Ft. Lauderdale (KFLL)05/1200 1004.2 05/1453 29 41   1.27 
Hialeah       1.51 
Key Biscayne       1.87 
Key West (KEYW)05/0701 1002.3 05/0438 32 41 1.8  2.56 
Marathon (KMTH)05/0953 1001.2 05/0153 28 37 1.4  1.79 
Miami (KMIA)05/0956 1003.3 05/1529 17 32   1.21 
Miami Beach05/1105 1001.2 05/0805 37 44   1.10 
Miami WFO       1.59 
NW Florida Bay COMPS05/0930 1000.7 05/0900 32 41    
Perrine       1.80 
Pompano Beach (KPMP)05/1100 1004.0 05/1300 24 35   1.18 
Tamiami (KTMB)05/1000 1003.0 05/1300 17 26   1.37 
Tavernier       2.73 
Dry Tortugas (DRYF1)05/0800 1005.4 04/1810 35e 45    
Fowey Rocks (FWYF1)05/1000 1002.4 05/1410 46Xe 53    
Lake Worth (LKWF1)05/1100 1004.3 05/1230 34e 42    
Long Key (LONF1)05/1000 1000.7 05/1020 35e 43    
Molasses Reef (MLRF1)05/1200 1000.0 05/0650 41e 50    
Sand Key (SANF1)05/0600 1001.0 05/0500 42 48    
Settlement Point (SPGF1)05/2000 1002.8 05/1310 36e 43    
Sombrero Key (SMKF1)05/0900 1001.4 05/0730 43e 50    

a Date/time is for sustained wind when both sustained and gust are listed.
bExcept as noted, sustained wind averaging periods for C-MAN and U. S. land-based ASOS reports are 2 min; buoy averaging periods are 8 min. Reports from Cuba are 1 minute averages.
cStorm surge is water height above normal astronomical tide level.
dStorm tide is water height above National Geodetic Vertical Datum (1929 mean sea level).
e10-minute average
fStation disabled by storm - incomplete record
g3 November total

Table 2a: Rainfall data from Jamaica for the period 27 October - 5 November 2001.
StationStorm-total Rainfall (in)
Bachelor's Hall14.41
Brimmer Hall16.93
Brown's Town12.25
Castleton Garden26.45
Cedar Valley21.01
Comfort Castle37.44
Constant Spring13.01
Discovery Bay10.71
Fern Gully19.43
Irish Town12.49
Jacks Hill10.02
Kingston (Norman Manley Airport)8.20
Lawrence Tavern10.06
Mavis Bank18.61
Moore Town31.04
Orange River20.24
Passely Gardens15.50
Port Antonio6.87
Port Maria14.74
Runaway Bay15.42
Spring Garden24.66
Stony Hill18.70
Waterloo Road9.35

Table 3: Selected ship and buoy reports from Hurricane Michelle, 29 October-5 November 2001.
Ship Name or Call SignDate/Time (UTC)Lat. (°N)Lon. (°W)Wind dir/speed (deg/kt)Pressure (mb)
Jo Cedar (PFDI)01/180018.281.6100/37 1007.0 
Scan Partner (unknown)02/073017.584.1See Note 988.0 
C6FN504/060024.079.3070/42 1006.0 
Star Florida (LAVW4)04/090024.281.5060/37 1007.2 
Nobel Star (KRPP)04/150024.183.6050/39 1008.0 
Emmagracht (PDYX)04/180023.681.1080/39 1003.0 
C6QU304/180018.081.1240/34 1004.0 
ELWU705/120025.375.9050/60 995.0 
Nedlloyd Van Nes (ELVG7)05/120026.779.6050/48 1003.5 
Drifting Buoy 4165105/190024.375.4N/A 986.7 
ELWX506/020020.368.0190/38 1006.9 
Washington Senator (DEAZ)06/060029.777.3020/37 1011.8 
Liberty Star (WCBP)06/060023.172.5270/40 1003.2 

NOTE:The ship Scan Partner reported winds of Beaufort force 8/9, which is 34-47 kt. No direction was given.

