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Tropical Cyclone Report

Hurricane Claudette

8 - 17 July 2003

Jack Beven
National Hurricane Center
9 September 2003

Hurricane Claudette made landfall in Texas as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and on the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a tropical storm. It maintained tropical storm status for more than 24 hours after landfall in Texas.

a. Synoptic History

Claudette formed from a tropical wave that moved westward from the coast of Africa on 1 July. The wave first showed signs of convective organization on 6 July. By 7 July satellite imagery indicated sufficient organization to possibly classify the system as a tropical depression near the Windward Islands. However, the wave was moving westward at 20-25 kt at the time, and neither surface observations nor an investigation flight by the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters indicated that the system had a closed circulation. The aircraft did report flight-level winds of tropical-storm force north of the vorticity maximum that passed near Barbados and St. Lucia.

The wave continued rapidly westward with a further increase in organization. Satellite intensity estimates suggested the system was near tropical storm strength by 1500 UTC 8 July. However, a second investigative flight could not find a closed center at that time. Finally, near 1800 UTC the plane found a small area of southwesterly winds and a pressure of 1006 mb. The wave became Tropical Storm Claudette at that time. The "best track" chart of the tropical cyclone's path is given in Figure 1, with the wind and pressure histories shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3, respectively. The best track positions and intensities are listed in Table 1.

Claudette continued quickly westward through 9 July, then it turned northwestward with some deceleration on the next day. A continued northwestward motion brought Claudette to its first landfall, on the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico near 1000 UTC 11 July.

During this period, Claudette underwent two notable fluctuations in intensity. The first occurred around 0300-0400 UTC 9 July, when flight-level winds reported by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft northeast of the center suggested that Claudette might have reached hurricane strength. Subsequent data shortly thereafter showed much lower winds, and it is estimated that Claudette did not become a hurricane at that time.

A second noteworthy sequence of intensity changes occurred on 10 July. An increase in convective organization and strengthening began between 0000-0600 UTC. A Hurricane Hunter flight near 1200 UTC reported a 10-n mi wide eye (also apparent in visible and microwave satellite imagery), along with flight-level winds, dropsonde winds, and pressures that indicated Claudette had become a hurricane. The cyclone maintained hurricane intensity through 1600 UTC. The central core then completely collapsed during the next two hours. The aircraft could not fix the center at 1800 UTC due to the poor definition of both the wind field and the convective pattern. While it is possible the aircraft did not sample the maximum winds on the attempted 1800 UTC penetration, rapid weakening was clearly underway.

Claudette then proceeded to become very disorganized. The center became broad and poorly defined, and multiple low-level centers were seen several times in satellite imagery between 1800 UTC 10 July and 0000 UTC 12 July. The convection was displaced well to the north and east by southwesterly shear, with aircraft and ship data indicating tropical storm-force winds in the convective area. Much of the motion during this time may be due to reformation of the center caused by convective bursts. The best track shows 45-50 kt winds during this period, but there is much greater than normal uncertainty about both the winds and the central pressure due to the disorganized nature of the storm.

The storm moved northwestward into the southern Gulf of Mexico on 11 July. A north-northwestward jog occurred on 12 July while Claudette became a little better organized. The storm meandered erratically northwestward on 13 July, then turned northward later that day. These track changes were likely due to a combination of 1) weakening of a mid/upper-level ridge along the northern Gulf coast caused by a developing trough over the eastern United States, and 2) reformation of the center caused by strong but asymmetric convection to the northeast. This change in motion was accompanied by some decrease in the shear, and while the center remained mostly exposed, Claudette slowly and unsteadily strengthened on 13 July.

A building deep-layer ridge over the western United States and the western Gulf coast states forced Claudette to gradually turn west-northwestward late on 14 July. This brought the storm to an area of lighter shear, which allowed an eyewall to form and for Claudette to again become a hurricane at 0600 UTC 15 July. A faster west-northwestward motion brought the center of Claudette to the Texas coast at Matagorda Island (just east of Port O'Connor) at 1530 UTC that day. Strengthening continued up to landfall, with estimated maximum winds increasing to 80 kt and the central pressure falling to 979 mb.

