Hurricane Joyce 2000

Preliminary Report
Hurricane Joyce
25 September - 02 October 2000


Hurricane Alberto (3)
Tropical Storm Beryl (TS)
Tropical Storm Chris (TS)
Hurricane Debby (1)
Tropical Storm Ernesto (TS)
Hurricane Florence (1)
Hurricane Gordon (1)
Tropical Storm Helene (TS)
Hurricane Isaac (4)
Hurricane Joyce (1)
Hurricane Keith (4)
Tropical Storm Leslie (TS)
Hurricane Michael (2)
Tropical Storm Nadine (TS)

Joyce was an 92-mph hurricane east of the Windward Islands, but was weakening from a tropical storm to a depression when it passed through the Windward Islands.


a. Synoptic History

Joyce emerged from the coast of Africa as a poorly organized tropical wave on 22 September. This was several days behind Isaac. But while Isaac moved northwestward and became a powerful recurving hurricane, Joyce remained far to the south. Joyce moved on an undulating, but generally westward track at 14 to 18 mph for its entire existence. Its center remained south of 13 degrees north latitude, under the influence of a strong ridge to the north that built westward in the wake of Isaac.

The tropical wave showed signs of a closed low-level circulation on 25 September while located about 350 nautical miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. These signs were evident on visible Meteosat images and on SSM/I and TRMM microwave images. In contrast, a QuikSCAT pass on the 25th showed a shear line rather than a well-defined closed circulation. With the preponderance of the evidence in favor of a closed circulation, the "best track" begins with a tropical depression at 1200 UTC on the 25th.

Convection associated with the depression became better organized with banding features. The cyclone is estimated to have become Tropical Storm Joyce at 0000 UTC on the 26th, although there is considerable uncertainty about this, as a QuikSCAT pass on the 27th still showed an open wave. Strengthening continued and Joyce is estimated to have reached its maximum intensity of 92 mph early on the 28th, while located midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. This was soon after the appearance of a short-lived "pinhole" eye feature on a TRMM pass. Visible satellite imagery later on the 28th showed the center partially exposed to the southwest of the deep convection, implying an increase in vertical shear. With occasional bursts of convection, Joyce's convective cloud pattern gradually became disorganized. Joyce weakened to a tropical storm on the 29th and moved across the Windward Islands and into the Caribbean Sea on 1 September while weakening from a storm to a depression.

Joyce quickly and somewhat unexpectedly deteriorated to an open wave on 2 September while located in the southeastern Caribbean Sea just north of Venezuela. Data from NOAA aircraft GPS dropsondes on the 30th and satellite imagery suggest that a mechanism responsible for the above weakening was the entrainment of lower-tropospheric dry Saharan air into Joyce's circulation.

b. Meteorological Statistics

There were two USAF reconnaissance flights into Joyce on 1 October, just before and after the center moved across the Windward Islands. Data from these flights indicated that Joyce was a weakening, minimal tropical storm. A third flight on the 2nd confirmed that Joyce was an open wave. Otherwise, satellite data were the basis for all determinations concerning the best track, including the maximum wind speed of 92 mph.

The highest surface winds reported were from Barbados: sustained 35 mph with gusts to 46 mph. Joyce's center passed about 120 nautical miles south of that island. The center of the storm passed close to Tobago and winds there backed from north-northwest to south to east over about a 24-hour period. Maximum sustained winds reported from Tobago were 30 mph.

c. Casualty and Damage Statistics

There were no reports of death or damage.

Maximum Intensity For Hurricane Joyce
25 September - 02 October, 2000

Position Pressure
Wind Speed
Lat. (°N) Lon. (°W)
28/0600 12.2 42.5 975 90 Category 1 Hurricane