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1746

MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW

VOLUME 133

FIG. 1. Tracks of Atlantic basin tropical storms and hurricanes of 2003.

1) SYNOPTIC HISTORY

The interaction of a tropical wave and a mid- to up- per-level low resulted in the formation of a surface low pressure area over the Yucatan Peninsula on 28 June. This low was accompanied by a large area of cloudiness and thunderstorms that extended east- ard over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. When the low moved toward the north-northwest over water and away from the Yucatan Peninsula, convection became better organized, and it is estimated that a tropical depression formed at 0600 UTC 29 June. The depression strengthened to Tropical Storm Bill 6 h later.

Bill moved on a north-northwesterly to northerly track and gradually intensified. It turned toward the north-northeast and reached its peak intensity of 50 kt, with a minimum pressure of 997 mb, at 1800 UTC 30 June when the cyclones center was very near the Loui- siana coast. Bill made landfall about 20 n mi west of Cocodrie, near King Lake, on the south coast of Loui- siana at its peak intensity around 1900 UTC 30 June.

Thereafter, Bill weakened to a tropical depression while moving across central Mississippi and Alabama. It became an extratropical low near the TennesseeVirginia border at 1800 UTC 2 July and then was ab- sorbed by a frontal system.

2) METEOROLOGICAL STATISTICS

Bill is estimated to have reached tropical storm staus based on a report of 38 kt from the ship HG3Q located to the northeast of the cyclone center at 1200 UTC 29 June. Bills peak intensity of 50 kt and minimum pres- sure of 997 mb were based on a report from a recon- naissance plane of 66 kt at 850 mb and a minimum surface pressure of 997 mb from Lumcon Marine Cen- ter, near Cocodrie, respectively. Table 2 is a list of sig- nificant surface observations. Rainfall totals ranged up to near 160 mm in southern Louisiana and up to near 100 mm in Mississippi. Storm surge flooding ranged up to 1.7 m above normal tide levels over southern Loui- siana and Mississippi.

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