A weak tropical wave moved through the Lesser Antilles on 9 October. Convection increased in association with the wave on the 12th as it reached the southwestern Caribbean Sea, and a broad low pressure area formed later that day. The low moved northward near the east coast of Nicaragua on the 13th and it became better organized. The system developed sufficient organized convection to be considered a tropical depression by 1200 UTC 14 October while centered about 120 n mi north-northeast of Cape Gracias a Dios (Table 1 and Figure 1) on the border of Honduras and Nicaragua.
The cyclone moved erratically for the next 12 h before beginning a slow north-northeastward motion early on 15 October. This increased in forward speed during the remainder of the cyclone's life. Southwesterly vertical shear associated with a deep-layer trough over the southeastern United States prevented further development and may have contributed to a persistent elongation of the circulation. The center made landfall on the south coast of central Cuba on the 16th and was absorbed by a cold front late that day.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported a minimum pressure of 1002 mb on multiple occasions on 15 October. The maximum flight-level winds observed were 37 kt. The ships Explorer of the Seas (call sign ELWX5) and ZCBU5 (name unknown) reported 29 kt winds respectively at 0800 and 0500 UTC 15 October. There were no significant observations of winds from land stations.
Although the depression caused locally heavy rains over portions of Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, there are no reports of damages or casualties.
|14 / 1200||16.9||82.6||1008||30||tropical depression|
|14 / 1800||17.2||83.1||1005||30||"|
|15 / 0000||17.1||83.2||1004||30||"|
|15 / 0600||17.5||83.0||1004||30||"|
|15 / 1200||17.9||82.8||1004||30||"|
|15 / 1800||18.6||82.5||1002||30||"|
|16 / 0000||19.7||82.2||1003||30||"|
|16 / 0600||20.5||81.6||1003||30||"|
|16 / 1200||21.5||81.0||1005||30||"|
|16 / 1800||22.4||80.5||1006||25||"|
|17 / 0000||absorbed by cold front|
|15 / 1800||18.6||82.5||1002||30||minimum pressure|
|16 / 1600||22.0||80.7||1006||25||landfall near Cienfuegos, Cuba|
Figure 1: Best track of Tropical Depression Fourteen, 14 - 16 October 2002.
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