A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on 9 September
by a large area of
thunderstorms. The convective activity decreased significantly as the system moved toward the
west-southwest during the next few days. As the wave approached 50 West, the shower activity
began to increase and an upper-level anticyclone became evident over the system. Shortly after
noon on the 14th, there was enough convection and rotation to classify the system as a tropical
depression as it approached Trinidad and the northern coast of Venezuela. The depression moved
west-northwestward and its development was halted by its interaction with land. Around noon on
the 15th, the system had degenerated into a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea. However, as
the wave entered the western Caribbean Sea, it redeveloped a closed circulation and regained tropical
depression status on the morning of the 17th, about 120 n mi south of Kingston, Jamaica.
It strengthened into Tropical Storm Isidore after midnight on the
and, embedded within a weak
steering current, the tropical cyclone moved very slowly toward the northwest, passing just west of
Jamaica. Isidore then moved very slowly toward the west-northwest across the Cayman Islands and
became a hurricane shortly after noon on the 19th. Its winds reached 105 mph after midnight on the 20th
as it was nearing the southwest coast of the Isle of Youth, Cuba. Although the minimum pressure
continued to drop, Isidore's winds decreased a little bit and the hurricane made landfall near Cabo Frances
in western Cuba during the afternoon of the 20th. The hurricane then moved west and southwestward
toward the Yucatan Peninsula and restrengthened, reaching its maximum intensity of 125 mph after
noon on the 21st.
Isidore meandered for 24 to 36 hours over northern Yucatan and
to a minimal tropical storm. It
finally moved northward over the Gulf of Mexico where the circulation expanded but the cyclone never
redeveloped an inner core of strong winds due to its extremely warm core. Isidore made landfall with winds
of 65 mph just west of Grand Isle, Louisiana at 0600 UTC 26 September. Once it moved inland, Isidore
weakened to a tropical depression and moved north-northeastward across the southeastern United
States, producing torrential rains. It became an extratropical storm over southwestern Pennsylvania at
1800 UTC 27 September, and was then absorbed into a frontal zone. Below is the track of Isidore,
furnished by the National Hurricane Center.
The storm total rainfall maps below were constructed using data from
National Climatic Data Center,
the Louisiana Agriclimatic Network, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the
Comision Nacional del Agua, parent agency of Mexico's National Weather Service.
Below are the calendar for Daily Precipitation Maps. Note that
the 24-hour periods end
at 12z that morning.