Hurricane Josephine 1990

Preliminary Report
Hurricane Lili
06 - 15 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)

Lili started as a subtropical system that formed midway between Bermuda and the Azores. It strengthened, acquired tropical characteristics, and became a hurricane while moving toward Bermuda. Lili passed to the south of Bermuda but then posed a possible threat for residents along portions of the east coast of the United States. The hurricane recurved northward before reaching the east coast and ultimately became extratropical before passing over the extreme southeastern portion of Newfoundland.


a. Synoptic History

While Hurricane Josephine was moving cyclonically around a cold low aloft several hundred miles southwest of the Azores on 5 and 6 October, the cold low was working its way down to the surface. There were indications that the low had reached the surface by 0600 UTC on the 6th when the Dutch ship "Wiron II" reported winds of 230/46 mph and a pressure of 1004 mb 60 nautical miles southeast of a new low pressure center. Thus the new system was already a subtropical storm at that time. The German merchant ship "Fichtelberg" reported winds 330/58 mph 180 nautical miles west-northwest of the center at 1200 UTC on the 6th and at 1500 UTC on the 8th, the "M.T. Kristhild" reported a pressure of 998 mb with winds 360/61 mph 180 nautical miles north-northwest of the center. The fact that the strongest winds were well removed from the center indicated that the system still was subtropical.

Satellite imagery indicated that the system gradually lost its subtropical characteristics during the next two days and became a hurricane by 0000 UTC on the 11th while moving westward in excess of 23 mph.

Hurricane Lili moved just south of due west at a forward speed of 26 mph for the next 18 hours in response to ridging to the north. On that course, the center passed 120 nautical miles to the south of Bermuda about 2100 UTC on the 11th, just prior to when the first of 27 Air Force reconnaissance fixes was made to Lili.

Reconnaissance estimates of surface pressure varied only slightly during the next two to three days as the forward speed of Lili reduced to 14 mph during the process of recurving around the southwestern portion of a high pressure area centered over Newfoundland. By 1200 UTC on the 13th, Lili weakened to a tropical storm as the center passed less than 170 nautical miles to the east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The Newfoundland high had moved southeastward and became quasi-stationary near latitude 40°N logitude 50°W. Subsequently, the high drifted southeastward and the steering currents around the high imparted a northeast motion to Lili, away from the United States. Lili's forward motion increased from 23 mph east of Virginia, to 35 mph while the system passed just east of Buoy 44011 (41.1°N, 66.6°W), and to 43 mph while the system skirted Nova Scotia as an extratropical storm and passed over the extreme southeastern portion of Newfoundland.

b. Meteorological Statistics

Lili affected the marine community throughout most of its life with at least 27 ships reporting winds 39 mph of higher. The center remained well off the east coast of the United States with no tropical storm force winds observed in that area.

Minor beach erosion was reported along the coast of North Carolina.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There were no reports of damage, injuries, or deaths related to Lili. A general evacuation order of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina was issued at 1100 UTC and the National Park Service camp grounds closed on Hatteras Island at 1600 UTC on the 12th.

Maximum Intensity For Hurricane Lili
06 - 15 October, 1990

Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W)
11/0000 31.2 55.9 987 75 Category 1 Hurricane

Landfall for Hurricane Lili
06 - 15 October, 1990
Wind Speed
Stage Landfall
15/0700 994 40 Extratropical Storm Lamaline,
15/0900 994 40 Extratropical Storm Argentia,