A broad area of low pressure was identified in the southwest
Caribbean Sea early on November 8th. Later
that day, thunderstorm activity increased. Heavy rains and gusty winds occurred over the northwest Caribbean
for several days. Later on the afternoon of the 13th, a well-defined center was found by reconnaissance and
Tropical Depression 16 had formed about 150 miles south of the Cayman Islands. By mid-morning of the 14th,
the system had strengthened into a tropical storm and was strengthening rapidly. Hurricane strength was reached
by that evening when located 150 miles southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. Lenny tracked quicker to the east at this
point, becoming the first known tropical cyclone to move eastward through the length of the Caribbean. This was
due to Lenny's location at the leading edge of the Westerlies. Several shortwave troughs sped up Lenny to a motion
of 16 mph.
Beginning midday on the 16th, Lenny began another round of rapid
intensification, becoming a major hurricane
with winds of 155 mph by noon on the 17th. At this point, Lenny slowed as it moved into a col point between
two mid-level ridges. The hurricane slowly weakened thereafter, perhaps due to upwelling caused by its slow
motion. The center passed slowly over St. Maarten/Martin during the afternoon of the 18th, Antigua that evening,
and St. Barthelemy early on the 19th when it weakened back into a tropical storm. Its final landfall in Antigua
was made late on the 19th, before the cyclone moved eastward into the tropical Atlantic. The system weakened
into a tropical depression late on the 20th, and on the 23rd was either absorbed by a new cyclone to its northwest
or became extratropical. The low spent the next couple weeks moving almost to the Canaries before retrograding and
recurving east of Bermuda early in December. Its track lies below, provided by the National Hurricane Center.
Below is a storm total rainfall map for Lenny. Rainfall
information was obtained from the National Climatic Data
Center (for daily U.S. and international synoptic reports) and Meteo-France (Guadeloupe).