Claudette turned westward just after landfall and weakened to a tropical storm at 0000 UTC 16 July. It then turned west-northwestward again while moving into northern Mexico later that day. This motion would continue until dissipation. Claudette was slow to lose organization, as the radar and satellite presentations of its structure remained distinct for more than 24 hr after landfall. Surface data indicates the system maintained tropical storm strength until 0000 UTC 17 July. The low-level circulation dissipated over the mountains of northwestern Mexico later that day. However, the mid- and upper-level moisture and vorticity continued west-northwestward, eventually crossing southern California into the Pacific.

b. Meteorological Statistics

Observations in Claudette (Figure 2 and Figure 3) include 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 (AFWA), as well as flight-level and dropwindsonde observations from flights of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the U. S. Air Force Reserve Command and the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center. Surface data from ships and land stations are included as well (Table 2 and Table 3). Microwave data from the TRMM, DMSP, and NOAA satellites, and data from the WSR-88D Doppler radars in Houston, Corpus Christi, and Del Rio, Texas also played a significant role in determining the best track of Claudette.

The Air Force Hurricane Hunters made 52 fixes during Claudette's life, while the NOAA Hurricane Hunters made 4. The maximum flight-level winds observed by the aircraft were 85 kt at 0334 UTC 9 July (1500 ft) and at 1517 UTC 15 July (700 mb) - the latter as the eye of Claudette was crossing the Texas coast. Global Positioning System (GPS) dropsondes deployed by the aircraft reported surface winds of 73 kt at 1526 UTC 10 July and 70 kt at 1516 UTC 15 July. The latter dropsonde recorded a 96 kt wind at the 976 mb level.

At the time of the first occurrence of 85 kt winds on 9 July, the aircraft reported a central pressure of 1001 mb. Two hours later, a pass through the same part of the storm at 850 mb showed winds of only 56 kt. Based on this, it is estimated that Claudette remained a tropical storm and the best track will show 60 kt at 0600 UTC 9 July. However, there is greater than normal uncertainty about the value.

The 73-kt dropsonde surface winds on 10 July occurred during Claudette's short-lived intensification into a hurricane over the northwestern Caribbean. The aircraft reported a minimum pressure of 988 mb at 1201 UTC, then reported 76-kt flight-level winds at 700 mb at 1526 UTC. During the aborted attempt to fix the center two hours later, the maximum 700- mb winds were only 51 kt. The aircraft reported a minimum pressure of 1005 mb at the time, but this was likely not at the center and the actual central pressure is speculative. However, the weather officer on the aircraft reported that the pressure near the center was about 10 mb higher that 2 h earlier.

Aircraft and surface data indicate hurricane conditions occurred over portions of the middle Texas coast. The maximum sustained winds reported by an official observing site was a 10-min average of 65 kt at the Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) site on Matagorda Island, Texas (Table 3). The Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON) station at Port O'Connor reported a 6-min average sustained wind 62 kt with a gust to 78 kt in the western eyewall. Victoria, Texas, reported 54-kt sustained winds with a gust to 72 kt, although that data is incomplete due to a power failure. Tropical storm conditions occurred along much of the middle and upper Texas coast and extended well inland across southern Texas. Cotulla, Texas, reported sustained winds of 36 kt with a gust to 46 kt at 0246 UTC 16 July, while Del Rio, Texas, reported a gust to 47 kt.

Tropical-storm force winds also occurred well inland over portions of southwestern Texas, including 38-kt sustained winds with a gust to 50 kt at the Terrell County airport at 1658 UTC 16 July. While this station is at an elevation of 2300 ft, there is no evidence that mountainous terrain enhanced the winds, and this report is the basis for keeping Claudette a tropical storm through 1800 UTC 16 July. Other reports of tropical storm wind gusts occurred at Mt. Locke in the Davis Mountains, and at Guadalupe Pass and The Bowl in the Guadalupe Mountains. These winds were likely enhanced by mountainous terrain.

Tropical storm conditions likely occurred over portions of the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, but there were no reports of tropical-storm winds from that area. Winds gusted to tropical-storm force at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Winds also gusted to tropical-storm force on St. Lucia during the passage of the pre-Claudette tropical wave.

Many unofficial observations were received from the landfall area, with a selection included in Table 3. A storm chaser (Tony Whitener) in Port O'Connor reported 83-kt sustained winds with a gust to 93 kt measured at the top of a vehicle with good exposure. While this observation is included in Table 3, it is notable that the winds are 15-20 kt higher than the nearby TCOON station and thus appear unrepresentative. A report from Seadrift indicated 84-kt sustained winds with a gust to 96 kt. However, an inspection of the site by National Weather Service (NWS) personnel showed that the anemometer placement may have caused funneling of the winds across the instrument. Thus, the report is not included in Table 3.

