Hurricane Josephine 1990

Preliminary Report
Hurricane Josephine
21 September - 06 October 1990


Tropical Storm Arthur (TS)
Hurricane Bertha (1)
Tropical Storm Cesar (TS)
Hurricane Diana (2)
Tropical Storm Edouard (TS)
Tropical Storm Fran (TS)
Hurricane Gustav (3)
Tropical Storm Hortense (TS)
Hurricane Isidore (2)
Hurricane Josephine (1)
Hurricane Klaus (1)
Hurricane Lili (1)
Tropical Storm Marco (TS)
Hurricane Nana (1)

a. Synoptic History

Josephine originated from a tropical wave which moved off the African coast on 16 September. The wave had considerable amount of convective activity associated with it as it moved westward. The Tropical Satellite Analysis and Forcast Unit of the NHC began to classify the system at 0000 UTC 20 September, and forecasters at the NHC issued the first advisory on Tropical Depression Twelve at 1000 UTC 21 September.

A 200-mb cut-off low located to the west of Gibraltar had deepened to the surface by 21 September and the depression immediately turned northward toward the weakness. During the next few days the surface low weakened and by 24 September surface high pressure began building from the west across to the north of the depression. It immediately turned toward the west and strengthened to a tropical storm. A strong 200-mb trough located to the northwest produced shearing over the storm on 25 September and Josephine weakened to depression strength by 0600 UTC 26 September.

By 28 September a broad weak trough located over the northwest Atlantic caused the depression to turn toward the northwest, and Tropical Depression Josephine spent the next two days moving toward the weakness in the pressure field. By 30 September the trough had moved eastward and Josephine turned toward the north and northeast into the wake of the weak eastward-moving trough. The trough was too weak to capture the depression. By 2 October it became readily apparent that the next high pressure center in the westerlies which had moved off the Canadian Maritimes had begun to block Josephine's escape to the northeast. Josephine reintensified to tropical storm strength as the high pressure forced the storm into a 360° clockwise turn during the following three days.

By 0000 UTC 4 October a vigorous frontal trough had moved off the northeastern United States coastline into the north central Atlantic. Tropical Storm Josephine, located in a favourable upper-outflow pattern between the 200-mb trough to the west and a strong 200-mb anticyclone to the east, strengthened to hurricane force as it began to move toward the northeast in advance of the frontal trough. However, by 0000 UTC 5 October, a frontal wave began to form in the trough just to the north of Josephine.

The hurricane tracked around the eastern periphery of the large developing mid-latitude storm on 5 October. By 1800 UTC 6 October an identifiable surface circulation continued to move northward of the mid-latitiude storm as an extratropical low-pressure center. The newly-formed mid-latitude storm later developed tropical characteristics and became Hurricane Lili.

b. Meteorological Statistics

The lowest satellite-estimated pressure of Josephine was 980 mb with associated winds of 86 mph. This occurred at 1800 UTC 5 October just prior to the time the tropical cyclone was swept into the overall circulation of the developing mid-latitude storm.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There were no reports of casualties or damages related to Josephine.

Maximum Intensity For Hurricane Josephine
21 September - 06 October, 1990

Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W)
05/1800 34.1 38.4 980 85 Category 1 Hurricane