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Hurricane Josephine was the longest duration tropical cyclone of the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season, lasting 15 days. The twelfth tropical cyclone, tenth named storm, and fifth hurricane of the season, Josephine developed on September 21 from a tropical wave that emerged from Africa in mid-September. The new system slowly organized into Tropical Storm Josephine on September 24, before weakening back to a tropical depression on September 26. Josephine remained weak for several days, and did not re-intensify into a tropical storm until October 1. Tropical Storm Josephine began to executive a cyclonic loop, by which time it had finally became a hurricane when completed on October 5. Josephine weakened back to a tropical storm the following day, and was declared extratropical late on October 6.

Meteorological history

The origins of Hurricane Josephine have been traced back to a tropical wave emerging from the west coast of Africa on September 16. This system tracked westward, and already had significant amounts of deep convection. Classifications of the system began a few days later, becoming tracked by the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Satellite Analysis and Forecast Unit starting on September 20. Further organization continued, and the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Depression Twelve, which is estimated to have developed on September 21 at 1000 UTC while situation a few hundred miles west of Cape Verde.[1]

Without intensifying further, Tropical Depression Twelve headed northward, due to a weakness caused by the deepening of a 200 mbar cut-off low near the Iberian Peninsula. Several areas of high pressure became situated over the eastern Atlantic, whilst the cut-off low began to weaken, causing Tropical Depression Twelve to began to curve in a westward direction. After remaining weak over the last few days, the system intensified, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Josephine on September 24. Upper-level wind shear increased on September 25 as a result of a 200 mbar trough moving in the vicinity, and the Josephine weakened back to a tropical depression the following day. Josephine remained a tropical depression for the next several days, and began to turn northwestward because of a broad weak trough over the northwestern Atlantic. Tropical Depression Josephine remained nearly stationary, but moved towards the weaknesses in the pressure field over the next two days. Josephine turned northward and then to the northeast on September 30 as the broad weak trough had moved eastward. Tropical Depression Josephine moved in the close wake of the weak trough, although the trough was unable to absorb Josephine.[1]

A high pressure prevented any further northeastward movement, causing Josephine to turn eastward while re-intensifying into a tropical storm. Tropical Storm Josephine executed a small cyclonic loop over the eastern Atlantic, due to the influence of the high pressure system. By October 4, a frontal trough had moved over to the north-central Atlantic, while there was also a strong 200 mbar anticyclone to the east of Josephine, causing favorable conditions for intensification. Finally, after almost exactly two weeks, Josephine had intensified enough to be upgraded to a hurricane on October 5. Hurricane Josephine intensified slight more on October 5, attained its peak intensity later that day, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 980 mbar (hPa; 28.94 inHg).[1] A large mid-latitude storm began developing on October 5, and Hurricane Josephine accelerated around the east periphery on the system. Josephine weakened back to a tropical storm early on October 6, while moving to the north of the mid-latitude system. After tracking near the mid-latitude cyclone, Tropical Storm Josephine transitioned into an extratropical storm on October 7.[2]


Since Josephine never approached land during its duration, there were no damage or casualties were reported.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Case, Robert (1990). "Hurricane Josephine Preliminary Report, Page one". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Case, Robert (1990). "Hurricane Josephine Preliminary Report, Page two". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 

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