The 84-kt and 83-kt unofficial observations suggest the possibility that Claudette strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane as it was making landfall. This was not supported by the aircraft data, which suggest maximum sustained winds of 75-80 kt as the eye crossed the coast. Data from the NWS WSR-88D Doppler radars indicated winds of 95-105 kt between 5,000-10,000 ft in the northwest eyewall after Claudette made landfall. It is uncertain how to convert these winds to sustained surface winds over land. However, reduction factors derived from GPS dropsonde data over water suggest 85-90 kt sustained surface winds. A further reduction for land friction would reduce the radar winds to at or below the 75-80 kt range suggested by the aircraft data.

Damage surveys were conducted by the staffs of NWS forecast offices in Corpus Christi and Houston in order to help define the surface winds at landfall. These surveys concluded the damage was consistent with Category 1 sustained winds. Unpublished information from a damage survey by a wind engineering expert with the commercial engineering firm Haag Engineering supports this determination.

Based on the surveys, the data, and uncertainties (i.e., the possibility that the aircraft did not sample the strongest winds), the landfall intensity of Claudette is estimated to be 80 kt - at the high end of Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Several ships encountered Claudette during its life (Table 2). The most significant observations included: 1) the Explorer of the Seas, which reported 49-kt sustained winds in the Yucatan Channel at 0356 UTC 11 July; 2) the Rhapsody of the Seas, which reported 56-kt sustained winds at 0600 UTC 14 July; 3) the James N. Sullivan, which reported 55 kt winds at 1500 UTC 14 July; and 4) the Galveston Bay, which reported 54-kt sustained winds at 2100 UTC 14 July. Several oil rigs in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico reported hurricane-force winds 100-200 ft above the surface (Table 3). Not included in Table 3 is a wind gust of 119 kt reported at the rig C337 which appears unrealistic.

The lowest pressure reported by reconnaissance aircraft was 979 mb just before landfall at 1414 UTC 15 July. The lowest observed pressure on land was 980.0 mb observed by the Port O'Connor storm chaser when the eye passed over.

Storm-surge flooding of 3-6 ft above normal tide levels occurred near where the eye of Claudette made landfall. Storm tides (storm surge plus astronomical tide) of 6-9 ft were measured in the Galveston-Freeport area (Table 3). Tides were 1-2 ft above normal as far north as the southwestern Louisiana coast and as far south as the Baffin Bay, Texas area.

Claudette moved quickly westward after landfall, which limited rainfall totals. The highest storm-total rainfall was 6.5 in four miles south-southeast of Tilden, Texas (Table 3a), and there are other reports of 3-6 in amounts along the storm track. NWS WSR-88D radar data estimates that as much as 8 in may have fallen in some areas. These rains caused minor flooding in southern Texas and some flash flooding in southwestern Texas. Rainfalls of 1-3 in also occurred over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Cayman Islands, with 3.22 in reported in Cancun.

Two tornadoes were reported during Claudette. One was an F1 that damaged several buildings in Palacios, Texas. The other touched down in Port Lavaca, Texas, causing damage to some homes.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

Claudette is responsible for one direct and two indirect deaths. The direct death was a 13-year old boy crushed by a falling tree in Jourdanton, Texas. The first indirect death was a 33-year old woman who was hit by a falling limb after the storm was over. The second indirect death was at Navarre Beach, Florida when a 71-yr old man died after being pulled from surf generated by Claudette. Press reports suggest the man suffered a heart attack while swimming.

The American Insurance Services Group reported that Claudette caused $90 million in damage to insured property in the United States. The total damage estimate is twice this or $180 million. The damage includes five stations of the TCOON and Texas Automated Buoy System (TABS) networks destroyed by the hurricane. No significant damage was reported from Mexico, the Cayman Islands, or Jamaica. Minor damage was reported in St. Lucia from the pre-Claudette tropical wave.

d. Forecast and Warning Critique

The track forecast errors for Claudette were generally small compared to normal. Average official track errors (with the number of cases in parentheses) were 36 (30), 57 (30), 89 (28), 117 (26), 140 (22), 154 (18), and 154 (14) n mi for the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h forecasts, respectively1. These errors are much lower than the average official track errors for the 10-yr period 1993-20022 (45, 81, 116, 150, 225, 282, and 374 n mi, respectively) (Table 4). These errors are also much lower than those of the Climatology-Persistence methods, indicating the track forecasts had considerable skill. The track forecast philosophy was quite good overall. From Claudette's beginnings, the storm was forecast to move westward to the western Caribbean, northwestward into the Gulf of Mexico, and then westward toward the western Gulf coast. However, the extent of the northward motion over the Gulf was not fully anticipated, nor was the westward acceleration as Claudette approached the western Gulf coast.

