Tropical Storm Claudette 1997

Preliminary Report
Tropical Storm Claudette
13 - 16 July 1997


Tropical Storm Ana (TS)
Hurricane Bill (1)
Tropical Storm Claudette (TS)
Hurricane Danny (1)
Hurricane Erika (3)
Tropical Storm Fabian (TS)
Tropical Storm Grace (TS)

a. Synoptic History

The frontal system that swept Hurricane Bill northeastward across the western Atlantic also generated a frontal low a few hundred miles to the east of Georgia and South Carolina on 11 July. Over the following two days the low moved little and gradually acquired a closed, low-level circulation that was independent of the frontal band dissipating in its vicinity. The low is estimated to have become a tropical depression at 0600 UTC on the 13th, while located about 275 nautical miles to the south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The depression became Tropical Storm Claudette 12 hours later, based on 52-58 mph winds measured at a flight level of 750 ft during the first reconnaissance aircraft mission in the system. About this time, banding of convection increased enough for Dvorak T-numbers to reach 2.5. This development came despite some southerly to southwesterly wind shear which prevented Claudette from developing more than a weak anticyclone aloft.

Deep convection was episodic with most activity occurring during the night hours. Satellite classifications and aircraft data suggest that Claudette retained 30-46 mph winds from the 13th-16th. During that period, Claudette initially moved northward, but then was accelerated toward the east by the flow ahead of an approaching frontal system. On the 16th, Claudette merged with the front, its center once again becoming a frontal low. The extratropical low moved generally toward the east over the following week. Satellite pictures suggest that it dissipated near the Azores Islands on the 23rd.

b. Meteorological Statistics

Position and intensity estimates were obtained from analyses of satellite pictures by NOAA's Synoptic Analysis Branch (SAB) and Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), and by the Air Force Global Weather Center (AFGWC). The analyses also included observations from the reconnaissance aircraft flights taken by the Air Force Reserve.

There were no land, ship or buoy reports of tropical storm force winds associated with Claudette.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

Claudette did not directly affect land and no reports of casualties or damages were received.

Maximum Intensity For Tropical Storm Claudette
13 - 16 July, 1997

Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W)
14/0000 32.3 73.0 1003 45 Tropical Storm