Table 4: Preliminary track forecast evaluation for Hurricane Michelle - heterogeneous sample. Errors in nautical miles for tropical storm and hurricane stages with number of forecasts in parentheses. Numbers in bold represent forecasts which were better than the official forecast.
Forecast TechniquePeriod (hours)
CLIP39 (18)80 (16)127 (14)156 (12)183 (8)
GFDI42 (17)94 (15)153 (13)197 (11)237 (7)
GFDL*49 (18)90 (16)151 (14)195 (12)230 (8)
LBAR39 (18)100 (16)165 (14)230 (12)315 (8)
VBRI*45 (16)100 (14)160 (12)227 (10)294 (6)
VBAR35 (12)88 (11)150 (9)217 (8)310 (5)
AVNI35 (17)44 (15)58 (13)55 (11)50 (7)
AVNO*45 (16)46 (14)50 (12)52 (11)48 (8)
BAMD46 (18)83 (16)105 (14)111 (12)163 (8)
BAMM43 (18)77 (16)82 (14)76 (12)95 (8)
BAMS81 (18)155 (16)172 (14)180 (12)220 (8)
NGPI51 (18)106 (16)174 (14)236 (12)397 (8)
NGPS*42 (9)86 (8)143 (7)205 (6)312 (4)
UKMI40 (15)80 (13)116 (11)154 (10)225 (7)
UKM*43 (9)64 (8)102 (7)131 (6)182 (4)
A98E36 (18)67 (16)69 (14)87 (12)172 (8)
A9UK37 (9)72 (8)94 (7)99 (6)176 (4)
GUNS38 (15)77 (13)120 (11)165 (10)253 (7)
GUNA32 (15)59 (13)93 (11)132 (10)196 (7)
NHC Official30 (18)52 (16)75 (14)96 (12)126 (8)
NHC Official 10-Year Average (1991-2000)44 (2049)82 (1835)118 (1646)151 (1475)225 (1187)
*Output from these models was unavailable at time of forecast issuance.

Table 5: Watch and warning summary, Hurricane Michelle, 29 October - 5 November 2001.
01/2100Hurricane watch issuedWestern Cuba including the provinces of Pinar Del Rio, La Habana, Havana City, Matanzas, and the Isle of Youth 
02/1700Tropical storm watch issuedGrand Cayman Island 
02/2100Hurricane watch issuedCuba including the provinces of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus, and Ciego de Avila 
03/0900Tropical storm warning and hurricane watch issuedFlorida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas including Florida Bay 
03/1100Hurricane watch upgraded to hurricane warningWestern and Central Cuba including provinces from Pinar Del Rio to Ciego de Avila and the Isle of Youth 
04/0300Hurricane watch issuedNorthwestern and Central Bahamas including Grand Bahama, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Andros, New Providence, Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exumas, San Salvador, Rum Cay, and Long Island 
04/0300Tropical storm warning issuedFlorida east coast from Jupiter Inlet to Ocean Reef and Florida west coast south of Bonita Beach 
04/0600Tropical storm warning issuedCayman Islands 
04/0900Hurricane warning issuedFlorida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas including Florida Bay 
04/1500Hurricane watch upgraded to hurricane warningNorthwestern and Central Bahamas including Grand Bahama, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Andros, New Providence, Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exumas, San Salvador, Rum Cay, and Long Island 
05/0000Hurricane watch issuedBermuda 
05/0000Tropical storm warning discontinuedCayman Islands 
05/0600Hurricane warning downgraded to tropical storm warningFlorida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas including Florida Bay 
05/0600Tropical storm warning discontinuedFlorida west coast south of Bonita Beach 
05/0900Gale warning issuedFlorida east coast from Cocoa Beach to Jupiter Inlet 
05/1200All warnings discontinuedCuba 
05/1200Tropical storm warning discontinuedFlorida Keys from Craig Key to the Dry Tortugas including Florida Bay 
05/1800Tropical storm warning discontinuedFlorida east coast from Jupiter Inlet to Craig Key 
05/2100Hurricane watch changed to tropical storm warningBermuda 
05/2100Gale warning discontinuedFlorida east coast from Cocoa Beach to Jupiter Inlet 
05/2200Hurricane warning changed to tropical storm warningAbaco and Eleuthera Islands in the Bahamas 
05/2200Hurricane warning discontinuedRemainder of the Bahamas 
06/0300Tropical storm warning discontinuedAbaco and Eleuthera Islands in the Bahamas 
06/2100Tropical storm warning discontinuedBermuda 

Figure 1: Best track for Hurricane Michelle, 29 October - 5 November 2001.

Figure 2: GOES-8 visible image of Hurricane Michelle at 1245 UTC 3 November. Image courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA.

Figure 3: Best track minimum central pressure curve for Hurricane Michelle, 29 October - 5 November 2001.

Figure 4: Best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for Hurricane Michelle, 29 October - 5 November 2001, and the observations on which the best track curve is based. Aircraft observations have been adjusted for elevation using 90%, 80%, and 80% reduction factors for observations from 700 mb, 850 mb, and 1500 ft, respectively. Dropwindsonde observations include actual 10 m winds (sfc), as well as surface estimates derived from the mean wind over the lowest 150 m of the wind sounding (LLM), and from the sounding boundary layer mean (MBL).


Last modified: 30-Jan-2002