The intensity forecast errors for Claudette were also well below the long-term means. Average official intensity errors were 5, 7, 7, 9, 9, 8, and 8 kt for the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h forecasts, respectively. For comparison, the average official intensity errors over the 10-yr period 1993-2002 are 6, 10, 13, 15, 19, 21 , and 22 kt, respectively. The intensity forecast errors were lower than those of the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Forecast System (8, 11, 14, 17, 22, 19, and 16 kt for the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h forecasts, respectively), indicating that the intensity forecasts had considerable skill. The intensity forecasts were generally correct in anticipating that southwesterly vertical shear would slow development until Claudette was near the western Gulf coast. However, significant overforecasts occurred when Claudette briefly reached hurricane intensity on 10 July, as the intensity forecasts at the time incorrectly called for continued strengthening. Additionally, the amount of intensification near the Texas coast was underforecast by 5-10 kt.

Table 5 lists the watches and warnings associated with Claudette. Hurricane warnings for the Texas coast were issued about 24 h before the center made landfall. A hurricane watch was issued for the area from Port O'Connor southward about 48 h before Claudette made landfall, while a hurricane watch was issued for the remainder of the landfall area about 30 h before the center made landfall. The first tropical storm warnings for the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula were issued 37 h before the center made landfall. Hurricane warnings issued on 10 July for the Yucatan Peninsula proved unnecessary, because Claudette weakened rapidly after being a hurricane for a few hours.

1 All forecast verifications in this report include the depression stage of the cyclone. National Hurricane Center verifications presented in these reports prior to 2003 did not include the depression stage.

2 Errors given for the 96 and 120 h periods are averages over the two-year period 2001-2002.

Acknowledgements

Much of the data from the affected area was provided by the NWS Weather Forecast Offices at Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Midland, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana. NOS data were provided by the NOAA National Ocean Service. RAWS data were provided by the National Interagency Fire Center. TCOON data were provided by the Division of Nearshore Research at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. TABS data were provided by the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group of Texas A&M University. Other data were provided by the NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory and the Weather Underground web site. Data from Mexico, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica were provided by the meteorological services of those countries.



Table 1: Best track for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003.
Date/Time
(UTC)
PositionPressure
(mb)
Wind Speed
(kt)
Stage
Lat.
(°N)
Lon.
(°W)
 07 / 0000 11.1 53.5 1010 25 tropical wave
 07 / 0600 11.8 55.3 1010 30 "
 07 / 1200 12.6 57.5 1010 30 "
 07 / 1800 13.2 59.8 1010 35 "
 08 / 0000 13.7 62.0 1009 35 "
 08 / 0600 14.0 64.8 1009 40 "
 08 / 1200 14.4 67.6 1009 40 "
 08 / 1800 14.8 70.0 1006 45 tropical storm
 09 / 0000 15.0 72.0 1001 50 "
 09 / 0600 15.1 74.4 1003 60 "
 09 / 1200 15.3 76.5 1004 55 "
 09 / 1800 15.8 78.6 1002 55 "
 10 / 0000 16.1 80.3 1002 55 "
 10 / 0600 16.6 81.7 998 55 "
 10 / 1200 17.5 82.8 988 70 hurricane
 10 / 1800 18.6 84.1 1003 55 tropical storm
 11 / 0000 19.7 85.5 1010 50 "
 11 / 0600 20.4 86.3 1009 50 "
 11 / 1200 21.1 87.2 1009 50 "
 11 / 1800 21.8 88.2 1009 45 "
 12 / 0000 22.6 89.2 1008 45 "
 12 / 0600 23.3 90.2 1007 45 "
 12 / 1200 23.9 90.7 1006 45 "
 12 / 1800 24.6 90.9 1008 45 "
 13 / 0000 24.9 91.5 1003 45 "
 13 / 0600 24.9 91.9 1005 45 "
 13 / 1200 25.1 92.1 999 50 "
 13 / 1800 25.3 92.2 995 50 "
 14 / 0000 25.6 92.2 991 55 "
 14 / 0600 26.0 92.3 993 55 "
 14 / 1200 26.7 92.6 991 55 "
 14 / 1800 27.3 93.0 989 60 "
 15 / 0000 27.7 93.6 988 60 "
 15 / 0600 27.9 94.6 987 65 hurricane
 15 / 1200 28.3 95.5 982 75 "
 15 / 1800 28.6 96.9 984 70 "
 16 / 0000 28.5 98.2 995 50 tropical storm
 16 / 0600 28.5 99.4 999 40 "
 16 / 1200 28.8 100.8 1003 35 "
 16 / 1800 29.3 102.6 1007 35 "
 17 / 0000 29.9 104.3 1014 30 tropical depression
 17 / 0600 30.5 106.0 1016 25 remnant low
 17 / 1200 30.9 107.7 1016 25 "
 17 / 1800     dissipated
 15 / 1530 28.3 96.2 979 80 minimum pressure
 11 / 1000 20.8 86.9 1009 50 landfall at Puerto Morelos, Mexico
 15/ 1530 28.3 96.2 979 80 landfall at Matagorda Island, Texas


Table 2: Selected ship reports with winds of at least 34 kt for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003.
Ship Name or Call SignDate/Time (UTC)Lat.
(°N)
Lon.
(°W)
Wind dir/speed (deg/kt)Pressure (mb)
R. Hal Dean09 / 030016.972.3090 / 40 1014.5 
R. Hal Dean09 / 060016.672.0090 / 36 1012.0 
Explorer of the Seas11 / 035621.286.2080 / 50 1009.6 
Saudi Abha11 / 210026.187.6120 / 35 1017.2 
C6FM713 / 210025.689.6060 / 41 1014.0 
Discoverer Spirit14 / 000027.391.1095 / 55 gust 67 N / A 
Cleveland14 / 060026.690.8090 / 37 1009.0 
Rhapsody of the Seas14 / 060028.192.8050 / 56 1010.0 
Rhapsody of the Seas14 / 090027.692.0010 / 53 1006.0 
Ocean Valiant14 / 110027.392.0180 / 40 gust 53 N / A 
Sargasso14 / 120027.190.8150 / 44 1010.6 
Cleveland14 / 120027.992.6090 / 37 1008.0 
Sargasso14 / 150027.090.5150 / 44 1013.0 
James N. Sullivan14 / 150027.692.8080 / 55 1003.7 
Discoverer Deep Seas14 / 180027.290.8140 / 40 1012.8 
Overseas New Orleans14 / 180028.191.2120 / 38 1012.0 
James N. Sullivan14 / 210027.592.6150 / 50 999.7 
Galveston Bay14 / 210028.393.1080 / 54 1005.0 
Celebration15 / 120026.494.0200 / 35 1008.0 


Table 3: Selected surface observations for Hurricane Claudette 8-17 July 2003.
Minimum
Sea-level
Pressure
Maximum Surface Wind Speed
(kt)
LocationDate/
Time
(UTC)
Press.
(mb)
Date/
Timea
(UTC)
Sust.
Windb
(kts)
Peak
Gust (kts)
Storm
Surgec
(ft)
Storm
Tided
(ft)
Rain
(storm total)
(in)
Texas
Alice (KALI)15/2242 1003.3 15/21033  35   0.36 
Angleton (KLBX)15/1253 1005.6 15/1331  43   2.60 
Aransas RAWS  15/1857  64   4.67 
Bay City (KBYY)15/1448 1002.1 15/1528 36 50   1.67 
Clear Lake TCOON      5.63  
Copano Bay TCOON      2.43  
Colorado River Bypass USGS      5.56  
Corpus Christi Airport (KCRP)15/2031 1004.2 15/2018  34   0.38 
Corpus Christi NAS (KNGP)  15/2141  36   0.65 
Corpus Christi Bob Hall Pier NOS  16/0800  44 2.75   
Cotulla (KCOT)16/0146 997.9 16/0246 36 46   1.81 
Del Rio (KDRT)  16/1253 31 47    
Eagle Point NOS15/0924 1008.8 15/1124 38 46 4.22   
East Matagorda Bay TCOONe  15/1500 51 71    
Freeport NOS     5.14   
Freeport TCOON  15/1354 40 56    
Freeport USGS  15/1200  44  9.15  
Galveston Bay/Moses Lake USGS      4.90  
Galveston Airport (KGLS)15/1052 1008.7 15/1253 38 47   2.01 
Galveston North Jetty NOS15/1224 1007.6 15/0830 40 54 4.00   
Galveston Pier 21 NOS15/1224 1008.6    3.71   
Galveston Pleasure Pier NOS15/1030 1007.3 15/1048 42 54 5.28   
Galveston South Jetty TCOONe  15/0600 35 52  8.74  
George West RAWS  15/2218  55   2.86 
Guadalupe Pass (KGDP)  17/0451 38 45    
Highland Bayou Diversion Channel USGS      6.15  
Highland Bayou/Hitchcock USGS      5.77  
Hondo (KHDO)16/0151 1008.4 16/0625  44    
Houston Clover Field (KLVJ)15/0853 1010.0 15/0942  34    
Houston Hobby Airport (KHOU)15/1153 1010.6 15/1104  35   1.10 
Houston Port USGS      7.40  
Ingleside TCOONe  15/1900  39  2.54  
Jamaica Beach NWS COOP15/1215 1008.0 15/0744 36 48  5.70 2.49 
Kemah USGS  15/1200  35  5.94  
LaMarque USGS      5.00  
Marfa (KMRF)  16/2115  36    
Matagorda Colorado River Locks*      8.00  
Matagorda RAWS  15/1800 65     
McMullen Cnty  16/0218  53    
Mesquite Point TCOONe  15/1000 31 38  3.74  
Morgans Point NOS15/1118 1009.8 15/1148 39 46 4.96   
Mt. Locke  16/1820  46    
NWS Station 1 TCOON15/1642 1002.7 15/1912  47    
Orange Grove  15/2245  35    
Palaciose (KPSX)15/1153 1003.1 15/1153  35    
Pearland (KLVJ)15/1053 1010.0 15/1039  34   1.66 
Port Aransas TCOONe  15/1748  37  3.40  
Port O'Connor TCOON  15/1506 62 78  6.13  
Rockport (KRKP)15/1800 999.7 15/1800  36   2.01 
Rockport NOS     1.83   
Rollover Pass TCOON      3.69  
Round Point TCOONe15/1100 1009.8 15/1200  40  5.25  
S. Bird Island TCOONe  16/0800  35    
Sabine Pass North NOS     2.55   
San Antonio Stinson Arpt (KSSF)  16/0053  42    
San Bernard RAWS  15/1200 35    2.65 
Seadrift TCOONe  15/1600 41 53  3.66  
Terrell County Arpt (K6R6)  16/1658 38 50    
The Bowl  17/0604  61    
Victoriae (KVCT)15/1800 994.9 15/1818 54 72    
Victoria RAWS  15/1830 53 71    
West Galveston Bay TCOON15/1100 1004.4 15/0848 41 58  5.23  
White Point TCOON  15/2006  38  2.23  
Louisiana
Cameron USGSe  15/1000  37  2.98  
Jamaica
Montego Bay  09/1622  40    
Buoy/C-MAN
NOAA Buoy 4200114/0800 1011.4 12/1710 36g 50    
NOAA Buoy 4201915/1100 990.3 15/0810 47g 60    
NOAA Buoy 4203515/0900 1008.0 15/0700 37 49    
NOAA Buoy 42041  14/1117  39    
Port Aransas C-MAN (PTAT2)15/2000 1003.8 15/1930 33g 44    
Sea Rim State Park C-MAN (SRST1)15/1000 1010.7 15/1000 45 54    
TABS Buoy Nf14/2009 1007.9 14/2039  56    
TABS Buoy Vf14/1709 1010.6 14/1609  46    
Oil Rigsh
East Cameron 312  14/1830 65     
East Cameron 377  14/1830 74     
ENSCO 7500  14/0600 39     
Eugene Island 322A  14/1100 65 83    
Garden Banks 128  14/1545 65 80    
Garden Banks 298  14/1830 80     
Garden Banks 426  14/1300 68 74    
Garden Banks 657  14/2000 40 48    
Green Canyon 158  14/1203 36     
KW60  14/1700 40 44    
Texas Unofficial Reports
Bloomington Dow Chemical  15/1650 60     
Brazos TXDOT  15/1430 38     
Clear Creek TXDOT  15/1400 35     
Clear Creek at Seabrook      5.67  
Fort Davis Weather Underground  15/2208  37    
Galveston Causeway TXDOT  15/1100 37     
Hartman TXDOT  15/1200 34     
Kemah TXDOT  15/0830 47     
Long Mott Dow Chemical  15/1827 68 83    
Point Comfort Formosa Plastics  15/1545 70 87    
Port Lavaca Co-op  15/1800  63    
Port O'Connor (Whitener)15/ N/A 980.0 15/ N/A 83 93    
Rawlings Bait Camp      3.40  
Schroeder Skinner Ranch Weather Underground15/1900 993.1 15/1900 37 57   3.20 
Tivoli Co-op  15/ N/A  57    
Victoria (Sudduth)  15/ N/A 54 65    
Wadsworth South Texas Nuclear Plant  15/1400 44 73    
*Colorado River Locks at Matagorda reading was taken from a high water mark in a boat house referenced to mean lower low water (MLLW)
aDate/time is for sustained wind when both sustained and gust are listed.
bExcept as noted, sustained wind averaging periods for C-MAN and land-based ASOS reports are 2 min; buoy averaging periods are 8 min; NOS and TCOON stations averaging periods are 6 min; RAWS stations report 10 min average sustained winds.
cStorm surge is water height above normal astronomical tide level.
dStorm tide from TCOON stations is water height above MLLW. For other stations it is water height above National Geodetic Vertical Datum (1929 mean sea level) unless noted.
eIncomplete record - more extreme values may have occurred
f Station destroyed - more extreme values may have occurred
g10-min average
hOil rig anemometer heights are generally 100-200 ft; wind averaging periods are unknown


Table 3a: Selected storm rainfalls for Texas from Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003.
StationStorm-total Rainfall (in)
Texas
Big Wells 2W3.20
Campbellton 3NE4.50
Charlotte 5NNW3.10
Derby - Frio River3.10
Dilly4.89
Edna3.48
Falls City 7WSW3.10
Floresville3.05
Fowlerton3.48
Galveston CG3.70
Goliad 1SE3.01


Table 4: Preliminary forecast evaluation (heterogeneous sample) for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003. Forecast errors (n mi) are followed by the number of forecasts in parentheses. Errors smaller than the NHC official forecast are shown in bold-face type. Verification includes the depression stage.
Forecast TechniquePeriod (hours)
122436487296120
CLP543 (29) 89 (29) 145 (27) 191 (25) 262 (21) 334 (17) 381 (14) 
A90E40 (21) 77 (21) 135 (19) 174 (17) 221 (13) 220 (8) 368 (8) 
A98E43 (27) 79 (27) 127 (25) 159 (23) 208 (19) 245 (15) 347 (14) 
A9UK36 (14) 67 (14) 107 (13) 142 (12) 227 (10)   
LBAR40 (27) 65 (27) 99 (25) 124 (23) 119 (19)138 (15)251 (14) 
BAMS44 (27) 77 (27) 110 (25) 142 (23) 235 (19) 356 (15) 443 (14) 
BAMM37 (27) 61 (27) 82 (25)96 (23)145 (19) 217 (15) 292 (14) 
BAMD43 (27) 73 (27) 104 (25) 118 (23) 146 (19) 209 (15) 335 (14) 
COAI25 (4)42 (4)99 (4) 177 (4)    
COAL*30 (5)49 (5)63 (2) 116 (2)    
COEI40 (22) 77 (22) 125 (20) 167 (19)    
COCE*39 (14) 72 (14) 101 (14) 142 (13)    
AF1I80 (23) 168 (23) 270 (23) 358 (21) 499 (19)   
AFW1*100 (13) 172 (13) 276 (12) 385 (11) 532 (10)   
GFNI41 (26) 75 (26) 115 (24) 152 (22) 220 (18)   
GFDN*40 (14) 67 (14) 106 (13) 146 (12) 213 (10)   
GFDI32 (25)56 (25)86 (23)119 (20) 163 (15) 226 (9) 273 (8) 
GFDL*43 (26) 64 (25) 87 (22)122 (19) 160 (15) 191 (10) 289 (8) 
UKMI33 (26)56 (26)81 (24)93 (21)120 (18)171 (14) 295 (10) 
UKM*42 (14) 59 (14) 79 (14)88 (13)93 (11)163 (9) 262 (7) 
NGPI36 (29) 60 (29) 89 (27) 112 (25)127 (21)143 (14)203 (12) 
NGPS*40 (29) 60 (29) 83 (28)114 (26)133 (22)124 (14)175 (12) 
AVNI38 (27) 65 (27) 92 (25) 120 (23) 188 (19) 249 (15) 299 (11) 
AVNO*43 (26) 66 (26) 93 (25) 122 (23) 180 (20) 229 (13) 275 (10) 
AEMI37 (18) 70 (18) 85 (16)92 (15)133 (13)  
AEMN*58 (12) 80 (12) 103 (12) 119 (11) 133 (9)  
GUNS29 (23)48 (23)73 (21)88 (17)110 (13)136 (7)177 (6) 
GUNA29 (23)50 (23)73 (21)92 (17)122 (13)147 (7)191 (6) 
FSSE34 (13)59 (13) 82 (13)103 (12)135 (9)  
OFCI36 (29) 62 (29) 93 (27) 118 (25) 147 (21) 156 (17) 155 (13) 
OFCL36 (30) 57 (30) 89 (28) 117 (26) 140 (22) 154 (18) 154 (14) 
NHC Official (1993-2002 mean)45 (2985) 81 (2726) 116 (2481) 150 (2230) 225 (1819) 282 (265) 374 (216) 

*Output from these models was unavailable at time forecast issued.


Table 5: Watch and warning summary for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003.
Date/TimeActionLocation
8 / 2100Tropical Storm Watch issuedCayman Islands 
8 / 2100Tropical Storm Warning issuedJamaica 
9 / 0300Tropical Storm Warning issuedGrand Cayman 
9 / 1500Hurricane Watch issuedChetumal to Cabo Catoche, Mexico 
9 / 2100Tropical Storm Warning issuedChetumal to Cabo Catoche, Mexico 
10 / 0000Tropical Storm Warning discontinuedJamaica 
10 / 1500Hurricane Warning issuedChetumal to Cabo Catoche, Mexico 
10 / 1500Tropical Storm Warning extended westwardCabo Catoche to Campeche, Mexico 
10 / 1500Tropical Storm Warning issuedBelize City to Belize/Mexico Border 
10 / 2100Tropical Storm Warning extended westwardProgreso to Campeche, Mexico 
10 / 2100Hurricane Warning changed to Tropical Storm WarningChetumal to Progreso, Mexico 
11 / 0300All coastal watches/warnings discontinuedCayman Islands 
11 / 0300Hurricane Warning changed to Tropical Storm WarningChetumal to Campeche, Mexico 
11 / 0300Tropical Storm Warning discontinuedBelize coast 
11 / 1500Tropical Storm Warning discontinuedWest of Progreso, Mexico and south of Tulum, Mexico 
11 / 2100Tropical Storm Warning discontinuedMexican coast 
13 / 1500Hurricane Watch issuedRio San Fernando to US/MX border, Mexico, and Port O'Connor to Brownsville, Texas 
14 / 0900Tropical Storm Watch issuedMatagorda to High Island, Texas 
14 / 0900Hurricane Watch extended northwardPort O'Connor to Matagorda, Texas 
14 / 1500Hurricane Warning issuedBaffin Bay to San Luis Pass, Texas 
14 / 1500Tropical Storm Warning issuedSan Luis Pass, Texas to Cameron, Louisiana 
14 / 1500Hurricane Watch discontinuedRio San Fernando to US/MX border, Mexico 
14 / 2100Hurricane Warning extended northwardSan Luis Pass to High Island, Texas 
14 / 2100Tropical Storm Warning extended eastwardCameron to Intracoastal City, Louisiana 
14 / 2100Hurricane Warning modifiedBaffin Bay to High Island 
15 / 1500Tropical Storm Warning discontinuedLouisiana coast 
15 / 1500Hurricane Watch discontinuedBrownsville to Baffin Bay, Texas 
15 / 2100Hurricane Warning changed to Tropical Storm WarningPort Aransas to Freeport, Texas 
15 / 2100Tropical Storm Warning discontinuedEast of Freeport, Texas and south of Port Aransas, Texas 
16 / 0300All coastal warnings discontinuedTexas coast 

Best track positions for Hurricane Claudette

Figure 1: Best track positions for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003.

Selected wind observations and best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for Hurricane Claudette

Figure 2: Selected wind observations and best track maximum sustained surface wind speed curve for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003. 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).

Selected pressure observations and best track minimum central pressure curve for Hurricane Claudette

Figure 3: Selected pressure observations and best track minimum central pressure curve for Hurricane Claudette, 8-17 July 2003.



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Page last modified: Monday, 07-Feb-2005 16:38:05 UTC